Our foyer is such a diva

She takes forever to get ready.

Like, for real.

Remember when the foyer looked like this??

Well, she looks very different now.  And it all started with five dollars.  Are you noting a theme here?? I find a cheapo thrift store find, and before I know it, I no longer recognize the space.   It’s totally a thing.  A sickness. An addiction.   Totally.

See, I found this mirror for $5…

It needed a little love, but I was a huge fan of the shape (and the insane price).  Once I got it home, I simply used wood filler to fill the dents, dings, and seams.  Waited for it to dry, then sanded to a smooth finish (although this was taken pre-sanding)…

Then, I gave it several coats of Valspar’s metallic spray paint in gold (which is becoming a new favorite of mine)…

After a day or so, I hung it above our lawyer’s cabinet in the foyer…

…but it was looking a little… lonely.  So, after a few attempts at photographing it, I just couldn’t do it.  It needed SOMETHING. Something more.   So, I dug though my stash, and came across this lovely print (sorry for the reflection on it)…

After hanging it up to see what I thought, I LOVED IT.  And suddenly I had this vision of an asymmetrical gallery wall with grays and blues and a touch of red to tie in with the rest of the house.

In no time flat, my foyer looked like this…

And I thoroughly gave up on doing anything else productive that day.  Laundry be damned.

My technique to create this gallery wall was pretty involved.  Haha.  Not really.  Have you met me??   I simply punched a bunch of holes in the wall…

Not kidding.   It looks like Swiss cheese behind those pictures.   I just started hammering.   There was a LOT of hammering.  I played for DAYS and swiftly learned that once Lucas is asleep hammering will not wake him. #momoftheyear

Do I recommend you do the same should you attempt a gallery wall? Probably not.  Planning is not overrated.  I’ve planned gallery walls before, as I outlined in detail in this post.  But somehow this worked for me this go-around.  I just patched and painted any visible holes when I was done.

At one point, my wall looked like this…

But it was WAY too busy.   It annoyed me every time I walked past.  Just too many THINGS.  I felt claustrophobic when I looked at it.  So, I scaled it back and ended up here…

Much better.   The arrangement can breathe now.   And I have to say that this wall completes me totally compliments the lawyer’s cabinet and just feels “right”…

I’m seriously tired of apologizing for and/or explaining the presence of the boob light and the fact that I hate it and did NOT choose it.   Seriously, I’ve gotta take action on that.   Aside from that anatomically-correct replica hanging above our heads, I’m enamored of our foyer.  Like, big time.

Here’s a bit of a closer look at what we’ve got on there…

From the top, we have a pic of Lucas when he was almost 2 years old, a watercolor that he did at school when he was three, a pic of Joey and I in Paris in front of a cool metal sculpture, and a photostrip that we took when Lucas was deep into his ninja turtle phase.

The other side holds a pic of the cake topper from our wedding cake (made by my Joey’s parents), a print from New Orleans that reminds me of college, that blue print, and a shot from Lucas’s newborn pics (taken by my talented friend Susie).   All in all, it contains a good smattering of stuff, and totally represents us, but I feel like it’s not too in your face with family pics either.  I like my subtle nuances when it comes to art.  Fun candid shots along with others that hold meaning.

On the opposite side of the foyer, I hung my new best friends…

I found these chrome beauties at TJ Maxx for about $10 a piece.   And they turned out to be my new favorite medium from which to hang my brother, Alex’s, dog tags.

They’re perfect for this spot as they add dimension, but they don’t stick out far enough to impede traffic..

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And here’s that side of the foyer now..

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It’s coming together!!!   We still have a big blank wall to address across from the front door, but I’m not sure what to do with that yet.  I have an idea, but we’ll see how it plays out.  In any case, walking through the foyer is now a much more pleasant experience.

So, have you ever attempted a gallery wall?  What’s your favorite technique?  Are you a planner or a “just do it” sort of person when it comes to projects like that?

TDC Before and After

Sisterhood of the traveling plant

I’m definitely not a pack-rat.

I don’t easily form attachments to things.  Thus, I prefer to donate or Craigslist stuff I no longer need to simply get it out of the way. It’s cleansing to have a free and empty space (which is why No Man’s Land bothered me for so long).  But, that being said, I’m SO huge on keeping stuff that I love even if I don’t think I have a place for it.   You just never know when an idea will hit.  So, my rule is: If I absolutely love it, I keep it.   Nomatterwhat.

When we first moved into our house, I hung up this leaf print in our laundry/mudroom….

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I’d purchased it for our last house from TJ Maxx about 5 years ago.  I remember seeing it in the store and it just grabbed me.  I’m not really sure why.  I think it was the boldness and simplicity of it.   It adorned our last home’s mudroom, so it only made sense for me to start if off there.   Don’t get me wrong… I liked it in the space, but decided to take it down when I made my DIY pear art.   The pear art just suited the space so much better in both style and size.   For a while my little print sat ignored in No Man’s Land, then when I redid our guest bath, I decided to give it another go…

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Again, it’s not that I hated it here… I just realized after living with my new bathroom for a bit that I wanted to adapt a more monochromatic color scheme.  So, out went the leaf.   Next, I tried it in my craft closet

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Again, I liked it, but was not completely married to it.  Then, the other day as I was passing through our foyer, I spotted this wall and had a Mighty Eureka! Moment….

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I grabbed my leaf print and had it hung in a jiffy…

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And I danced.   It was perfect here.  It’s funny how you can live somewhere for a year and a half and see the same wall every day, and then one day that light bulb moment hits out of nowhere.  I love it.  I feel like the print plays off the other natural elements in the space (the hemp rug and bamboo light fixture more specifically).  It warms up the space and makes it feel way more finished. THIS is what my little print deserves.   To enhance the space and be enhanced.

Here’s the view from a little farther back so you can get a feel for how the casual gallery wall plays into the feeling of the foyer…

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and a little closer up…

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 Finally my little friend has a home.  🙂

So, do any of ya’ll have any traveling accessories?

TDC Before and After