Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Artful Foyer

Since we finished painting a month ago, our front hall remains painfully bare. I quickly put away the painting gear and replaced the (temporary) rugs, but otherwise, the walls are bare. Not a terribly inviting space!

And yes, for those who asked, we do intend to replace all our trim work and moldings in the future! Either I will buy a mitre saw or we'll hire someone to take care of the whole catastrophe and give me seriously tasteful new baseboards and trim. In the interim, I had planned to paint it all white (to hide the hideousness of the brown contractor-grade trim), but our painting contractor quoted us another $1500 to paint all the trim in the house!!! I wasn't keen to waste that much money on a temporary fix, so we shall live with the dreary brown trim until I (a) get out my paint brush for the next 20 weekends or (b) buy myself a mitre saw and a DVD box set of "This Old House".

But to heck with fundamentals...back to decorating!

As I posted before, I'd like to put a pretty mirror in this space, with a small "demi-lune" wall shelf below (since there's room for very little else). But finding the simple, elegant mirror and shelf I have in mind (or even a middling alternative) may take a while.

The space does have one thing going for it - a rather pretty antique light fixture which is far more lovely than this photo suggests. There is also plenty of light and a nice little coat closet (where I've replaced ugly brass knobs with cute little glass ones).

To get our foyer started, I plan to replace the rugs and put some pretty framed art on the walls. The art we choose is important as it sends a first message about our tastes and style! I want it to be gentle and lovely and simple, and I want it to say "calm" and "peaceful" and reflect the pared-down traditional look we've chosen for the house.

While I don't want to over-emphasize the rosy purple colour of the light fixture, I'd like to choose a few prints that complement it and also work with the creams and greens and pale tones of the living room.

I like these giclee prints from Pierre-Joseph Redoute, which are all available on the consumer-friendly (no taste required) site www.art.com. These prints are simple, pretty and historical-looking and will work nicely with the old-fashioned botanical and bird prints I have elsewhere on the main level.
I also adore the swirling goodness of Arts & Crafts motifs, as shown by example in these delightful wallpaper prints from William Morris (also available from art.com). I'm not sure if these would work in the foyer, but I do think I might need to buy a couple of these for elsewhere in the house!
Choices choices. What do you think?


  1. I like the 4th print down. Very different and interesting.

  2. I love the last print in your blog! Actually all of them are unique and would add class to your home. In regards to your trim, go for the mitre saw - but NOT This Old House... What about Mike Holmes?? How could you be so UnCanadian-ish to suggest Bob Villa when we have the Great Mike? He even has a book on how to the home renos the RIGHT way!! I'm all for girls with boy toys such as power tools.

    thank you for your encouraging note on my post from the other day. It does help to hear from people and to know there is understanding out there. The more I read blogs and get to know the authors the more I realize all of us have our sorrows. Although some more than others. I get migraines occasionally and it would be difficult to live with one daily as you do. Mathew had a period of time a few years ago where he suffered regular headaches and migraines and it was so hard for him that I cannot imagine anyone's life coping with chronic pain of any sort.

    It is interesting to read how your feelings have changed as you visited your mother and father recently. Life and time gives some perspective, doesn't it? Time helps to explain some things in life but it's rough the things we get exposed to at a young age. Then spend the rest of our lives dealing with it. With respect to my father, I only learned to finally let go 6 years ago when I was 38. He was in my life for a very short period of time, still creating the havoc and destruction that always follows him. On this occasion however I decided that he had had 2 families and HE had chosen to have "life" with one over the other. I was of the life he had chosen to put aside in favour of a new wife and kids. I also realized that having him in my life was destructive and detrimental to my family's well-being. So I said good-bye to him and his family. I was sad; we're talking about my father after all. But there was a genuine sense of relief and "grown-up-ishness" about it. I could finally do something about all the feelings I had; I'd developed enough to see the situation without the emotion and to recognize that I can separate from that which is a negative influence on my "now" life to what society deems acceptable. Why is it acceptable to keep people around who are not supportive or there at all? Or who take advantage of you, etc, etc? It was a freeing moment and yes, I was sad because I know it was a "forever" moment. I made peace with my decision both now and forever, death included. I accept what happened in the past and that it will probably affect my life, for the rest of my life. But it doesn't have to take control of my life anymore and I have the power to relegate it to the background. Did you feel the same relief and sadness when you forgave your father for his actions or accepted they happened, he was nasty and that that phase is over?

  3. Hi!

    I like them in different ways. I think it will boil down to you choosing the the one that you really like.

    I'm happy that you are a little more at peace when it comes to your father, must've been really hard. It must be lovely to see that your mother is happier too.

    It's weird, isn't it, how life changes and the perspectives change and sometimes you see things through new eyes and you are ready to forgive.

    Your house is lovely!

    Have a great thursday!


  4. And see, here came William Morris! Lovely prints!!!

  5. They are all lovely! Just step back and imagine away, surely your favorite will emerge? Or use them all in different places!? Why not I say?

    Happy day!