Friday, July 31, 2009

Our Front Entrance: Help Needed!

I think a front entrance should be a magnificent intro
duction to your home!  And no, this isn't mine!

Unfortunately, despite our marvellous taste, we don't all live in architecturally perfect homes, and some of us have rather mediocre front entrances.  I don't think 
my front entrance qualifies as a "foyer".  It seems more like a lonely box.  I am a little embarassed to share this space, but what the's changing as soon as possible!  

Here it is from the outside:    
Nothing very exciting here folks!  Seeing this photo makes me realize that (a) we really need to change the raspberry door (we do intend to repaint the house, perhaps cream and white, and I will do a dramatic glossy black door, or maybe teal blue, like the top photo!).  Oh, and (b) that I need to ditch the wreath (I am a recovering wreath addict which I bet you never expected).  No comments about the lousy trim work please...we plan to re-do the entire house eventually.

I do have a lovely etching on the wall just inside the door, but seeing this photo makes me realize that I might need a pair of pictures on this is a little lonely:

Now, here's the inside:  
This silver mirror (which I just painted) is definitely not working.  It was always too small and now the colour isn't right.  And it could use some friends.  I don't think there's room for a table here, but maybe a small wall console/shelf?  I could spend ages finding a great wall shelf, so in the meantime I am seeking a dramatic, large, long, character-filled mirror to charm this space.

Now, the view from inside the house:  
The chocolate brown Pottery Barn Henley rug isn't working. But I love it because it's wool, soft and thick, and was very affordable ($119).  Plus, it's good for miserable Canadian winters with muddy, snowy boots.  I need to find a replacement and I'm now thinking of having a rug made, once I choose a colour.  I am so sick of searching for the right colour/size.

We have a lovely antique light fixture in this space, which is a rosy-purple colour.  Hence, I am considering a plum coloured rug, to reference the fixture.  

I think that an interesting mirror in the right metal colour will be a great accent for this space.  
I like the curved mirror in the entryway below, the mirror to the far right of the photo, that you can barely see.  It looks long and tall:
As far as the rug is concerned, I really like the plum colours in this photo:
A nice thick wool rug in this shade would be gorgeous with the antique light fixture.  I would prefer to run the rug down the hall, but the wall is offset and it wouldn't look right, sadly.  So I think I'm stuck with a 3x5 rug, or maybe a 4 x4 square.  
Yet I wonder if the plum rug would reflect my mood for the rest of the house, which is more quiet and muted?  Instead of plum, perhaps I should do a rose rug, maybe an antique rose colour.  The adjacent living room is in more muted tones, so maybe a more muted rug would be a better fit:

Then I wonder if decorating around this purple fixture is the right idea.  But I like the fixture, and it gets a lot of compliments.  And if I replace it, that's one more thing to look for!

And there is always the infinite potential for art to pull it all together, like these pretty little prints from

Please, send your suggestions my way.  They are sorely needed!


  1. Terri, I think your foyer has all kinds of possibilities. I love that one doesn't just fall into the main part of the home...that's what happens here. It'll be an education for me to see how you handle this. I am clueless as it already looks just lovely to me. I do prefer the deep teal colored door over the rose, but I love a wreath on a door even though I've got a star on mine. Now we'll both sit back and wait for Joni to show up! :D

  2. Hi Teri, we all have parts of our homes that we know 'need work' (e.g. I'm at a loss as to what to do with a long narrow strip of nothingness in my back yard). A couple of things spring to my mind re this space: 1. I think you should keep the beautiful light fitting - it might help you determine the style/ colour you want for this space; 2. You could get a rug custom-made (a lovely carpet off-cut??) to fit the area; 3. a wall shelf or slimline console would work well in the area. You have such a lovely style, I can't wait to see what you eventually do with this space. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Lee :)

  3. hi terri- the most important thing to remember is to make changes (even if they're temporary) that make you happy with your home TODAY! dont wait til you "re-do the entire house eventually". take the wreath off the door, hang your etching on one side of the mirror and find another print or picture in your home to hang on the other side, and place a narrow table under them to throw the mail and keys on. that creates the feel of a proper entry. then rotate the entry rug so that it runs parallel to the front door- it will create a more gracious feeling. have fun! robin

  4. We also have a very narrow entrance and it is very hard to furnish. But I think it is important to have a place to put things on when you walk into the house so you can free your hands. We managed to find a very small chest of drawers from Grange but I guess even that would be to large for your entrance. But a shelf sounds like a good idea.
    xo Poppins

  5. A link to my chest of drawers

  6. Anonymous4:34 am

    Terri, my idea would be a)on the small wall where the picture is: find a nice piece of furniture to kind of cancel the tall narrow feeling, it would stand just under the picture, would have drawers, a simple tablescape (there I would try to recall the color and style of the light). And instead of the picture, I would put a mirror. As for the door, I like the idea of the deep blue one. Also change orientation of rug is a very good idea. Louise

  7. Thanks for the comments so far!! Unfortunately I cannot change the orientation of the rug as there is a register in the way. I guess I could change it for summer and then move it in the winter when the heat is on!

    I am thinking of doing a shelf with corbels under the mirror.

    I cannot put a piece of furniture under the current etching because this is the entry to the living room and I would block the door!

    I really want to furnish this space but I think a shelf is all I can accomodate.

    But keep the ideas coming...something will click!!

    xo Terri

  8. I sweetie, I can see you dialema, feel your pain - now down to business ;)

    I think shelf under mirror is the best solution, plus I like the image of the round mirror, especially as it has such a deep frame, gives more depth to the space.

    Rug, I would go antiquey persian style, with some of your plum colour in the mix, it will disguise the dirt from outside and have a bit of impact against the dark floor.

    To give the space some impact and definition, how about a feature wall (I know that word is done to death, but bear with me) on the mirror wall. Either an interesting wallpaper, it doesn't have to be cliched or paint. I think you might need to put up some beading where it meets the stair, unless you or your painter have a very steady hand. Colour wise, why not reference your Moroccan style light fitting and choose a soft teal, or the plum colours you love and paint the shelf teal. It will be lovely viewed from the living area and make an impact when you come through the front door. As a hall is the first space you and your visitor sees, plus you pass through rather than sit, you can afford to be brave!

    Best of luck, look forward to hearing how you get on :)

  9. I had a similar problem in my small bathroom. I need shelving and there wasn't much room. I found a screen door at an antique shop. I removed the screen and had a mirror cut to fit and installed it with mirror adhesive(on back side of door)I used corbels for shelves and screwed them into the front of the door and added shelves and painted the whole thing white. Better suggestions at the blog site of Optimism and White Paint. He's a pro and it shows. Good luck.

  10. I have no suggestions, I just had to tell you I love the antique light fixture. I think it's fantastic.

  11. Hi there, thanks for your long chatty comment on my blog, always good to hear from you :)

    Beading, it must be a U.K term, its basically a narrow wooden decorative moulding; in this case I would have it on the length of the corner edge of the wall as it wraps around to the stairs, I think painted white. This will create the definition you need to wallpaper this wall, its creating a full stop.

    Wallpaper wise, if you can't find anything fab where you live, why not get companies to send you samples and then order online or over the phone and have it send it too you once you have made your decision.

    My fav companies are:

    if these a little out of your budget then

    has some good things too.

    Re: the rug, why not try ebay?

    If its not the right size, don't be shy to cut it to size and get it bound. :)

    Good luck!

  12. Anonymous10:55 am

    Love that blue door! Such a great color!


  13. Anonymous11:57 pm

    Hi :)

    On the narrow wall where the photo is you need some furniture, a wooden chair would work well. Above that you need a large long painting to take away from the white.

    The rug has to go too - the shape doesn't work.

    Also consider some hooks to hang coats hats keys etc on the long white walls. Good luck!

  14. I suggest that you buy a new front door with a lot of glass. It will allow for a bright entry way which you will love. We had a door like yours, and changed it to a 3/4 glass door with a wrought iron insert. We LOVE it.

  15. The trim really jumps out at me on all the doors you see. I would paint the trim (including baseboard) and the doors a darker color than the walls. I'd think about a soft color palate leaning in any direction of your choice, but not stark white, that's too white.

    No matter what you do to the rest of the room, the doors and trim continue to jump out at you, a distraction from the rest of your efforts.

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