Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Room Reveal: Rose’s Entrance Foyer Makeover

by Rose McClement

The Makings Of A Grand Entrance:

It’s time for a room reveal! Furthermore, what makes this reveal extra special is that this space is in my own home. Yes, I am finally doing it! I have gotten to the place where I am ready to show “myself”.  This was especially difficult for me because a room reveal cannot be done outside of revealing a part of who you are.

As I have said so how many times: “Your home speaks to who you are, your character, your values, your preferences, etc.

So, let me kick-off be saying: Welcome to my home, my world! Grab a cuppa because it’s a long-ish story. Long-ish but hopefully light, easy and fun. I want to reveal the journey of getting into it and doing it. You could say “share the processes” – but that sounds so officious.  

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Just before I get into the nitty-gritty, I think I should mention something about how I “play this game called Interiors“. 

On the one side of the coin, you have designers and decorators who prefer a more structured game plan. They lean towards a more methodical and linear creative thinking (technically-inclined Architects come to mind). On the flip side of the very same coin, you have the designers for whom a more organic and spontaneous game plan is a better fit. 

Yours-truly fits into the latter category. Does this make the organic decorator someone who flies by the seat of her pants, or is all over the show? NO – hardly. We still follow a pattern and structure but are open to changing lanes and move into it with a bit more ease. So, this room reveal won’t really be a “5 steps to get to the goal” kinda story.

Before: Working with the Basic Shell

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Our home’s entrance foyer had been a thorn in my flesh for a long time. As the foyer had solid wooden doors no light penetrated it, making it a dark space that always needed to have the light on. The central light was a nasty ceiling-fixed downlight that did nothing but irritate me spitless. The walls were painted a lifeless whitish colour and the floor – terracotta tiles. This was the basic shell I had to work with. 

As I look back on all the years that we lived here, I am reminded that this space upgrade, has indeed been a slow evolutionary process.

Before: Shedding Heirlooms & Sentiments

In the early years, to bring some life into that space, I plopped four very traditional oil paintings onto the walls. These were pieces that I had inherited from my parents, coupled with two works of art done by my husband’s grandmother. Somehow, I could not let go of those for sentimental reasons, even though I often wanted to yank them off the walls. Furthermore, I was stuck on the thought that if I did that – what would replace those? Clearly, I wasn’t ready for such a move evident by those type of thoughts. So, I put up with them (putting-up-with… worse thing you can do)!

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

About two years ago something moved inside of me. I decided “to hell” with it! While I do respect the sentimental value of the four inherited paintings, it was time to bring it down. That was the first move in the right direction. I discovered that in doing that, I had given myself permission to begin hatching the plans for the upgrade/makeover. About a year later, I detached from some more sentimental items that were on display in a cute Mid-century Modern low bookcase (also inherited, mind you). I can’t quite recall what I displayed on the walls after the disappearance of the inherited paintings…

You know as I write this, I’m struck by the fact that this entrance belonged to the Past. Just about every item in it had a connection to the past, by way of one family member or another. I felt like I was dropping an old skin, little by little. As each vintage item left the space, I was also freeing myself up for what potential was possible, waiting to be expressed here. It’s liberating! Something I really haven’t realised until now.

Deciding what to keep:

Hold on – pause here! I didn’t let go of everything. There are two chairs that I bought for my mom moons ago. They had made their way into my home when my mom came to live with us, and I saw their potential straight away. I knew then that a reupholstery job and a lick of paint could do wonders for them.

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Searching For The Ideal Wallpaper:

Next, I began considering the wall treatment. Wallpaper was a given.  Initially, the intention was only to paper one wall to create a feature wall.  As time marched, I found myself pondering the space and visualizing what it would look like to extend the feature wall to include the adjacent wall. Yes – it would work. 

Wallpaper needed to evoke a sense of pleasure as a feature of that space. Since wallpaper as a décor element had once again landed (after going into hiding for many years) the selection was extensive. What to do? I love bold, oversized, colourful wallpaper and was heading in that direction. Believe me, I played with many patterns in that genre.  They make fabulous entrance statement pieces. But I had a niggle going on which needed to be accounted for. Since we sadly intend selling our house to sail off into a countryside sunset sometime in the not so distant future, I had to take into account the fact that what I liked would not necessarily appeal to a potential buyer.  I was wary of marginalizing potential buyers.

OMG – eventually I decided on black and white paper. Thereafter, I decided on the pattern that I liked very much – a contemporary botanical palm leaf design. This wallpaper design from Hertex, was actually no stranger to us as we had applied it in different colourways in a few of our interior design projects. I thought a feature wall with a contemporary pattern would appeal to most folk (but mainly the hubby and myself). An added bonus – it worked out to be the perfect backdrop making way for other decorative items to stand proud as well.

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Adorning the Walls:

Thereafter, I moved on to sourcing some art pieces. These were not originals like the traditional predecessors, but affordable prints. 

Frida Kahlo appeals to me – her wild and colourful sense is something I resonate with.  I picked up these prints as I went along, finding them in unexpected places at unexpected times. The quirky parrot print by Sammy Sheppard I found at Kamers Makers last year. I kept the framing minimal and contemporary so the prints could shine.

Finding the Fabric for the Chairs:

But now – onto those two chairs.  Once I determined the wallpaper and the prints were on hand, I drew the colours from the prints. They are colours that speak to my inclination towards warm strong colours, plus they speak to my personality.

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Getting to the fabric that finally landed on the seats and backs of the chairs was also quite a process of elimination and visualization.  Like with the wallpaper I played with a good many patterns within my colour range.

First, I found the patterned fabric for the seats.  Thereafter it was easier to match the plain vibrant teal colour for the backs. Lastly, I wanted contrast piping as a trim.  It had to be a watermelon colour to tie in with the floral pattern. Now, at this stage, we were already in the throes of lockdown. I could not go out to the fabric houses to source a fabric.  I had to work with what is on our office remnant shelves.  It’s not as if these shelves are stocked with watermelon colours! LOL – but after scratching around, I tell you – it came outta hiding. To my delight and surprise. Perfect.

Playing with Paint:

Now the paint colour for the arms and legs. More OMG – the initial paint I bought was along the lines of the watermelon shade. However, once painted on it looked so unappealing to me. At this stage, I checked in with Marica and a friend. Both suggested black. I really didn’t want to do black – kinda the expected colour – but I did, and boy, am I glad I did! Again, with the black arms and legs, the fabrics were given full opportunity to make their own statements.

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Lighting the Space:

Next lights – I needed to lose that central downlight faster than lightning can strike. Yet I did need to have as much artificial light as possible. While sourcing lights for a project, I took the time to source the light fitting and voila – I found what I liked. It is simple and effective with the looped /draped cord leading from the centre of the ceiling, into the corner above the one chair and next to the art.  Again – Perfect. The large light bulb throws more than enough light into that space. My husband calls it “the moon in the corner“.

The Finishing Touches:

The décor elements that followed thereafter came about almost effortlessly when compared to the exploration that the wallpaper, fabrics and paint had needed.  The metal table, a plant with leaves like the pattern on the wallpaper and the right height all seemed to land simultaneously. Plus, I managed to find the exact colour planter I had wanted – it was the last one I looked at and the only one of its kind at the nursery, with a favourable price tag.

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Then I felt that with the black metal framed light fitting in the one corner, I needed to bring a bit of balance against that wall. Nothing overbearing, just something complementary. Hence the hanging plant in a black macrame holder in the other corner. Wanna know a real funny secret? Until one week before ordering the macrame, I had an absolute aversion macramé.  Why? I had lived through the time of its first appearance into the décor world and I did not want to go near it. Not for love or money! Well, I had a change of heart. Now, do you understand why I am an “organic” decorator! I can flip when the need arises.

That was it! I had dotted the ‘i’ and crossed the ‘t’. It had been a very enjoyable, longish and totally fun journey of exploration. Both the Hubby and I are happy-chappies. Thus far the response has been favourable and a pleasure to watch the expressions of our guests.

I’ve spoken enough. Taken your time for which I thank you if you have managed to stick it out to this point.  I hope that you draw inspiration from my journey so that you too can just do it.

Until next we speak. Cheerio

2 thoughts on “Room Reveal: Rose’s Entrance Foyer Makeover

  1. I was thrilled to read your ‘journey’ Rose. Every last syllable. Perfect choices – & I’m so impressed you’re able to choose colours for yourself as I find I flip from one idea to the next (strong Gemini). Fabulous 🌹🤗

    • Hi Stella – you are such a Rock to have in one’s corner. Really you are. Thank you so much for your generous feedback. Coming from you gives it value as a compliment. Much appreciated!

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