Category Archives: my home

Decorating a small foyer

Foyers are the first impression guests have of your home, so ideally it should be welcoming and reflect your style. But since they are also the transition point between the outside world and your personal space, they should also be functional (i.e. where do you put your coffee when your kid is crying about a missing boot, the dog is barking, and someone is at the front door?….yeah, me this morning).  You don’t need a large space so long as you include a few basic elements:

  1. Mirror for last-chance-do-I-have-food-in-my-teeth checks
  2. Table/console/shelf to place keys, mail, coffee etc.
  3. Storage (hooks/closet/baskets)
  4. Rug or mat to ground the space and protect floors
  5. Ample lighting so it doesn’t feel like you’re entering a cave
  6. If you have the luxury of space, a bench or chair to put on and take off shoes (especially for the old folks)

Time to fess up: my entryway has been sorely neglected.  After removing the winter runner last night I realized that it’s time to pay some attention to our (small!) foyer.

Foyer

What you don’t see in this picture, is a mirror and set of hooks just inside the door.  They are both awesome. Hooks at kid-level are great.

Long-term, I’d like to rip out that first doorway which acts as a bottleneck, tile the floor with slate (or slate look-alike) in a herringbone pattern (like this), and replace the hall closet door with a pocket door.  Until we can afford this reno, I plan on painting the foyer and adding a few pieces (console table is first on the list!). 

Here’s what is inspiring me now:

Decorating a small foyer
  • Lighting // Alexa Hampton flush mount in natural brass - Visual Comfort
  • Console // Echelon iron console table - Crate & Barrel (at 8″ deep this console is perfect for a narrow entry!)
  • Rug // hand-knotted Royal Balouch wool runner - ECarpet Gallery
  • Storage //modern weave basket - West Elm
  • Hooks // brass hooks - Light + Ladder
  • Mirror// Tork brass mirror – CB2

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P.S. I’m Canadian and I say “foy-yay” not ”foy-er”.  Whenever I hear the latter I kinda cringe. You?

Around the House // Livingroom Beginnings

I’m nowhere near finished decorating our living room, but I think I’ve finally got the bones.

 

English roll arm sofa? Check. Interesting occasional tables? Check.

 

Clean lined coffee table? Check. Wool area rug? Check.

So what else is needed to complete this room?  Oh just a few things:

- floor lamp (thinking of this one)

- 1 or 2 chairs (already got one of these)

- upholstered bench

- antique dresser OR piano (both have been offered but not sure which one we’ll take)

- linen drapes with grosgrain trim OR hand blocked print on linen

- baskets for organizing magazines, blankets, etc

So many decisions to make but I’m in no rush.  To avoid looking like a furniture showroom by buying everything all at once from the same store (don’t do it!), this will be a labour of love and I will add pieces to the living room gradually as I find them.  A home should be a reflection of yourself, your family, and your life, so it should take time to collect things that hold significance for you and fit your style and functional needs.

For us, our living room is intended to be our “grown-up space” but it still needs to be kiddo-friendly. For that reason I am trying to mix high and low and balance style and functionality.  The roll-arm sofa for example, is a quality piece from Lee Industries and is a classic style that will last for many many years.  On the other hand, the wool rug was a steal of a deal at less than $200 (60% off plus free shipping) from Rugs USA, so I don’t need to stress over toddler spills and doggy messes. As for the rest of the room….I’ll keep you updated on the progress…

 

Around the House // Main Bath

I told you we bought a house and moved, right?  I fully intended on giving you the grand tour of what the house looked like before we moved in and things got really messy, but disaster has struck.  I cannot find the pictures!  How will I ever impress you with Before and After shots?  Ack.  So while I continue searching through a gazillion files on my computer and all the camera chip cards, with the vain hope of finding those “before” shots, I will share the one complete room in the new house.  The main bath.

First, let  me set expectations with a Before shot I snagged off You Tube, from the previous sale of our house. (excuse the grainy photo)

Ummmm….are those floor tiles on the walls?  The orange, brown, and beige colour scheme is really hard to stomach. Blech. And what’s with the styling?  That shelving unit completely blocks entry to the tub, which BTW, in such a small space only makes the room look smaller!

Enter previous homeowners, who thankfully had great taste and renovated the bathroom to match style and age of the home (approximately 50-60 years old).  So no, I cannot take credit for designing this space but I still wanted to share it because it’s so pretty!

A world of difference, right?!

Love the deep soaker tub. I haven’t tried it myself, but our toddler sure loves it!  A long hot bath with bubbles, candles, and a book is on my to do list.

I should have smoothed out that towel before taking a picture. Oh well. In reality our towels are usually wrinkly. Since I’m keeping it real, I’ll also admit that I decided to use the exact same shower curtain as the previous homeowners.  Weird? Maybe, but we already owned it. In our condo this shower curtain from IKEA hung in our son’s bathroom and when I saw the same one hanging when we toured the Open House I thought – check! – keeping it.  Fits the vintage style of the bathroom and keeps it fresh with a splash of colour.

We’re so lucky to have three mature hydrangea bushes in the backyard.  Next year I need to learn how to prune and fertilize them properly to encourage optimal growth, but in the meantime they are still lovely.

The console sink is really cute and enhances the old school style of the bathroom.  But as you can see there is minimal counter space.  Well….none actually.  Our solution?  One wire basket for each member of the family, kept in the linen closet right outside the bathroom door.  Did I mention this is our main bath?  It is. Small but functional and as our family grows we’ll have to get creative on how we’ll make this space work for us.

I had to take a close up of these delightful LUCIA hand soaps we received as a housewarming gift.  Each fragrant soap comes in a beautiful paper wrapper and the scents are amazing!

Here is a closeup of the marble tiled floor.  Pretty?  Absolutely.  I love the mosaic tile border that trims the whole bathroom.  But practical?  No.  So much white grout in the main bath is not a good idea!  It isn’t white anymore.  I am still trying to figure out the best method to clean the grout.  Any ideas?  I may look into re-grouting in a light grey to mask the inevitable dirt.

Our retro TTC Summerhill print found it’s new home in our bathroom.  Our Toronto roots. We love seeing it everyday.

Hope you enjoyed this first installment of [around the house].  Cross your fingers I can find the other photos!