Foyer Before & After {10 years in the making}

| |
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosures here.

Hey guys!! I’m so excited to be sharing my Foyer before with you today….before and after.  

I love a good before and after whether it’s furniture or rooms.
Don’t you? 

You may remember seeing my Foyer in my Holiday Home Tour.
Not too many changes have been made since then…except I’ve removed the Christmas decorations.

And I got a new rug. :)

I did finish up my gallery wall over there in the Study finally.  I’ll be sharing that with you all shortly.
That’s my Aubusson Dresser in the photo. It was a thrift store find I painted and had to make a handle for (it was missing one).

Below is the little thrift store chest I made over with Minwax PolyShades.
You can read about it in this post here –> Super Easy Way to Update Wood Stained Furniture.
That mirror below used to have green trim (in my forest green phase!) but I recycled it and painted over it with brown a couple years ago.

Foyer - AFTER - - Sherwin Williams - Kaffee - SW6104 -

The wall color in my foyer is Sherwin Williams – Kaffee – SW 6104.

The wall color in the Study is also Sherwin Williams – Navajo White – SW6126

I had a hard time deciding on a color for the foyer this go round. I originally painted and did a sponge technique 10 years ago.
Then I painted over that with a beige/tan color a few years later.
Both were mostly light shades.

This time I wanted it to feel a bit warm & dramatic and literally draw you into the lighter rooms surrounding it.
But it was a hard choice since this home was so dark to begin with.
(—>we nicknamed the Family Room, ‘The Cave“, with it’s chocolate brown paneled wall )
Anyway, I think I achieved it. I still love the dark brown and it doesn’t feel “dark” at all to me!

**One thing I think has made a HUGE difference in the light in this house is the paint finish I used this time. —>EGGSHELL

I am not a “shiny” loving girl in finishes, typically. So I have always gone for Flat paint on my walls.
I decided to use Eggshell for the very slight sheen in hopes of giving a bit of light reflect-ability.
It worked. The dark brown does not “feel” dark because it reflects light.

I couldn’t be happier with it! 

In the foyer (and kitchen)…we removed old broken ceramic tile and replaced it with Novalis Home Fashion vinyl tile. It’s a peel and stick vinyl (super sticky!) that can be butted up against each other or grouted. 
We chose to grout it. My husband and I laid the tiles and I grouted while he was at work. It’s a large area and was a pretty big job.
It’s been down about 6 years now and has held up beautifully. We love it.

We also refinished our wood floors (pictured to the left in the Study) 2 years ago.

Bet you’re ready for the before now, aren’t ya? 

10 years ago….

Toshiba Exif JPEG

Now technically this is not a true before. I had already removed the wallpaper in the foyer and kitchen.
Plus had the doors off of the cabinets getting them ready for trim and painting.

And here it is now….

Foyer - AFTER - Looking towards kitchen - Sherwin Williams - Kaffee - SW6104 -


I’m so happy I decided to put that “Gather” sign there! Perfect spot for it.

Foyer - Makeover - Sherwin Williams - Kaffee - SW6104 -

And we built and added that island you see in the “after” photo a few years ago.

Here’s the true “before” …the other view looking towards the foyer/front door from the kitchen. 

We had vision. ;)

Toshiba Exif JPEG
This was taken right after we moved in and shows the wallpaper that was in the kitchen. 
You can see the other wallpaper in the foyer. (yes, that is wallpaper and border) 
Almost every room of this house had some form of wallpaper/border that needed removing.

Here it is now… same view.

Foyer - AFTER - Kitchen looking towards Foyer - Wall Color - Sherwin Williams - Ivoire 6127

Just a tad different. Plaid wallpaper down, board & batten up.
By the way, the kitchen paint is Sherwin Williams – Ivoire – SW6127

Foyer - BEFORE and AFTER - Kitchen looking towards Foyer - Wall Color - Sherwin Williams - Ivoire 6127

Not a tad…a BIG difference, right?

There was a door in that opening originally (crazy place for a door if you ask me).
If you look back at the first “before” photo above you can see where the hinges were.

I can’t wait to share the rest of the “before” photos of the kitchen. Walls (and doors) have been removed on both sides. 
So much has been done. AND if you follow me on Instagram, you know that my husband (and son) surprised me upon my arrival back from the conference  I attended last weekend….

by putting in the IKEA farmhouse sink we purchased last year! Oh my gosh. Loving it!
Can not wait to share that with you. (you can see a peek of it over there on Instagram)

We replaced all the doors in this house and attached new hinges & new knobs, upstairs and down. 
We also replaced the chair rail (put in a larger, different style) and added wainscoting in the foyer.
My husband cut and attached, I sanded, caulked and painted. 

Foyer - Butterfly Artwork - New Wainsoting - Sherwin Williams - Kaffee - SW6104 -

We put in a new return vent, removed the carpeting on the stairs and added oak stair treads.
He installed, I sanded, poly’d and painted. :)
We thought about adding decorative trim by the tread ends on the side (seen below).

Foyer Makeover - Stair flair -

But in the end liked the clean look of them without, so let it be.

Foyer - AFTER - New Oak Treads - DIY -

We removed the railing and banister when we did the wood steps and decided to keep it off.

Here’s the only shot I could find of the stairs before..with railing and carpet. 

Toshiba Exif JPEG

Bella kitty is relaxing in this one. She liked the carpet. ;) 

We replaced the hand rail on the wall also. You can see how it was above and how we have it now below.

Foyer - Stairs NEW Handrail -

Up the stairs and looking towards the family room
You can read more about my (very) thrifty gallery wall here –> Gallery Wall.

Foyer - Gallery Wall - Sherwin Williams - Kaffee - SW6104 -

I’m not sure what they were thinking when they built this house but the front door only clears about an inch of the stairs when you open it.
Add the banister and it’s a very tight fit. That’s why we chose to keep it off when we did the treads about 7 years ago.

Best decision ever.

This is one side of the foyer by the front door.

Foyer - Corner with Chalk Painted Table- Wall Color- Sherwin Williams - Kaffee - SW6104 -

That’s my decoupaged Butterfly Chalk Painted table there in the corner.

And photos of my 2 children (who are much more grown than those photos now)
(thrift store frames, by the way–had mattes cut to fit the photos)
The clock used to be green with a totally different “face”. I created and printed out a new “face”and painted the trim cream with glaze about 15 years ago.
It might be due for another makeover. ;)

The is the other side of the foyer. There’s a door that can be closed to the family room. Did I mention all the doors we had in this house?
We kept this one because it came in handy at keeping the TV noise down to the upstairs bedrooms.
That’s my White Chalk Painted chair in the corner, my super easy No-Sew Curtains on the window and our “faux” board and batten on the walls.
We did the board & batten last year…and so have enjoyed it!
We (my husband ;) ) installed that wood floor in the Family Room about 8 years ago.
It was on clearance from Lumber Liquidators. 

Foyer Looking to Family Room -

Can you believe we used to call that room “The Cave”?
I remember it that way but it’s become so light and bright it’s hard for me to picture it that way anymore!

We also replaced all outlets/light switches. They were brown or almond.
(or brown AND almond like the one in the photo below) We changed them all to white.
Again I say “we” (because most all is a team effort) but actually my husband did this all on his own.
Messing with electricity is not my thing. ;)

Foyer - BEFORE - from kitchen looking towards foyer -

This is where that other door was originally.
We removed it before the moving truck was unloaded, I think! What a crazy place for a door?

I guess people did not want guests seeing any part of their kitchen from the front door in 1978. ;)

See the light in that photo?

It’s the one I made over several times.  First, I removed those crystals that are dangling.
Did NOT like them at all in 2004. 
But I love them now, go figure. 
Then I painted it with a crackle cream finish and added tiny lamp shades. It stayed that way for about 8 years. 
Until I decided to create fun new beads to dangle from it once again. 
You can see that tutorial here–> Hand Beaded Chandelier.

We replaced it recently with a brand new one though.
Lowe’s…on clearance for $40! Yay! 
Isn’t that light display on the ceiling pretty?

Foyer - AFTER - New Light Fixture -

It was a light fixture I had taken a photo of months before while out shopping.
My husband and I were out for breakfast one morning and I was scrolling through my photos. 
I came across the photo of this light and I said to him…”look, isn’t this light pretty?” …”let’s go get it!”  

Haha…he so sweetly agreed….to go to Lowe’s. Which, by the way, is not the same thing as saying yes. ;)

When we got to Lowe’s I went straight to lighting and guess what? It was marked down on clearance!
From $159 to $39.75. 

How absolutely great is that? Pretty great! I was so excited. I am a thrifty girl and LOVE a deal. 
I think it worked out in perfect timing. 

So what do you think of our before and after & changes? 

Foyer - Before and Afters of each view - #sherwinwilliams #diy #homedecor #chalkpaint
Not all of these improvements/changes were done at the same time…or even in the same year!
They were just completed as we got to them over the last 10 years of living here.

Like every room in our home. It’s a work in progress…always is!

Oh! And I almost forgot, it’s themed furniture week.
Don’t forget to check back in on Thursday to see all of the “number” themed furniture makeovers.
They should be a lot of fun. :)


Signature for Blogsmall


Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook if you don’t already!
I always post projects and things I’m working on
long before it hits the blog…..
….plus lots of fun random daily things too.  :)

Follow on Bloglovin


Sharing with: Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer,


  1. I love before and afters! I’ll bet the wallpaper was just calling your name to pull it off:) Such a beautiful job with everything. I loved all of the projects you shared in making your home so personal and pretty!

    1. Thanks Wendi!! Oh it was, it so very was!! It had to go! Yes, it’s been a while in the making (and all the in betweens I didn’t share! ;) )

  2. Wow Nancy, what a difference! Just love that wallpaper that was in the kitchen – oooh yeah. And those lovely wallpaper borders. I can imagine how much work it was to remove them all…did the same over here. Love your new light fixture in the entry – so pretty! Your butterfly table is adorable too. Thanks for opening your home to us today :)

    1. Thank you Marie! This house was SO dark when we moved in! The wallpaper was not fun to remove!! Glad it is way far behind me now. ;)

  3. Hi! I am a new follower of your blog. I love what you do with furniture and other painted items!

    My foyer is pretty much exactly the same as yours (built in the mid 70’s). Your new light fixture is so much better than the too low and ugly one I have (the original). I have added doors to our narrow door frames in order to lock our two dogs in the tiled kitchen area when they are wet and have muddy paws. Your wood floors look great. My favorite in these photos is your removing the small banister on the left side of the staircase. Ours is wobbly and I have never liked it. I never thought to just remove it!

    1. Hi Gwen!! and welcome!!
      OH yes, absolutely! So funny you mention that because we did use it for just that when we first moved in! ;) (the doors and the dogs)
      Yes, ours was ridiculously close to the front door. It’s amazing how much more “OPEN” the space feels since we removed it! You should try it! :)

  4. 10yrs, 10m, 10wks…who cares! This is an awesome testimony to great ideas implemented with patience. I am so adding a ‘Gather’ sign too :). I am in the midst of my first chalk paint experiences as I am painting my livingroom sofa and chars (yikes). I am also tapping into my first decoupage project and taking on an entire chair for our daughters room. Wish me luck.

    1. Aw thanks! Yes, you are so right! Patience…sure took a lot of that. Every room in this house looked like the foyer and kitchen! It truly has been a (continual) work in progress. ;) Our master bath, the poor master bath, is still untouched. The last of the 1978. We are actually planning that project for the Fall…finally!
      OH yay…how it the fabric painting going? And I love decoupage. I am actually working on a little table for Thursday’s themed furniture makeover and it’s got a bit of decoupage on it! I’m not sure I am loving it yet … but we’ll see once I’m finished! ;)
      I am sure your chair will be beautiful!! :)

  5. You did a great job! I’m in the middle of doing the same (remodeling) my mobile home and it is going to take a while but it’s getting there :)

    1. Thanks so much Naomi! :) Yes, it will. And you will feel such a sense of accomplishment once done! :)

    1. Thanks DeDe!! :) No, as I recall, I was ripping it away before we even unpacked fully!! lol It’s been a bit of a crazy 10 years!! ;)

  6. Vive la difference! Not only a great make over, but also your honesty that making this kind of change is a ‘lifestyle’ more than a ‘weekend project’. So you had a hunter green phase too, eh? Was this in the early 80’s with the rest of us, or were you in a different place at that time? Haha! I have 5 doors in my 1872 farm kitchen – I can never get used to the fact that there is no place to hang pictures. Well, except on the doors!

    1. Hi Gabrielle!
      Oh thank you for the sweet words! It was so much a lifestyle…and a continuing one! We are still not finished with this house 10 years later. :)
      The green phase came in the early 90’s. I was in the blue/mauve “country” phase before that!! lol
      Oh, I bet your farm kitchen is great, doors or not!! :)

      1. Continuing lifestyle it is! We moved in in 1992, and 22 years later I am still hard at it – thank goodness chalk paint has arrived and offered a solution to painting all those doors! In the early days, I used to take it hard when people would say ‘yeah, we’ve been renovating like crazy, and 2 years later we’re almost done… How long have you lived here???’ But, I think the difference is in the creative authenticity you develop for yourself vs the brash facade that money can buy… mind you, a little brash money can be pretty sweet! ;-)

        1. Hi Gabrielle,
          Oh I know, it’s crazy that we’ve been here 10 years and aren’t done yet! (but it could have something to do with the fact that I keep adding projects to the list?? ;) ) But really, when you truly do it all yourself, it just takes time. You are so right…I know exactly what you mean about creative authenticity and the facade that money buys. I actually look around our home and realize that not only did we “basically rebuild the entire structure” ourselves, with our own hands, completely. But every single thing inside..almost.. (home decor etc) was also touched by my hand. Found, restored, painted, made, etc.
          That is a wonderful feeling! Next house…hopefully won’t need as much reno though!! Just the fun projects only. ;) I’m tired lol!
          Have a great day!! :)

  7. Wow! Nancy you and your husband have done some major work over the years you have been in this house. I love the transformation of the stairs especially. I think carpet should be banned from ever going on stairs!

    1. Thanks Karen!! :)
      Yes we have…lol…and that’s just one tiny room! ;) (and we are still not finished here…10 years later…labor of love?? ;) )
      I would have to totally agree with you on the stairs and carpet!! Your stairs are pretty awesome too!!

  8. nancy i had to keep scrolling up and down up and down cause it didn’t look like the same place great job xx

    1. Aw thanks Chris!! :) It is!! Promise! Wait til you see the full Kitchen and Family Room befores! Oh and the laundry with the gold and orange vinyl floor…and the avocado/gold guest bath! ;) That bath is my next “reveal” on the blog! Hint…it’s not avocado and gold anymore. ;)
      So glad I took all those before photos-but wish I’d taken better ones (of course, I was completely unaware at the time I’d use them on a “BLOG”…just wanted to document how much we changed it!)

  9. Nancy, beautiful, warm and inviting. Thank you for taking the time and effort on this post. Sure you are an inspiration to many, myself included. Your blog is my fav BTW :) Kudos!

    1. Hey Vicki!! :)
      Thanks so much! So nice to hear of someone else’s perspective! It’s hard when you are right up on top of it sometimes. :)
      And wow, thank you so much for you very kind words! You have just made my day! :)

    1. Thanks Christy!! I suspect you will make it over and see it all in person one day very soon my sweet friend!! ;)
      (oh and that sign is actually one I did not paint, surprise surprise!! ;) …my daughter bought and brought it home to me one day a couple years ago! :))

  10. Hi. Love your makeover!! The brown & white look awesome. I have some wallpaper to remove in my dining room and kitchen. What are your recommendations, tips, tricks for removing wallpaper and border put up with border glue? Thanks.

    1. Thanks so much Diane! :)
      Gosh there are so many ways to remove. Sometimes it really depends on how old it is or what kind of wallpaper/glue it is. I used one of those roller/serrated things (goes over the surface and perforates it so water/remover can get underneath the paper). I am not sure it helped much though! ;) I used vinegar/water and also tried fabric softener/water. Honestly, it just took time and elbow grease. Mine was old though and had been up a long time. Saturate it well, let it soak a bit and use a scraper to scrape away. Be sure to ‘wash’ the walls well after you remove to get rid of any remaining glue. I wish I had a better solution tip for you but I don’’s just a pain to take that stuff down! :)

    1. Thanks Debbie!! They are my favorite too! :)
      Yes, we sure have … ten long years and we still aren’t done!! One day, right!! (probably never!) ;)

    1. Ha ha….sure ya do!! ;) It was lovely and I’m sure nice and well loved in it’s time! But it’s time was long past. (dark dungeon days)
      Thanks…loving the fixture too…and the price even more! ;)

  11. I am in love with that light fixture!
    It’s so hard to find one that is that pretty that is also a ceiling hugger – all the ones I like are low-hanging which isn’t right for our space, despite the fact that my husband and I are both shorties.

  12. Having such a good time looking back through all your older postings! I may have missed seeing it, but what color paint did you use for all your white trim? It’s such a beautiful, clean white!

    1. Hi Nancy!
      You didn’t miss it because I haven’t mentioned it. I painted all the white trim after we moved in 14 years ago. Sadly, I don’t remember what I used BUT I am actually in the process of repainting all of it and am using Sherwin Williams Extra White. It’s a really nice white, I really love it! :) I actually decided to go with a more matte finish this time instead of semi gloss and am loving that too. Nice for a change! xo

  13. Wow! (Just about) all I have to say is, it’s a good thing you could see the good bones in your home! That plaid wallpaper would have thrown me for a loop. I like the new lighter stairway and gallery wall. Very pretty.

    1. Yes, lol! Same thing my sister said when she walked through after we bought it! ;) You should’ve seen our master bedroom. It was purple with lavender trim and big, colorful flowered wall paper in the dressing area and bathroom! Oh my! And thank you Marilyn, I’m loving how light and happy it makes the house feel. :) xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.