Greetings, friends! We’re taking a break from fashion today for another room reveal!
I debated splitting this post into 2 or 3 parts, but I ended up putting them all together, so it’s a long one. These areas of my house are all open to one another, so I thought it made sense to group them together.
Today I’m sharing the front of our home and the foyer, as well as the living and dining rooms, and it should give some perspective to the other rooms I’ve shared — my home office and family room/kitchen area. I also shared our guest room back in the summertime; all of my home tours and home decor posts are linked under the My House tab on the menu bar above.
Anyway, let’s dive in because I have a lot of pictures!
Front Entrance/Foyer Before
This is how our house looked the day we got the house and walked in for the first time.
This is what you see when you walk in the front door. The dining room is on the left, and the living room is on the right. Straight back, those French doors lead to our deck and backyard. My office is the set of doors you can barely see in that right rear corner.
Here’s a closer view — you can see my office doorway better here, and you can see the little hallway in front of that with a coat closet. That hallway leads to our powder room and also gives access to the living room and my office.
If you turn around and look back at the front door, you can see how large our foyer is. I think this is such a fun space! I love that when our company is coming and going, there’s plenty of room for us all to say our good-byes, and we aren’t all squished in a small area. I always found that a bit awkward in our former house. Even though that foyer wasn’t exactly small, it was narrow, and the coat closet was back by the kitchen, so it could get awkward at times.
Here you can also see the doorways to the dining room now on your right, and living room now on your left.
Dining Room Before
If you were to walk from the picture above into our dining room, this is where you would be. Those two windows are on the front of our house.
The previous owners left us this buffet as well as a matching china hutch. The door you see there goes into our kitchen, and the family room is right off of that.
Here’s the view of the dining room from the foyer.
Living Room Before
And this is the view of our living room from the foyer. That small doorway on the left wall in our living room leads to the hallway with the powder room, and those two windows are on the side of our house.
Dining Room Progress
I’m sharing the dining room progress first because we decorated this room before the foyer and living room. As I’ve mentioned, I worked with Magda at ReImagine Interiors throughout this entire process, and we started making color choices and design decisions in the family room.
I was planning to take the BM Edgecomb Gray we used in there throughout the entire house, but at the last minute, we decided to paint the dining room walls above the chair rail BM Hale Navy. I wanted to bring the navy from the family room into this area of the house, so this was Magda’s suggestion.
It was also her idea to have our painters install molding below the chair rail and paint it the same BM Dove White paint as the rest of the molding in the room to look like wainscoting. I’m so glad we took that extra step — it’s such a nice touch!
The gray area rug is from Wayfair. Even though there’s no Edgecomb Gray paint in this room, it ties in nicely to the foyer and other areas of the house.
The dining room table and chairs came from our old house — in fact, we purchased those for the house before that. It has two large leaves and expands to seat 10-12 people, which is awesome for large gatherings, which we host several times a year. It was really too big when fully extended for our last dining room, but it fits perfectly in this one.
You can see that it was too small for the room when it wasn’t expanded, so I’ve started keeping one leaf in it at all times, as well as an extra chair on each side. You’ll see that below.
The next addition to the dining room was window treatments. We decided on simple white curtains and matte gold curtain rods and rings. I’m loving the soft matte gold finishes that are gaining popularity — they work well with my design style that I’m learning leans a bit formal, and I think it’s particularly gorgeous with the navy blue walls.
The curtains are hanging a little wonky here. I ended up taking off the clips and attaching them directly to the rings so there’s not so much space between the rod and the tops of the curtains.
In this next picture, you can see the curtains hanging correctly, and we also added a new chandelier! I have a better picture of that in my “after” pictures.
At this point, the wall behind the buffet still needed something, and I definitely needed a centerpiece for my table, but it was coming along. These pictures were taken in early August, so we had only been in our house for about a month at that point.
The next item on the agenda was a new foyer chandelier, so Magda sent me a few options to consider. It took us a few tries to find something I liked, but when I saw this light, I thought it would be a fun addition to our house. I like that it’s not super formal or as traditional as my typical choices.
It also has a silver leaf finish instead of the matte gold that I wanted, but it seems to work okay with the rest of the finishes in the area.
We got the 20″ version, and I do wish we had hung it a little lower, but it works okay since there is no table underneath. If we do add a table, I’m not sure what we will do because then it will definitely be too high.
To table or not to table has been a big debate here on the blog and among my friends. People have strong opinions about foyer tables, I’ve discovered! I still don’t have one, but if I decide to get one, I have my eye on this weathered black pedestal table.
The next big addition to this space was the foyer area rug. I knew I wanted something with color in this area. The dining room is fairly neutral, and we weren’t planning to do much to the living room during Phase One of our design, so it made sense to make this area a focal point. Plus of course, this is where people enter our home, so it sets the tone for the rest of the house.
It’s easy to get caught up in the neutrals that are trending, and I do love that look, but I was determined to use some pops of color in my decorating of this house — and I wanted something a bit unexpected here in the foyer.
I suggested possibly introducing pink or teal with the navy, and Magda found this rug when she was at a wholesale place in Philly. She texted me a picture, and I knew immediately it was perfect for what I wanted. I told her to grab it for me, and she did. I was able to meet her and pick it up the next day, and I wasted no time rolling it out as soon as I got home.
We also replaced the light fixture in the back of the foyer as well as the one in the hallway by the coat closet with one of these semi-flush mount lights.
And we hung these portraits of our kids from when they were 18 months old. My girls were so happy to see these hanging in our new house — they said it made it finally start to feel like home.
We also replaced all the brass doorknobs and hinges with matte black, which you can see below on my office door.
And just in time for Christmas, my new foyer table, lamp, mirror, and vases arrived. I ordered these through ReImagine Interiors, so unfortunately I don’t have links.
I’d love to paint the stucco a cooler neutral at some point, but it’s in good shape because it was freshly painted before the house was put on the market, so we’re going to wait a while on that.
Oh and pardon the dead mums. #ooops
Living Room Progress
Coming back into the living room, the couch and curio cabinet are from our old house, as well as the piano and the white recliner.
We weren’t planning to do much in this space during Phase One, but I did find myself needing a coffee table right away. I usually sit in here to visit with my friends so the kids can have the family room, and we had nowhere to put our snacks.
In my old house, the living room was too small for a coffee table, so we just pulled out the piano bench and used that, but that solution wasn’t very practical here.
This coffee table was a fairly inexpensive solution, and it works with the other tables in the room. I found it on Wayfair, and it seems to be gone now, but this one is similar.
Foyer/Living/Dining Room After
Okay, so here’s what my house looks like today!
This is the front entry. And yes, I do still have my Christmas wreath on the door. I need to remedy that stat!
I looked high and low for a new front door handleset that I loved. I finally settled on this Emtek Ares single cylinder because of the gorgeous satin brass finish. That finish was hard to find in outdoor handlsets.
Also, as an FYI, if you are ever replacing locksets, you can get them all keyed the same through Build.com. We have three doors on our house that have deadbolts, and we were able to get them all keyed the same so we only need one key to enter our house from any door — very convenient!
And here’s what you see now when you enter the foyer through the front door.
I absolutely LOVE this mirror over the console table in the back. It adds a fun, modern touch to a rather traditional space… and the vases do too, but that mirror makes me swoon every time I walk by it.
If you turn around and look back towards the front door, this is your view. The stairway you see there to the right leads to the basement, by the way.
We just added the pictures in the foyer and the vase with flowers since the holidays. I love how they finish the space. They came from Home Goods, so I don’t have links.
And here’s the dining room. We purchased a few sets of Queen Anne folding chairs to use when we have company, and I left two of them in place at the table to help fill it out now that we’re leaving one leaf in full time. The table and chairs I have came from a thrift shop almost 20 years ago, so I can’t add more matching chairs. The folding ones look really good, though, just a bit smaller.
I also put the arm chairs on either end of the buffet since it’s so short for that long wall. Eventually the plan is to move it to the shorter wall on the right, and then get something longer for this wall, but this works for now.
Fun fact: the mirror was originally silver, and Magda spray painted it gold.
I love the modern simplicity of this chandelier, and it has such a pretty soft matte brass finish that works in perfectly with the curtain rods and other finishes in this area of the house.
This is the view of the dining room and foyer when you enter from the kitchen.
I’m still working on a centerpiece for the table. I loved my Christmas centerpiece, but now I need something for the rest of the year. That blue bowl is nice in here, and I love it. I bought it without knowing where I wanted it, but I think it might work well in here. I just need some other things to set around it — and in it!
Also, would you hang anything between those windows, or leave that wall empty?
You may remember me struggling a bit to style my china hutch back in the summertime. I played around with it and managed to fit both sets of china inside — mine and my grandmother’s.
I’m so glad to finally have both sets out where I can use them… or at least admire them, haha! I admit, I rarely use them.
And finally, the living room.
The wall hanging over the couch is from two houses ago. It hung in my living room in that house, then in the dining room in my last house, and it sat against the wall here in this house or weeks after we moved in. I eventually moved it to the garage with the intent of taking it to the thrift store.
I can appreciate that the colors work in this space, but I was tired of it and really wanted something different, so we tried to find something new. In fact, there’s a whole saga about how Magda brought me a gigantic print from HomeSense that was perfect for this space. It brought in the blues and pinks from the foyer, and even a touch of gold that worked with that ghastly puke-green couch (why did I ever choose that color!?!) but Paul hated it. I mean, he hated it.
In our 23 years of marriage, I don’t think there has ever been anything that I’ve brought home that he has refused to hang until this. It was a huge hassle to get it back to the store because it didn’t fit in my car, and he had to borrow a truck from a friend, but he was that determined to return it. We just laugh about it now.
All that to say, Christmas was coming, and I wanted my living room to look finished, so we drug this print back in from the garage and hung it on the wall.
I have to admit, it really does look nice there… for now. Some day we will put in wood floors and replace the couch and get a pretty area rug, and then I’ll find something new to hang in that spot. But for now, it does the job.
Also right around holiday time, I decided to order more of the white curtains we hung in the dining room for this room. I couldn’t get the same curtain rods and rings as I have in the dining room, so I ordered these in the royal gold. The fluted ball finials are really pretty, but the gold is a little more garish than the dining room ones. Oh, well! They work.
The marble nesting tables and white chair also came over from our old house, as well as that lamp in the corner. I wouldn’t mind replacing that at some point, but it’s fine for now. Maybe I should just replace the shade, as it got bent in the move.
And here’s one final look from the living room into the foyer and dining room.
The portraits over the piano were done when each of our kids was 5 years old. I added a family picture to fill in the last spot, but I’m working on getting that in a larger size so it looks more congruent with the rest of the pictures. Both girls take piano lessons, so corner of the room gets used a lot.
after pictures: Alison Cornell
So yeah, I think it’s safe to say I’m pretty happy with everything so far!
I was a bit of a whirlwind, getting this all done in time for Christmas, but we did it, and now we can just sit back and enjoy it for a while. That wasn’t even our goal in the process, but it did work out pretty well since we had several big events here over the holidays. It was nice to celebrate with all of our decorating completed.
And now we’re just planning to sit back and enjoy it for a while. I have plans for the living room and kitchen down the road… and I eventually want to do more with our master bedroom, but this is a good stopping place for now.
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I hope you enjoyed this post! It’s fun to take a break from fashion every once in a while, and I enjoy reading all of your responses to my home decorating endeavors.
I’m still planning to share my closet reveal and our laundry room makeover, so stay tuned for that!
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