Our foyer is very large. This is one thing I have never understood about this house as the kitchen is to one side of the foyer, and I would much rather have two additional feet in the kitchen than the foyer. However, one benefit of a large foyer is that it has become my painting studio! It drives The Husband nuts in that my projects are always laid out in the foyer which is in the middle of the house and open so there is no hiding my mess. But I have never been one to have a perfectly presentable house – our house is our home and we live comfortably in it, and for me that is surrounded by my projects!
Before (This picture is from the day we first toured the house):
Notice the vinyl and the carpet – hiding under was hardwood! I will never understand why anyone would cover hardwood (especially with vinyl). It turns out that hardwood was hiding under the carpet in the hall and two of the bedrooms as well. But to make matters worse, before the previous owners covered the hardwood (which obviously squeaked), they screwed thru the hardwood floors to try to minimize the squeaks. When we pulled up the carpet, there were screws everywhere. At first I was distraught, but after the floor refinisher people told me what they could and could not do, I made myself realize that the screw holes just added character. After the floors were refinished, we had the door casings and baseboards updated, and painted the walls:
And we lived like this for a while. (Notice, I didn’t paint the doors, as I knew they would not be with us long – before we ever moved in, I had plans for those doors!).
So finally, it was time to bring a little craftsman to our foyer. It all revolved around the new front doors. My original plan was to go from the double doors to a single door with two sidelights. And I found several pictures on Pinterest that I pined over (here, here and here).
I even got the drawing of what my doors were going to look like – and I was so very excited!
But alas, the size of our opening meant that we would have to have the new door and sidelights custom made. And the word custom in anything just means more money. And more money was not in the budget. So we ordered new double doors.
While we were waiting on the doors to be installed, we added board and batten trim to the foyer. This is a look I have always loved. I pinned several tutorials on Pinterest from Chalkboard Blue, Creative Chaos, Four Generations One Roof, and Thrifty Decor Chick.
After reading all of these, I began to come up with a plan. We had already updated the baseboards to 1x6s so we were able to use the baseboards as our bottom board. Next I determined the spacing between each vertical board. My plan was to carry this down our main hallway, and the hall has some imperfections on the walls. So I wanted to hide as many of the imperfections with the battens as possible. So I cut paper strips to serve as my battens and taped them up to get the best layout to hide the bad places and that would also be appealing to the eye. I ended up going 14” between each batten. Then I had to determine the height. In that the front doors were not installed yet, I used the interior doors in the hall (which we had already replaced) as a guideline – I wanted the top rail to fall in the center of the horizontal strip of the doors so I went 50.5” from the top of the baseboards to the bottom of the top rail.
I used this planning time to pick out a new color for the den (I had originally painted it the same green of the foyer – which I love, but we get so little natural light that it made the room too dark. I had the idea to paint different color swatches on the foyer wall so I could get a color that worked well with the green in that the two rooms join each other. I thought this would be no big deal in that I was going to be painting the foyer anyway. BIG MISTAKE. I sanded the area, and applied 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint, and I still see those squares. So if you learn anything from this, do not put sample paint directly on the wall, paint a piece of foam board that you can prop against the wall, and save yourself a huge headache!
I primed the walls before installing the boards in that we were using pre-primed MDF. It was easier to paint before the boards were installed, and that way, I could go straight to paint once the boards were up.
The installation of the boards went very fast. It only took a few hours to do the full foyer.
Notice the sample squares in the above picture?!?!? After the boards were installed, I painted 3 coats of paint and said it was “good enough.” But now that it is finished, and the doors are installed, I think it is fabulous! I will be back later this week with the final reveal pictures.