ORC Week 6: My Artfully Fresh Foyer — The Reveal!

It’s here! The final week of the One Room Challenge and the big reveal of my Artfully Fresh Foyer! A brief recap and then I’ll get right to it.

For those just tuning in, I live in an old, old house — 226 years old to be exact. As I’ve decorated each room, I have gone for a historically-inspired, tradition-with-a-twist, “fresh classic” look. I want it to be comfortable and to reflect my family’s colorful character, as well as the spirit of the families that have come before us. I want others to find it charming, welcoming, and lovely.

My Artfully Fresh Foyer: The Reveal

My foyer/stairway was NOT charming, welcoming, or lovely. It was dingy and blah. Whatever I did had to bridge my dining room and library and the bedrooms (here and here) upstairs. To see before pictures and get up to speed on the method behind the madness (along with some insider info), check out my previous weeks:

  5. Stairway to my design heaven, or an online source for stair runners

I love when art serves as the inspiration for a room, and I had found this beautiful painting that resonated with me deeply at auction (read more about scoring finds at auction here and here). The subtle coral highlights and brilliant turquoise in the painting’s sunset sky and  served as my color launchpad.

Cloud Towers by William Leon Stacks, Foyer by Chenault James

My vague inspiration board below.


Here is the before:


And here is the after! What do you think?

(All pictures by Karraline Streifel unless otherwise noted.)

Photo by A. Mitchell

The way my vintage French blue opaline lamp and the Thomas O’Brien Clark flush mounts talk to each other just kills me. I wanted the ceiling fixtures to reflect the turn of the last century (See that Victorian banister? I told you, lots of families have lived here.), but man, it’s like Thomas O’Brien actually found my lamp at the Paris Flea Market, made it in brass, and hung it up.


mirrorbench / bench fabric / ceiling light (to consumers)


This painting glows. (Do I use that word too much? Oh well.) My framers, Roland Art Studio in Concord, NH really nailed it. They came up with a way to rig a “floater frame” out of a more substantial gold frame, using spacers and painting the inside black. See how the frame doesn’t overlap the painting? I’m thrilled with the results. (Locals, Roland has its 20% pre-holiday framing sale going on through the end of the week. Tell them I sent you!)

Photo by A. Mitchell

The other view of the foyer. I really struggled with the placement of the painting — center it on the wall, or center it on this particular view so that the shade wouldn’t overlap it visually. I chose the former, thinking we’ll be happiest with that placement long-term. Of course, had I thought of it sooner, I could have moved it for this photo by using removable Command strips. Obviously, forethought was not my strong suit here. But honesty is!

However, my biggest struggle in this project — at least at the outset — was color. I wanted a pale, glowy coral, but also one that coordinated with the Ben Moore Linen White trim that is throughout most of the house (with a house as old as mine, you have to expect some hodge podge). I chose Ben Moore Pirate’s Cove Beach, and I LOVE it! It makes me so serenely happy. I swear, every time I go through the foyer I find myself stupidly smiling like the Cheshire Cat (which, now that I think of it, may conjure up images more of a psychotic smile as opposed to a serene one, but you get my drift).

rug / console art / paint

Left Photo by Karraline Streifel, Right Photo by A. Mitchell

Every room needs a little black, and now this one has it, thanks to my umbrella stand. Even my little French vintage coat rack has the bulb form my lights have. Can’t you here the chatter? Now, stop it, you guys! 🙂

umbrella stand / mat / similar coat rack

interior-41You can’t see much of it here, but this little pastel painting is by Karen Margulis, a wonderful plein air artist I found on Etsy.  Depicting one of those dirt paths you can find by the mile in the wildlife refuges of Sanibel Island, one of our favorite places, the painting was a birthday gift to my handsome husband a couple of years ago. The silver plated green enamel bowl is a memento of antiquing in Boston during a singing gig with Emmanuel Church’s Bach Institute.


Nothing beats a handmade lamp shade to really “top” off a lamp. Could you imagine this blue lamp in a plain old ivory one? This shade is in two colors of Duralee silk. If you want to know who made it, you have to come back for my usual Saturday blog post, hehehehehe!

lamp shade fabric 1 & 2 / maker to be revealed Saturday!



Another question of mine was whether to do a regular lining on the relaxed Roman shade, which would allow the light to shine through, or use a blackout lining, which would show the pattern more solidly. As this isn’t a bedroom, I didn’t care about the need for dark. The fabric is so cool, I almost went blackout, but the desire for airy and glowy won in the end. Here you get an idea of the fabric pattern — a fun but subtle pattern in neutral — and loads of light.

window shade fabric

Photo by A. Mitchell

I love this little watercolor of two figures on horseback, another auction find. I nabbed it — only $25 — because it reminded me of my stint as a wrangler in Colorado. Yes, I used to be adventurous.

(This room seems to have a number of mementos of my lives past. In a dream world, I would be an opera-singing cowgirl full-time, but in reality, the two are rather mutually exclusive. Throw in motherhood and they both get the kibosh.)



“A thing of beauty is a joy forever!”

(Mary Poppins quoting Keats, as she pulled a houseplant from her magic carpet bag. Geez, if I had a magic carpet bag, I’d pull out a Lacanche range with double ovens and six burners, not a plant!)


Silhouettes of Things 1 and 2 look perfect going up the stairs. Tradition with a twist.

custom silhouettes


 carpet source


Crazy cat, smiling ear to ear.


This lantern from Wayfair was just the thing to fill up the enormous void of space I had. I don’t think just a round, 20″ lantern would have done the trick half as well. I put in Edison LED light bulbs I found at Lowe’s. In retrospect, I wish I’d hung the lantern a bit lower, but we didn’t have the silhouettes yet, so I didn’t know exactly how high they would hang.



custom map / sconce (to consumers) / rug / chair


Minted’s custom map of our village — you can see it’s still pretty sparce around here, though the old-timers will say there’s been a population explosion — and an old photo of our house from the 1850s (wish the porch were still here!) that I found at the town historical society. The star on the map marks the spot!


Aquarelle photo prints / ceiling light (not pictured)

And there you have it! A big thank you to my sponsors, Benjamin Moore, Aubuchon Hardware, and Minted. Head back over to the One Room Challenge to see all the rest of the participants.


I hope some of you new readers will stick around and come back to visit me each week on Home Glow’s Saturday Blog! Make it easy on yourself and sign up for each post to be delivered to your inbox on the right sidebar of this page. A little teaser for you — Did you like that coral silk lamp shade? Have you been lusting after the bespoke look of Blanche Field or Irving and Morrison lampshades, but worried you’ll have to give up your firstborn to afford one?

Blanche Field, Irving & Morrison
Blanche Field, Irving & Morrison

This Saturday I have a couple of fantastic sources for handmade *heirloom* lampshades that are available to consumers — at about 1/2 — 1/3 the cost of the above two vendors. But you gotta come back to find out!



P.S. I’m out of rooms to decorate in my house for at least 2-5 years (says the bank account and the handsome husband), so if you’re local-ish and would like to jump in on this ORC madness for the spring round, give me a shout and we can discuss. Hey, it gets it done!



28 thoughts on “ORC Week 6: My Artfully Fresh Foyer — The Reveal!”

  1. I’ve been waiting for this!!! Beautifully bright and airy with the perfect pops of color. I wish I had that glorious, heaven-like light streaming through my space. So stunning…from first to last step.

  2. Congratulations, Amy – what a gorgeous foyer! It is light, happy, and strikes exactly the balance you were seeking, between tradition and freshness. I’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with that opaline lamp and look forward to your lampshade blog post, as well. Great job – now you can just enjoy it!

    1. Thank you, Kelly! That means so much coming from you. I know, I have another of those lamps waiting to be made over — and I wouldn’t part with it for love or money. 😉

  3. Oh it’s absolutely stunning!!! Loved seeing the before and after because I had forgotten what the before looked like. Can’t wait to see it in person! Love all of it, especially the coral color accents!

  4. Fantastic makover! Everything is glowing in this foyer! Love everything you did, especially the roman shade and the choice of pops of color!

    1. That’s Tilton Fenwick for Duralee. I adore their sense of pattern play and granny chic. So glad you like!

    1. Thank you, Jen! I’m in awe of you DIYers (I’m afraid my DIY days are done for a while). I can’t believe what you accomplish in 6 weeks. For me, it’s just logistics, not labor!

  5. This is my type of room reveal! I love the classic choices you made and your bench fabric almost gave me a heart attack, it is gorgeous!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Jess! That fabric was a major find for me — the way it played with my painting and the opaline lamp. I feel like they’re doing a little dance together! 😉

  6. Love this reveal Amy! The fabric on the bench, the gorgeous opaline lamp with the fabulous shade (can NOT wait to hear the source!) … be still my heart! The stair runner is great. I’m looking at doing a runner due to 3 dogs;) I’ve looked into ordering one of the I & M lampshades, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it! Can’t wait till Sat!!
    Love to Nanny! xxo

    1. Thanks so much, Joan! Do hold on to that lamp shade trigger finger, because I just got the go-ahead on a discount code for first time buyers!

  7. Oh my gosh, this is gorgeous! I love the way you blended the blue of the lamp with the coral accents. The roman shade is so pretty and I love the furnishings. Great job!!

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