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August 1, 2011

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My Updated Foyer: A Gallery Wall, Typography & Personal Details

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Madigan made...  An (almost) empty frame foyer gallery wall.

So, it's about time I show you the revamped foyer, huh?

I told you about it weeks ago and showed you the before pictures, but I had writing motivation issues and just got around to finishing the post.

I think one reason I avoided sharing this post with you is because I'm a little hesitant about the change myself. It is quite different from the simple table and picture that used to be there.  But on many levels, I love the space. Let me share and tell you why.

The traditional and formal table is gone.  In it's place, hubby and I decided to use a bench. The choice was for practical reasons more than anything else.  Now I have a place to sit and put on my boots to walk the dog! And a place that I can set down my coffee mug or keys and not worry about ruining the wood finish.

It's funny. The first thing my hubby said when we talked about a bench in that space was: "Well, we will need something bigger to hang above it. That current picture is too small."
I was thinking the same thing. I'm so proud! Maybe my home dec brain is rubbing off on him! :D

Aside from needing a bigger focal point, I knew the wall art would have to be personal and that I'd likely make it myself.

So, I created the large faux distressed "mirror" using a big picture frame. The Emily Dickinson quote on it just seemed like the perfect saying for an entry. It also inspired the addition of the two "globes" on the bench... where ever we are in the world, home is with each other.

I have a full tutorial on this silver 'mirror' project coming soon.  But if you remember my soft pretzel sign I made for our basement, you probably can guess how I did it.

Even with that large silver picture, the scale of the art did not seem like "enough" above the bench.  I thought adding frames on and around the picture could balance the bench out and add a little more interest. I ended up with a gallery wall when that was not my original intention.

What I love about gallery walls is that they can work with almost ANY style. Country. Modern. Cottage. Traditional. Transitional.
If you tend to be more organized, you can lay out your objects in a neat, symmetrical fashion. Or if you tend to throw caution to the wind, you can be much more organic and irregular with the frame layout.

I did lay out all my frames on the floor prior to hanging them. This helped me gauge the general layout and then I tweaked it once I got several up on the wall. I used Command picture hanging strips to hang most of the frames. (I trimmed the strips down if needed)

I picked up all of the frames from thrift or dollar stores and I had a few on hand.  It was easy to make them look cohesive by painting them black or red. The single silver round frame tied into the silver "mirror" and also the house numbers.

Adding the house numbers was a bit of an afterthought. I originally hung the frames without them. But the wall did not quite feel complete, so I hunted around the house for items to add. The numbers were a perfect touch.

I love numbers and typography anything.... whenever I was at a thrift store or dollar store, I  snatched up house numbers if I saw them. I was never quite sure what I'd do with them. Until now!

The small '3' and the '1' were a really bright brass. I like brass more and more these days, but it did not work with this project. So, those two numbers got a quick coat of oil rubbed bronze spray paint. I just hot glued the number "1" onto the tin storage bin.

And speaking of that metal bin, I found it in the paint aisle at Lowes for about $11! It is the perfect storage solution for the low shelf on the bench. It pulls in the silver color from the frame and other accessories.

To layer more silver and black, I added the two updated globes to sit at one end of the bench. One is a real globe that I covered in thumbtacks.

The other "globe" is a plastic ball that I wrote on with a glue gun and spray painted black.
I love that black globe. It is so personal. It lists cities that are important to my husband and me: places we traveled, places we lived, places where family lives, etc.

The final accessory I added was a matryoshka doll that my in-laws brought back for us from a trip to Russia. It has some red and black on it and I love that adds to the "global" feel (and it reminds us of them, too!).

These three items sit on an iron candle tray that I already owned. It is a great place to set stuff. Even though this bench is more durable than the prior formal table, if we don't have to risk scratching the paint, why not?

The foyer underwent big changes and it is not as simple as before.  In some ways, it is focused with the black, red and metallic colors. I repeat several motifs to help bring things together: the frames, the hammered/distressed silver finishes, the numbers, the globes etc.  In other ways, there is a lot going on here and lots to look at.
But overall, I'm happy with the change because there are so many great details!

Aside from getting more practical use out of this space now, there are so many little things that I adore: The quote. The personal touches.  The numbers. They all make me smile. 

I love walking through the foyer when we come and go now. It has a lot more personal personality that the former formal space.

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