This is how it all looked originally (well, in the midst of having the gold/brown faux-finished walls painted bright white).
I knew I wanted the foyer area to be bright and open and for the walls to be very white, which isn't something I did throughout the rest of the house. I wanted it to be bright and airy. The key to going white without looking blah is to add some contrast. The floors, stair treads, and chandelier were already pretty dark, but shortly after the new paint was completed, I painted the french doors black, which to this day is one of my favorite projects I've done here. It really helped the foyer look more balanced and pulled together.
But as you can see from the photo above, the wall with the front door was a sea of bright white. White blinds, white door, white trim and walls. It was kind of blah. So shortly after painting the french doors, I painted the inside of the front door a deep glossy black, which I loved. Problem was, it looked a bit "stark" against all the white, especially the blinds on the sidelights. I had never been a fan of those anyway, so one day I just decided to remove them. It really made the entire door look so much better.
Here's where things got a bit crazy...haha. I started experimenting a bit and painted the sidelights the same black as the door which I really liked. Now this was something I didn't really hesitate much with because eventually, we'd like to replace the entire front door- sidelights, transom, and all, with thick, dark, warm-toned wood double doors. We've seen other homes around us do that and it's gorgeous. But I still like my black door, so for now, we're good. But I didn't feel so bad about playing around with painting it because I know it's not going to be here forever.
Problem was... we had zero privacy at night with the sidelights. We're off the road a bit, but I still get creeped out by bare windows. So we played around with some little sidelight curtains (which we hated), window film (which was a pain...and which we hated), and left it bare for a long while. After scouring Pinterest, I was inspired to hang some pretty sheer curtains around that area and I love how it turned out!
So I had a custom-sized, clear lucite curtain rod made from Etsy.
Lucite/acrylic rods sag so much in the middle from their own weight, so I added another bracket in the center (you can't really tell, but I got these in a "brushed brass" finish so it's actually not too terrible looking). Love the look of lucite and brass. However, I'm considering painting the area of the bracket that touches the wall and the area that reaches out to the rod the same color as the wall so it's not so "in your face". I like the little part that goes around the rod itself though. Another project for another day...
As for the brackets themselves, I got them for a few dollars on ebay.
The curtains are from Curtainworks. Super affordable. They are the "Soho Voile Pinch-Pleat Curtain Panels". I put two on each side for more fullness.
After I took this photo, I realized the left side covered one of our motion detectors for our security system down here so to avoid any middle of the day or night false alarms from moving curtains, I moved them inward a few inches on that one side. Something to think about if you are considering this near a front door where motion detectors usually live.
You may have also noticed the (huge) curtain hold backs...
When the sidelight windows were bare for so long, we got used to the windows being totally open during the day which we love (Waylon does too).
Puppy nose prints all over those bottom windows... all. the. time.
So for us, this is a good solution that gives us both the open-ness during the day and the privacy at night. Plus, we found that when they're just hanging without hold backs, they get sucked out of the door when it opens. At night, we just pull them out from behind the hold backs, and they fall in front of the sidelights just right. Plus, I just love the texture they added to the room. It made it feel cozier, but still open due to the sheerness. Loving them.
Oh... and a few more quick changes...
I swapped the big black rug in the foyer with this pretty jute/seagrass-looking one we've had FOREVER.
Seriously this was probably the first "big" rug I ever purchased. I got it years ago at Target when we moved into our first house (ours is the 5x7 version). It lived under our kitchen table and took a beating. It was also right next to the back door at that house (think Waylon running inside with muddy paws all over it constantly). It always cleaned really well and has gotten better and softer with age. It lived in our basement for a while after moving here and I even purchased a similar, larger version with a black border to go under our dining room table. It's not as soft as this one, though. This rug is very similar to the Pottery Barn version, and is a fraction of the cost.
Anyway, I switched out the black rug that was here before...
...mainly because of the constant vacuuming with Waylon. Oh, if Golden Retriever hair was a valuable commodity...
Basically he sheds like a monster and there were many embarrassing moments when I would open the door to an unexpected neighbor, friend, etc. and say "Come on in! and don't look at the dog hair-covered rug". Being greeted with more dog hair than is on the actual dog is never good. This thing just magnified it far more than I thought it would. I try to vacuum the rugs at least once every 3 days and sweep up the hair on the hardwoods with a dust mop every day or every other day. But it still gets totally out of control. Also, something to think about if you're wanting a Golden Retriever...haha. They're totally worth it though.
So that rug is in the basement now. It totally should have been all along because it's perfect down there! I'll do a basement update post soon because SO much has changed down there and the big empty room is no longer empty... ;)
Oh, and we're loving the "new" one in the foyer so much. It looks better overall and puppy's hair blends right in. ;)
Frankie the fig lives where the chair used to be, right in the curve of the stairs.
I've moved this poor guy around more times than I can count at this point, but I figured this would be the best place for lots of sunlight and TONS of room to grow. I mean he'll probably move again next week, so don't hold me to this.
He had really began to block the doorway to my office/living room more than we could stand, so now it's nice to be able to open both doors and have it feel so much more open.
Here's a good before-and-after for ya...
Wait, wait... Let's do a major before....
Oh and I may or may not have started pulling up the carpeting on the stairs! Didn't find great things under there...haha. There are beautiful curved stair treads (that match the edges) beneath it, but the side against the white trim along the left on both parts (even the little landing curve) aren't flush against the wall. The carpeting is covering a HUGE gap. So I'm not sure what we need to do. I may have to call in a pro to trim it out correctly, then I can *hopefully* do the rest myself. We shall see... I'll keep you posted!
Have a great rest of the week!