The Foyer
This Old New House

text This was the original view of the foyer when we first came in the house. The realtor's lock box is still hanging on the door knob. Media room to the right, service hall to the left, library (and fireplace) straight ahead. The wallpaper was fairly ratty looking, and the carpet was hideous. text This is a glimpse of the foyer from media room. The front door would be to the left, the service hall straight ahead, the hall to the library to the right. The wallpaper is gone, completing the trifecta (carpet, drapes, wallpaper). Wait'll you see the paint… text This is the new foyer. Bordeaux on top of a barely visible chair rail, and Pale Chamois below with Bordeaux painted moldings in each section. We're planning on a cream colored marble tile for the floor.

tiling partly done I started setting tile. This is a night shot using work lights, so there isn't a lot of reinforcing daylight for the picture. I'm standing in the hall to the library. The foyer is about 13 done at this point. It took two more days to finish it up. tiling partly done Finish shots. This view is from the library toward the front door. That burble in the grout line halfway up the picture is an artifact from the digital image—the line is dead straight and even in real life. tiling partly done This view is of the foyer from the porch through the front door.

tiling partly done This is the foyer from the hall. There was quite a family debate over the color of the grout. Some thought a red would be too much. With the 18" grout lines it winds up being very understated. tiling partly done Remember the coat closet shot from the previous page? Shelves were out to the wall, there was a big pillar in the middle, it was poorly lit. tiling partly done I took out the pillar and cut the shelves back. I installed a new lighting fixture (which is code compliant) with a brighter bulb. That and the tile opens up and brightens the closet considerably.

text In preparation for installing the French doors, I had to take out the trimmer studs and reinstall replacement trimmers about half the thickness. That's because the opening was never designed for doors and was about 1½" too narrow for the door unit. text The doors are temporarily kept in place with shims at the upper corners so I can get them to hang right before nailing the jambs in place. text This is how the French doors look like from the foyer with the hardware in place and the cafe curtains on the media room side. It's a really nice effect.

The color scheme is tied to the media room. We painted the top part of the wall, above a chair rail I installed, in the Bordeaux of the media room, and the lower part is painted a light cream (called Pale Chamois, although paint names mean nothing), which also carries into the library. I built picture frame-like assemblies and installed them on the wall below the chair rail, and they are painted Bordeaux. We had previously replaced the light fixture and we're well on the way to a handsome front entry.

Although the first room encountered coming into the house, it's the last to be remodeled. We did the molding and painting last fall some time, but the tile is the current project (done—needs to be grouted—done). It's the last thing keeping the media room and library from being carpeted. It also paves the way for retiling the hall bathroom and putting new flooring in the utility hallway (will be a continuation of the gray rubber in the laundry room).

The other major project with the foyer beyond the tiling is a minor resizing of the shelves in the closet (done) and new doors and jambs for the closet (done). I also plan to replace the bathroom door, as well (done), although I won't have to make jambs for that—I should be able to use a standard pre-hung door in that space.

Baseboards are all that are left, although we're toying with the idea of crown (the hall beyond the arch already has it)—the question falls on color—we're not sure whether it should be the Pale Chamois or the Bordeaux. There are arguments for both.

Last updated: 06 February 2009

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