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Next project: colorful, unsafe foyer!

You know what kind of conversations we almost never have around here? Talks about what we’ll do “when the house is finished.” That’s because Andy and I have both realized that I am a psychotic mind-changing decorator who will never “be finished.”

What can I say? It’s FUN!

Here’s our foyer. (And our canvas letters.)

Here it is a little closer.
I like to accessorize with magnetic letters. I’m trying to make stray toys “the next big decor trend.” I’m proud to say it’s already caught on in my house.

If you come in a little closer, you’ll see this little charmer.
Homemade foyer table
That little guy was Andy’s first attempt at making furniture, back when we were newly married and living in a teeny tiny rental house with a miniature “foyer” that had no room for store-bought furniture. It’s, um… seen better days
foyer table close up
Let’s just say my sweet little husband’s woodworking skillz have come a long way since then. I still have a special place in my heart for that little table. It’s survived three cross-country moves and two children, but it’s like a sweet loyal dog which needs to be “given away” … “to the great big farm in the sky…” “where it can run free and chase squirrels…”

You know.

In any case, the beginner craftsmanship makes the dodecahedron light Andy built look a bit more impressive, don’t you think?

So that’s what we’ve been workin’ with in the foyer for the last five years. I chose the rug because the aqua and brown combo felt like a safe choice at the time, and I was afraid to do anything more colorful or bold.


My tastes are changing and I’m finding ways to integrate more colors that make me go weak-in-the-knees. I want fewer neutrals, more pinks and reds and more freedom with color. I want to make more decisions that speak to me, even if strangers think they’re a little crazier. Know what I mean? (I’m talkin’ about these decorating rules!)

So I want to make the little foyer step outside its comfort zone. And reach for the stars. Stretch its wings and fly, and other lame cliches. I guess what I’m saying is, my foyer wants to become one of those cheesy motivational posters.
motivational poster
I don’t even think that inspirational quote I just made up is grammatically correct.

Here’s the plan.

1. Kilim it up!

I’m going to replace the pretty-but-neutral-and-safe rug with something very, VERY not neutral. Remember when we debated Turkish kilim rugs a while back? Turns out I still love them. So expect to see something very colorful, happy and controversial there soon.
kilim rug
UPDATE: it’s here! Check it out here.

2. Seating

We have a nifty little plan for some seating to the right of the door. If you follow me on facebook, you might’ve seen some pics I posted while we were yard-saling a while back, specifically this headboard.
hollywood regency headboard
It was only $3! It’s beautiful, but I think it has always wanted to be a bench, and I’m a granter of wishes. (It’ll need to be shortened, but I think we can do that.)
UPDATE: we did it and it’s pretty fab. Come see!

3. New table

After Andy’s little homemade table goes off to The Great Furniture Store in the Sky, it’ll get replaced. I’ve debated DIYing something fab like one of these guys:
Or just buying something mirrored like this:
mirrored cabinet
It’s a tiny little space, so there’s not a huge inventory of pieces that will fit perfectly there. TBD on this one.
(UPDATE! It’s done too! Here’s that post.)

4. Paint the door?

Question mark? I’m not sure. The door might get a coat-of-something but I can’t decide what. I think black would be pretty fabulous, but my knobs are dark oil-rubbed-bronze, so I think that’s a no-go. Thoughts?

The vision…

I want to go unapologetically hollywood regency happiness in here, and veer away from safe, “I-guess-this-will-work-okay” kind of choices.

And maybe along the way, we can all agree that plastic pink strollers, baby gates and stray toys are tasteful accessories?
IMG_2223 (Custom)
Have you ever had a finished house? Are you in with me on this toys-as-decor revolution? Say yes.

Let's connect


  1. a thousand yes’s to a rug just like that! plus, if that thing can’t hide stains I don’t know a rug that will.

    I wonder what it feels like to live in a finished home…. weird.

    • Definitely yes on the brave Kilim rug. I had an idea for the front door, black would be a stunner but you don’t want to lose the handle in the paint so what if you did a medium grey? It might be just enough. Also it’d look great with your existing pale walls… Just a thought.

  2. i can’t wait!!!!!! you know i love that rug! this is gonna be good!

    • I would LOVE to see a kilim in this space!! So fun, cheerful, bright!! And YESSSSSS to the door – go big or go home (oh – you’re already home? then just go big.) Maybe pull a color out of your new rug??

      • MarieRoxanne says:

        That would be a great idea, pulling a color from the new rug… then it’ll all “come together” along with the toys as home accessories.

  3. I love the rug and the headboard bench!

  4. Fun! Can’t wait 🙂 xo Kristin

  5. I can’t wait to see how you pull this together! I love Kilim rugs, that’s going to be awesome!

  6. Go for it girl…you can rock that entry! Colorful rugs hide a multitude of sins. They can be disgustingly dirty and no one knows. All of my doors match my trim. I would love to switch up a couple. Maybe wait and pull a color out of the rug?

  7. Melissa S. says:

    Hollywood regency? I’m thinking a red door. Especially with that rug!!! Like Nicole’s (of Making it Lovely) red appliances and light blue door in her laundry room – something about that light blue/red color combo is striking to me. Definitely bold…and unsafe. Maybe too over the top? Look at me…questioning the boldness. Why are we always so fearful of bold decor choices? I’m such a wimp, Kelly!

  8. Love that rug!!! It will go perfect with all plastic toys and magnets!!

  9. I love your Hollywood regency vision! And once upon a time I thought my house was finished. But now that I look back on it, that’s laughable!!!

    🙂 Linda

  10. Love that rug so can’t see what you wrangle up for in there. I think you can go black door with ORB as long as it’s more oil rubbed than bronze if you know what I mean!

  11. You can make it REALLY unsafe by taking the baby gate down! Just kidding. Don’t do that. Babies with broken arms do not make good foyer decorations. I’m excited! Color is fun! I want a colorful rug for my foyer, too. It’s on my list!

  12. Oh, so, so fun. It’s going to look amazing. And yes to Kilim rug…I am currently on the hunt for one, but I need it big…really big, and I don’t quite think my bank account is ready for the hit that it’s about to take. What about dark brown for the door? Is that too boring? It would still show a bit of contrast with the knobs, but would add a bit of depth to the entry….and I think it would look pretty snazzy with a kilim. Or navy…cause you know…I just LOVE navy!

  13. I love the rug! With that rug, the toys totally “go” in the space now. And I agree that you should pull a color out of the rug for the door…Hollywood Regency is all about the glitz and glam. And, if you wanted to go black anyway, why couldn’t you hit those knobs with some Krylon Looking Glass spraypaint and go for the whole antique mercury glass knob vibe? Which now I totally want to do.

    I have no idea what it feels like to live in a finished house. IMHO, as long as you are switching things room-to-room, or picking up some random ‘it’s so cute!’ accessory, that house ain’t done!

  14. I’ve never finished a house and never will. What would we do with our free time?? Love the mirrored cabinet, the rug, that headboard that I know you’ll do something amazing with, and I think you should go for black on the door. You could always add a little touch of gold rub n buff to glaze the handle to make it stand out a little more from the black door. Ooh, or maybe a gorgeous rich peacock teal color! I don’t know why I picked that color for your door, I just love it right now. I’m trying to convince you to live my color fantasies I guess. 🙂 xoxo

  15. Let your inner decorator, the one you keep leashed for fear she’ll explode to much color or mayhem come out on this one!! I know you’ll make it absolutely gorgeous and can’t wait to see what you do!! And who cares what others think, my motto, now that I’m older is “do it if it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone”

  16. It seems our home style has recently migrated into shoes placed randomly across the floor and dirty dishes displayed across the countertops. Quite stylish, for sure.

    I’m crushing on Kilim rugs right now but having a difficult time finding a design I really like in a price I want to pay.

    I think the door hardware would look fine with black. You might want to decide on your rug first before you decide on a door color. (Of course, chunky black and white stripes would be fun!)

  17. Hollywood Regency! Toys as Decor! I’m in. I always say I’m “accessorizing” with the kids toys and that really they’re just for show to make the apartment look lived in and cozy. My kids are actually perfection and never make a mess.

  18. Yes and yes!!! Toys everywhere, my cute little toddler has not got them memo on “how to put away toys.” I’m loving your direction and taking a step into the bold world of color. I’m still trying but I just can’t step away from my love of blue (in all shades and tones). I also have to say I’m pretty impressed with your husbands handiwork on that light fixture. Maybe I can borrow his skills for awhile so some of my projects can get done :).


  19. We have been living in our first house for a little over two years now and it’s no where near being done!! Sometimes I get sad when I think about that like, “what have I been doing all this time?!” but life really does just get in the way. We are expecting a little one in January so I will be all up on the “toys as decor” bandwagon then, promise! =]

  20. I think you should GO FOR IT! I’m loving the kilim.

  21. I love that bright rug! That will look amazing. I am excited to see how it all turns out.
    I don’t think I will ever finish. We have lived in our house 2.5 years and not a single room is done (except the nursery), and I want to change everything we already did. Eek.

  22. I’m fervently hoping the toys-as-decor thing catches on. I will be THE most stylish gal around 🙂 The rug is going to be F-A-B and I am dying to DIY a table like that first on you showed too.

  23. i especially love the mirrored table. although andy’s was nice…it’s time.

  24. I love it! Our foyer is one of my most favorite places in our home. I can’t wait to see what you do! Our door is white…but the panels are painted. that is a fun alternative to painting the whole door. Happy sprucing! 😉 ~k.

  25. Yay!!! Do it do it do it!!! I swear once you start introducing some crazy glam colour into your life, there’s no going back to neutrals. It’s like the red pill/blue pill. Whoop whoop! Can’t wait to see that amazing rug in that space 🙂 You rock on with yer bad self. xxx

  26. Tamira Johnson says:

    I LOVE the rug idea, and the white (or cream was it?) or mirrored entry/foyer table. As for the door, I’m a sucker and just LOVE the look of black. I think it adds instant glam and fab to any room and if it were me, I’d be updating my knobs and lock to something shiny and gold/brassy! Doesn’t that work with your Hollywood Regency look? Ah, well, whatever you do, it must only be what you love (if you don’t love it, don’t do it :)). have fun!

  27. Loving the magnetic letter look! Lol!
    When I was trying to decide on a color for the back of my door, I took a close up pic of my oriental rug in the foyer and then used SW’s Chip It tool to pull out the colors. It was so cool! I ended up going with a deep blue (Rainwater) and l-o-v-e it! Can’t wait to see what you do, Kelly!
    xo Heidi

  28. Dear Kelly,

    You are SO awesome. Never change. (Unless that change involves adding more of your brilliant it’s-not-a-bug-it’s-a-feature trend-setting ideas to the design world. In that case, please feel free to spread your wings and shoot for the moon!)

  29. Love where you are going with the foyer plan. And yes – I am with you on the toys as decor trend. It’s all the rage with the under 10 set.

  30. I cannot wait to see what you do with your foyer! The reds and pinks are going to look amazing! I’m so excited about this! 😉

  31. Go for it already. I painted a galley kitchen raspberry. It was magnificent. It was also our main entry. I loved seeing people’s reaction the first time they walked in -very telling. Oh, I found the best pin – spray paint the magnet letters metallic….or to complement that smokin’ new rug you have.

  32. I’m excited to see your color! I have such a hard time putting color in my decor other than throw pillows! LOVE the headboard and can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  33. Can I just say the blue/white combo you have there makes my heart happy. I love the sidelights & transom–they make your entry quite spectacular.
    Instead of the made-with-love table, you could always have your handy man build a custom-fit hall tree complete with mirror, hooks and seating/storage.

    As for the toy decor… well you could always paint them to blend into your color scheme… 😉

  34. I think I just talked about that in my blog, I wonder if I’ll ever be done decorating my house. I love the blue and brown you have right now but I also know once you’ve had it for a while you get sick of it and it becomes grey looking and not the cool black-white-grey-and-pop-of-color-of-your-choice-grey, it becomes that break-me-out-of-my-straitjacket-and-this-pillowy-room type of grey. I LOVE the idea of painting the door black. I’ve been debating on painting my front door too. You go first! Haha…there seems to be a running theme here, lol.

  35. What about navy for the door? Just a thought. 🙂 I’ll be blogging about painting my doors navy very, very soon! {with Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore – a black-ish navy}

  36. I love your ideas! And nope…no finished houses here.

    Can’t wait to see the reveal!!

  37. Love the rugs! Leave the sidelights and transom white or paint them black, and paint the door a color you pick out from your pick (but not the most dominant color in the color).

  38. After you saw my front room I think you know how I feel about color. Neutral is boring. DO IT!!!! 🙂

  39. We “finished” just to start again and redecorate, move kids around (coming in a few months) and install a new bathroom (hopefully this winter). So it’s impossible. But the stray toys are here to stay until your youngest is at least 5:)


  40. I just saw your photo and your awesome laundry room
    in the Better Homes & Gardens magazine ( June issue).
    That is how I found your blog! Beautiful laundry room

  41. We’re in the process of crossing the last of 50 something things off of a list before the upstairs is “finished” or at least cosmetically “finished” as far as walls and ceilings and trim and flooring are concerned. (I can’t speak for the furniture, art, etc.) 😛 I’m liking that headboard for a bench! It’s what I thought of when I first saw it, too! (That means it’s a brilliant idea, obviously.) 😉

  42. Love your plan! This is going to be fabulous!!

  43. TOTALLY with you on the toys! That is my house everyday! Love that you kept them in these pics! ps. I LOVE that rug! It’s going to be great! XO, Erica

  44. I think a Kilim rug would look beautiful! Hope you go for it and I’m interested to hear where you find it! I’ve had one on my shopping list for a while as a “something” I’d like to have, but not sure where the best place is to find an affordable one. Excited to see your progress on this space!

  45. If toys-as-decor are “in,” I have the trendiest house on the block! I don’t think there’s a corner of my house that’s not occupied by some sort of toy! I love your new plans for the space, and I can’t wait to see it all come together. Bring on those bolds, girl!

    ~Abby =)

  46. Ditto to above conversations. BUT, I push back on sending Andy’s table to “the sky”. Put it in a closet with a basket on the bottom for storage, but don’t get rid of it. It is an heirloom. Decades from now you will enjoy looking back at the simplicity from “whence you and Andy came”. A statement of your “togetherness”.

  47. Julia @cuckoo4design says:

    Love the rug and those first two console tables are amazing too!

  48. I live in constant fear of the moment that I am “done,” because I know then I will have to move!

  49. Pull a color out of that beautiful kilim rug for your door! Can’t wait to see the finished results.

  50. My mum painted the inside of our front door with chalkboard paint and it looks amazing. We leave notes for each-other, reminders, and grocery lists. It’s really practical as well as super cute.

  51. If you don’t mind my asking, what paint did you use for your foyer? (Brand and color) If you have mentioned it here (or elsewhere), then I’ve overlooked it…and I hope that you don’ t mind repeating yourself for me. : )

    I LOVE blue and white together….and I especially like this particular shade of blue that you chose. You have SUCH a lovely touch all over your home and I thoroughly enjoy each and every thing that you share with us!

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  1. […] Rug of Many Colors all the way from Turkey. There’s still a long way to go before I have the fun, colorful foyer we talked about, but it already feels like the happy, playful sister to my serious, safe foyer of yore. As soon as […]

  2. […] My kids were simultaneously leaking rivers of snot and coughing on everything, so we cancelled all our plans and holed up at home with Legos, library books, piles of kleenex and a foyer table project. […]

  3. […] the way, you can see more about the foyer project here, inspiration for this headboard project here, and the details on THAT RUG right […]

  4. […] Remember a few weeks ago when it was sad, and neutral, and boring? (Except the magnetic letters. They were FUN. And educational.) Then I got my Turkish kilim rug and we turned an old yard sale headboard into a bench. But across from the bench? Sadness. A lonely little table that Andy built years ago to fit the foyer of a different house. It was his first woodworking project (AndILoveHimButItShowed.) […]

  5. […] I think whichever ones I don’t use in the living room will find a spot in my house somewhere. The foyer is callin’ their […]

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