I don't have a clue where to begin !!

Linda KrullMarch 14, 2014
My foyer needs help . Everything is original from 1952 , including the marble floor . There are too many doors and not enough wall space . Eventually we will replace the double entry doors but until then ??? We don't use the front entrance but you can see it from the main rooms . Any and all suggestions will be appreciated .
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Linda Krull
more pics
1 Like    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:48PM
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Lynne Mysliwiec
Wall Space: You can absolutely remove the bi-fold doors from the family room doorway and that will buy you a little more wall space on either side. You will want to replace the closet door when you replace the front doors -- one without the trim detail would update the space. I honestly believe that making narrower openings to the family room and formal living room would be a mistake that you would regret later. Why do you need wall space?

How to use the existing wall space: What is the measurement of the wall with the little table and chicken on the shelf? If wide enough you could certainly fit a larger table like a demilune or other decorative table with a mirror over. See the demilune in the montvale entry. Yours could be more traditional than their choice, of course.
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Choose a single theme - less is better: I think one of the reasons you might be unhappy with the entry way is that there is a mixture of african safari, shaker, country, farm, french country, and Mid-century Mediterranean. I recommend picking a style that would be consistent with the lovely Carrara marble floor - more contemporary or more traditional. Rustic accents are sadly out of place on such a beautiful and sophisticated floor material.

Rug: Changing out the rug will probably change the character of the space a lot. I notice that you're not asking about the formal living room, but the rug in there is way too small. You might consider a larger rug there. I have no idea what color scheme appeals to you, but this style would probably look lovely on the marble floor AND in the living room and comes in lots of different sizes. http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Menton_Area_Rug/910/

Balusters/Stair rail: Your current stair railing is not to code and doesn't do the entry justice - there are lots of lovely railings and balusters you could choose that would update the look for not very much money (since you only have a very short run of balusters).

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9 Likes    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:49PM
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stepi
This is a wonderful foyer: its size an how the stairs are made it has what we in Europe would call "grandezza"!
It is soooo cool to have so much space to say hello/goodby to a bunch of guests!
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 14, 2014 at 9:56PM
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stepi
And Lynn: you got it! Love the pics and sugestions you made!
    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:59PM
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Lynne Mysliwiec
:-) This ice blue "oriental" rug might be an option with pale grey walls or palest blue. I'm partial to Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments which is grey with blue and a tinge of green.
http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Tudor_Rug/165/
    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 14, 2014 at 11:56PM
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Lynne Mysliwiec
Replacing the light fixture to one consistent with either a modern or traditional scheme would be good as well. Alternatively, have an electrician install recessed fixtures.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:58PM
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grechina
I am afraid that the whole house needs restyling in order to loose this outdated look...changing the entry (and I agree with Lynn 's tips) will make the contrast with the adjacent rooms an unpleasant crash!
    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:22AM
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jacka2002
I would embrace the 1950's style of your home! Retro is so stylish, you can do so many things today, and it won't date.
3 Likes    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 2:23AM
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Sophie Wheeler
There is nothing at all ''wrong'' with the basic design of the space. It's classically elegant in a way that the homogonized inbred style looks of today will never manage. It's Katharine Hepburn. God forbid you try to make it into Lady Gaga.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 6:12AM
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soto01
I think Lynne gave you some great suggestions. Get rid of those bi-fold doors. I would paint the metal railings black and highlight that little medallion in a nice silver or even gold paint. I would add a nice longer runner in some neutral beige and black colors. It will still reference the marble floor by including the beige color in the rug, but the black included will reference the stair metal (now painted black). Until you can change out that front entrance door, I would also paint the little metal work in the window black as well. A nice light fixture will make it look alot better for now.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 6:23AM
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soto01
I would also get rid of that little table with all those "what-knots" on the stair landing and up a nice large mirror on that wall (either black or the gold or silver you used to highlight the stair details). Less is more......
    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 6:26AM
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rocketjcat
I love the marble floor! I think I would just try to pare down all the accessories. Try removing the wall shelf, remove the triangular table from the stairs, remove the 2 doors in the family room. Remove the stuff from the little chair, which says welcome but don't sit on me. After the 2 doors are off, maybe place that chair or a prettier one in that corner by the stairs with artwork over it and the yellow table next to it. Replace the rug with something bigger, lighter and more functional, so guests don't have to jump over the marble to stand on it. To camouflage the trim on the closet door perhaps just repaint the center panel so it's all one color. After the accessories are removed, selectively replace a few, trying to keep one theme going. If you keep the chair and yellow table, maybe a country French feeling with the right rug? This will be a fun room to decorate!
    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 7:50AM
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redteamstrategies
Linda, as a designer I love the bones and style of your foyer. It's very consistent with that 40's-50's glam. It doesn't however, seem to be your style and what you've put into it and the decor of the adjacent rooms competes with the design.

The potential exists with what's there to make it an absolutely 'smashing'( and I use that word purposefully) space but I wonder if it will ever be 'you'.

Which way do you want to go? What are the architectural details throughout? Have they been updated or still match this 50's decor?

If you want to make it more harmonious with your style, the doors, railing and floor need to be changed. They're too strong of a design statement. The light fixture probably needs to be changed as well.

For an interim improvement, remove the shelving, table on the stairs and small chair and let the bones of the space stand on its own. The rug is too small and doesn't do anything for the space.

Another inexpensive improvement would be a dramatic paint job, perhaps painting the walls a strong color that pulls one of your accent color from another room and highlights the trim with white. It looks like that's your trim color thru-out, so use that same color. At a minimum let the color at least flow between rooms. The foyer could be a much more powerful color since it's large and a transitional space that you don't spend much time in. The back stair wall the continues up, can remain light.

Another transitional improvement, which could bridge the two styles is an over scaled crown molding, very simple, cove profile, not colonial or dentil. Go big!!! And the cove molding will work with an style more like the rest of your space in the long run.

If you want to keep the design, watch some old post WWII movies for inspiration, Hollywood set designers used this design a lot. Research 'Hollywood Regency' for further information about the period. Who knows you could fall in love!
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 8:06AM
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Linda Krull
thanks for all the comments. We are just getting started on the house . This is what we did to the family room - we don't really have a "style" of any kind . We do like earth tones and want to keep most of the uniqueness of this home .
1 Like    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 8:18AM
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Linda Krull
The color on the walls in family room is called meditation , it's like a gray- green ? We added crown molding -this I really like and want it all through the house ( I think).
2 Likes    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 8:22AM
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14thstreet
You have too many small things in that scale of a space. Remove the bi-fold doors. With those doors out of the way, you can replace the small side table with a console table, then add a large mirror over top and a lamp on the table. No small clutter stuff. Look at this table and how it is styled in the photo - beautiful lamp and mirror. This one may be too wide for your spot but these styles of tables come in a million sizes...a taller table than the one you have would also be more appropriate.
http://www.crateandbarrel.com/furniture/tables/clairemont-demilune-console-table/s216243

On the stairs, remove the plant stand and vase, opt instead for a large piece of art on the stair landing wall that faces the entry wall. It will take the emphasis away from your stair railing. I would choose something large with a vertical orientation, or two pieces hung vertically, one on top of the other.

Remove the chair and sign, it looks like it belongs on a country porch instead, not in an elegant marble entry...now with the bi-fold doors removed, you'll have a great space to hang 2 or three framed family photos in a vertical row on that wall.

Lastly, try a new larger semi-flush light fixture, such as this one.
http://www.build.com/hinkley-lighting-3211br-brushed-bronze-three-light-semi-flush-ceiling-fixture-from-the-hampton-collection/p1709950

Since you don't have any saturated color in the entry, perhaps choose a new rug that doesn't have muddled tones, and something transitional in style. Not sure what colors you have in adjacent room, and you'd want them to play nicely together. Here are some ideas.
http://www.rugsusa.com/rugsusa/rugs/rugs-usa-trellis/slate/200ACR129A-10014.html#.
http://www.rugsusa.com/rugsusa/rugs/rugs-usa-moroccan-trellis/blue/200HJHK06B-508.html

Here's a terrible paint-mock-up of the scale of pieces you should consider. :)
    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Sandy G. ltd.
-- Saving the 1950s! Why fight the elements? The banister, doors, flooring are all in wonderful condition so, until you basically gut the space, have fun with the 50s influence that is so strong here.

Remove everything from the foyer and begin again. To calm everything down, paint the walls to match the woodwork. The little slips of wall only serve to divide the space into bits and pieces that serve no purpose, design wise and tend to lead you down the path to clutter.

Unpack the doors at the entrance to the family room. They do not have to be pushed back as far as they can go. Open them a little bit and let them relax. There will be plenty of room left over to enter the room.

A new, bigger, 50s inspired rug for the floor. If you choose to use color here, be sure it works in both rooms off the foyer. I see that you have a neutral palette in both rooms so maybe this is the place to introduce some color and pattern.

Leave the railing alone! Don't paint it or alter it in any way. It is a treasure and the defining element n that area. Make a backdrop for this space by painting the wall going up the stairs in a color. . . . either a mid-value gray or color from any artwork and/or rug you end up with. That is the place for some drama.

In the corner below the bannister, place a tall palm in a great pot that coordinates with the floor - cream/beige/taupe. Nothing wild - keep it simple there.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 10:20AM
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Sandy G. ltd.
The stairway wall is also a great place for one large, vertical, black & white, vintage family portrait. Just go through your family photos and find one, take it to a copy center, have it enlatged, frame it and - wa-la - done!
    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Sandy G. ltd.
Another rug idea. Would work with b/w print as well as the 50s look - - Pink and gray were hot in those days!

For this combination, the stairway wall could be as dark as charcoal gray.
    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:25AM
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Lynne Mysliwiec
I'd call your style transitional -- you guys clearly appreciate architectural details with the crown molding and the beautiful new fireplace mantel in the family room. The rugs you've chosen have geometric rather than traditional floral patterns and you seem to gravitate toward and feel comfortable with colors other than white and beige (which is wonderful).

In your choices I see clean lines & soft, comfortable fabrics, and warm neutral colors. If you decide to "own" transitional, then I recommend doing some searches on Houzz for transitional looks & collect the ones that make you feel happiest/most comfortable. Search out transitional entries. If you dislike the double doors, you might consider a single door with two side lights - stick with a clean look that fits the exterior style of your house.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 10:29AM
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carly4
Get rid of the bifold doors
Change the closet door to something newer
Change your railings
Change your paint color
Get rid of the area rug and put something by the front door
    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 6:34PM
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Meet Me at the Wrecking Ball
I love the bones of your foyer! Please do not remove that fantastic railing--where will you find such tremendous character in something newer? My suggestion: remove the bifold doors, the rug, all the furniture, and that little white shelf. Choose a richer paint color (chocolate? Tiffany blue?) for the walls and for the interior trim on the closet door, add a proper (narrow) console table next to the staircase, and do not clutter the corner of the landing with anything. Lose that chair in the right corner too. A fabulous tall lamp with a crystal, glass, or reflective surface will add lots of drama--then you can turn off the overhead light. Don't be so quick to remove that interesting closet door. The console table could be a cool, vintage piece that's sized right for the space (see pic of one of my favorite Craigslist finds), or something light, airy, and open that won't add weight to the room. A charming oil painting or a small-scale mirror over the console table will provide all the accessory you need. Good luck!
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 6:57PM
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alohagirl007
A lot of good ideas by several people. The one I have not heard but immediately thought of when I saw your space is the entry hall rug should be circular as there are too many linear lines chopping up the space. A circular rug would actually draw the eye in and provide visual relief from all the vertical lines and would help to transition from room to room. Just make sure the size is fitting for such a grand sized foyer.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 15, 2014 at 8:24PM
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jpp221
I think the foyer has some fine attributes but is being lost in the decoration. There's too many little things here and there, not coming together--the chair on one side, the table on another, and the tiny rug way in the middle (serving what purpose, I'm not sure). Clean out the kitsch (no ducks, gooses or country anything). Watch an episode of Family Affair and channel Uncle Bill's apartment. You want warmth, but optimism and glamour, not a Hallmark card store theme.
    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 8:32PM
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Linda Krull
Thanks again everyone . I think I'm heading in the right direction ! I'll post updates as I go :)
3 Likes    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 6:12AM
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rocketjcat
Wow, good job! When someone mentioned Tiffany blue I saw this rug that I thought might fit. Maybe groveraxle or someone else can find and something suitable?
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 16, 2014 at 8:51AM
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redteamstrategies
Sorry, LInda, I have to disagree. The chest is quasi mission style and the white finish is makes it cottage. It conflict with the railing and the grill on the sidelight. A more appropriate style to the historic design of the space would be Chinese Chippendale or Hollywood Regency.
Avoid small scale accessories on the floor, they're not necessary and neither is the pot across from the chest, that looks Tuscan.
White can be dramatic - look up Dorothy Draper. She was a master at the style of your foyer.
In the long run, however, I don't think you really like the foyer's architecture and will never be happy designing to it. It doesn't seem to be your style and you're fighting it.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Meet Me at the Wrecking Ball
Now that I see the detail of the window next to the front door I'm even more sure that keeping the railing is the right way to go. The white cabinet and mirror belong in a bathroom or in a back door-area mud room. Your foyer is too sophisticated a space for those pieces. Resist the urge to put the candle holders on the floor next to the chest. Also, the urn with the spray of fake foliage needs to go. A beautiful, warm, understated console table or cabinet, a striking lamp (all by itself--remove the silver vase), one small sophisticated oil painting or mirror above it, and nothing else on the floor. Remove the bifolds, turn on the lamp, and turn off the ceiling light.

On another note--did you already have the white chest and mirror somewhere else in your house? You're on to something there--often times if you look around at what you already own you can find a different place for it, and then you avoid having to buy something new.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 16, 2014 at 11:00AM
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CLAN INTERIOR DESIGN
looks great well done.
    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Meet Me at the Wrecking Ball
Go to Pinterest and search 'foyer vignette' for a range of ideas.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 16, 2014 at 11:14AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Remove all items you have now. Add a much bigger chandelier 24" Drop,so 36" above table, A bigger area rug go more contemporary or a shag. 8 x10 would cover most of the floor and look more updated. big palm in a ceramic pot, in a accent color. In corner by stairs. In middle of rug a round dark wood 20-24" table. add 3 pots in various size and shape in accent color. TJMax home goods good source. Painting will update this entry and then paint stairs rails a black.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Nothing on staircase. And remove those out dated doors. Trim should be white. After repairing.
    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
I see a palm in pic move that to corner where small table is. Also remove shelve. Nothing needed there.
    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:37AM
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Linda Krull
I really appreciate all of your comments . I didn't buy anything yet - just moved from other areas of the house. This is my first time asking for suggestions on here and I'm beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed. Unfortunately, I think redteamstratagies may have something there ....... but I really do want to like the foyer !
2 Likes    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 6:47PM
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Toxchick
Maybe a cool mirrored chest in the foyer? I've seen them at Home Goods for a good price. I love those, but don't have a place for one in my house. That would be Hollywood glam, if you like it.
    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:11PM
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Lynne Mysliwiec
One thing I learned about posting a design dilemma - you will get PLENTY of advice -- and one half of it will conflict directly with the other half. Don't worry about that at all -- the secret is to settle on an inspiration or a style, then build around it. It will come together for you & you WILL love the foyer. It's lovely that you guys took on a mid century home & I hope that you find great joy in making it yours!
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 16, 2014 at 10:10PM
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14thstreet
I think what you've done so far looks much better. I understand the comment about fighting the style, but this is a good step to figuring out what works better.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Linda Krull    March 17, 2014 at 6:50AM
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doctornancy
I realize you've said "thank you", which usually suggests some closure to the conversation. HOWEVER, I was having fun with my photoshop and wanted to share with you. I like to see such a magnificent entry as yours be JUST an entry. Use other areas of your home to display all your beloved treasures. Allow in the entry just items that showcase the architectural features - the floor, the stair rail. It's a beautiful space. Happy decorating!
2 Likes    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:13AM
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decoenthusiaste
If you could just "get into" Hollywood Glam, your foyer already has so many of its elements in place! However, the foyer should introduce you, your style and the adjoining rooms to guests. You haven't posted much in the way of ideabooks to help us see what you like, but nothing we've seen you use would lead us to believe you'll ever be happy with this foyer as it was designed. Therefore, rip up the marble flooring and replace it and the stair treads with hand scraped wood. Replace the railing and all the doors with something more rustic/cottage/country you can love. When the style is more to your liking, the double doors can be eliminated because the contradiction between the foyer and the adjoining space won't be so evident, and you can bring back your favorite country pieces of decor.
Hollywood Regency- Turnberry Ocean Colony Sunny Isles, Fl · More Info
WESTCOAST DESIGN · More Info
Lower level stair wall · More Info
Cheyenne Interior Door · More Info
DOORS · More Info
    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:46AM
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