foyer & half bath updates

by | Dec 16, 2018 | All Things Home, Bathrooms, Decorating, My House, Room Makeovers | 72 comments

I think foyer makeovers are underrated.  It’s a space that’s often neglected or at the bottom of the to-do list because it’s just a passthrough.  You simply walk through it to get to a room where you actually spend your time.  The thing about a foyer, though, is it’s the first thing you see when you walk in your front door.  It’s the first thing guests see.  In our house, since it connects the dining room, home office, half bath, living room, upstairs, and basement, we walk through it multiple times each day.

Before this makeover started, there wasn’t anything offensive or bad or dated or ugly about the space, but it didn’t flow with all of the other changes we have made in the adjoining rooms.  In that way, it felt disjointed and overlooked.

The soft blue/gray on the wall, bright white trim, painted doors, and that beautiful slate floor elevated the space and tie all of the adjoining rooms together beautifully.

I hung an antique coat rack above the small bench from Target.  I also found an oval braided jute rug that fits perfectly in front of the door.  I wanted a rug larger than the 2 x 3 rug we had there, but the next size up (3 x 5) would cover the floor vent.  Getting an oval rug allowed me to go bigger but leaves the floor vent exposed.  THIS is the one I bought in the 3’3 x 5′ oval.

We put most of our coats in the closet and our shoes by the garage door, so this area is just for Sebastian’s leash and shoes we need to throw on before taking him outside for walks.  Sometimes things pile up, but I try to keep this area tidy.  The kids’ backpacks, lunchboxes, gloves, hats, etc. go in the pie safe.

I looked into replacing the floor vent covers with something more decorative, but it would cost about $130 to replace this one and the one in the bathroom.  That’s just too much for floor vents, so I’m going to get some matte gray spray paint and spray them to blend in with the floor better.

Here is a closer look at the antique hook rail.  Does anyone know the purpose of the metal bars that join the hooks?  They seem counterproductive to me since you can’t hang anything from the top hook, but I’m sure there were there for a reason!

The doors are all painted in Covington Gray and that small change makes these common six-panel doors look a bit more custom.

We also did some work on the half bath this week.  It’s so nice to have a functioning bathroom on this floor again!  It’s a little luxury, but we missed it when it wasn’t usable.

I don’t have a great picture of the bathroom before, but you can get the idea from this shot…

It was all cream, just like the rest of the house with the same beige tiles as the foyer.  The fixtures were all typical builder grade.

I painted the bathroom the same color as the hallway (Stonington Gray mixed at 50% strength).  The trim and below chair rail height is the custom white I’ve used on the rest of the trim in the house.  We’ll be installing chair rail and wainscoting over the Christmas break.

We replaced the light fixture and faucet, not with anything high-end and expensive, but just with fixtures that had a bit more personality.  We replaced the toilet with one that is chair height and elongated, but we kept the existing sink.  I will be making a sink skirt as soon as the fabric I ordered arrives.  I am using the same fabric I used for the living room curtains and I had a little bit left, but not enough for a nice and full sink skirt.

I found the antique mirror at a local consignment store for less than $30.  The shape is so pretty and I love the dark wood accent against the blue/gray.

I ordered a small oval rug to put in front of the sink.  It’s a tight spot, so I needed to keep it smallish.  Well, the rug I ordered ended up looking like a placemat.  I could hardly look at it with a straight face.  So, that’s getting returned and it’s back to the drawing board.  I can’t even imagine where this rug would work, except in a dollhouse or maybe an RV.

Something that did work was using this antique plate rack for a towel rack!

A woman from our church was getting rid of it and asked me if I wanted it.  I loved it and said yes immediately, but I had no idea where I was going to put it.  I really didn’t have a perfect spot for it in my kitchen or dining room.  I moved it around from room to room thinking about where it would work and I finally decided to try it here.

It really is a perfect way to bring some warmth and character to the room and is much more my style than a typical towel bar.

I want to hang a basket over the toilet to hold some extra toilet paper, so I ordered an antique bike basket off of Etsy that looks perfect.  I’ll hang something over it…perhaps some platters or one of my portraits.

I was planning on doing a rolled-on painted pattern on the wall to look like wallpaper, but once I was ready to do it, I got stuck thinking through how to deal with the corners, edges along the ceiling, etc.  I’m still considering a hand-painted treatment or perhaps actual wallpaper, but I’m going to wait on that for a while.  For now, I want to get the bones of the room in place and then I’ll add more layers of interest if needed.  The fabric sink skirt and wainscoting might be enough for this tiny space.

There are just a few things left to do and then these spaces will be completed!  For now, I need to finish getting ready for Christmas. It’s really sneaking up on me this year…

72 Comments

  1. Theresa

    I was told your sweet antique coat rack in the foyer is actually an old luggage rack from a train. I have it’s twin. Your new home is just beautiful. You have such an eye for bringing each room to its best self!

    Reply
  2. Betty

    I thought the area above the coat rack was for hats, but I am not sure?

    Reply
    • Kathy

      Yes, I think it is for hats! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Mary

    My mom had an antique business for many years and she told me that the top part of the rack with the solid rods, were the places men placed their hats!

    Reply
  4. Susan

    The train luggage rack is built like that to keep luggage from falling down on the people below. It’s perfect here

    Reply
  5. Janet in Kansas City

    Love the mirror in the bathroom. It all looks so perfect together.

    Reply
  6. Peggy

    As soon as I saw that bathroom sink I thought, “That needs a skirt!”. It’s been a long time since I used one on a sink, but they make all the difference!

    Reply
  7. Emma

    It’s a coat and hat rack. I have one like is too.

    Reply
  8. Kim

    I think that the white rack top looks like it was made to hold rolled towels, like in a hotel bathroom.

    They DO make gray vent covers! We have them in our house. But since you already have one that fits, you may as well haul out the paint instead! No extra money spent and an easy DIY.

    Reply
  9. Victoria

    Hats, potentially small bags or proper umbrellas.
    The foyer area does look much better now.

    Reply
  10. Alison

    Love what you have done with your bathroom. Towel on the plate rack is brilliant. Hope you will do a tutorial for the sink skirt. How do you attach to sink?

    Reply
  11. Lisa

    I too thinking about how to put sink skirt. Is it use Velcro tape or not? It is add shape of sink. Please show us how to attach the skirt. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I will attach it with a sticky-back velcro. That works pretty well. I had one on the sink in my last house for a while.

      Reply
  12. Patti

    I think you can still do a rolled design on the walls, go to the ceiling as far as you can and then add crown molding. Love your blog and I love, love, love painted furniture.

    Reply
  13. Lisa

    I mean odd shape.

    Reply
  14. Ginger Swail

    How will you attach the skirt to the sink? I was thinking Velcro tape? I did that in my laundry room for the underside of a table and it looks pretty good!

    Reply
  15. Kathy

    I believe your rack is an antique luggage rack from a train. The bathroom and foyer look great-I love the floor covering.

    Reply
  16. Teresa

    Just wondering if you had debated on doing heated tile floors before you had them installed especially being in such a cold weather climate? We have heated tile floors in our master bath and they are wonderful during the cold winter months and rather economical as well. It was worth the investment for sure.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      We didn’t consider it for the foyer, but whenever we get around to doing the master bath, we will definitely add radiant heat under the floor!

      Reply
  17. Rhonda

    I love how your new house is evolving into a beautiful, pleasing home!

    Reply
  18. Angela

    May I ask where you got your purse? I love it.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It’s a small backpack from “What Daisy Did”. Unfortunately, the company went out of business. It’s sad, because their leather goods were beautiful!

      Reply
  19. JaneS

    Marian, the foyer and half bath are looking great. Of course. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Reply
  20. JC at the uncommon pearl

    Very classic and pretty. Have you tried RugsUSA for those smaller size rugs? They seem to have oodles to choose from and sometimes it comes in those smaller sizes, but bigger than a “placemat.” 😉
    It’s the hunt that keeps it fun. You’ll find the perfect one.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I haven’t, but I’ll check it out!

      Reply
  21. Elaine

    When we refloored our house last year, we spray painted all our floor registers to match the new flooring, they are practically invisible. Love all the changes you are making, you are adding so much personality.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I can’t wait to see how much better these look after being painted. It’s such a small and inexpensive fix.

      Reply
  22. Jeannie

    What does that have to do with this page?

    Reply
  23. Janice

    Look for a “hammered metal” finish in the spray paint selections. It looks a bit more expensive when done.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, good idea. That might blend in with the variation in the files better.

      Reply
  24. Peg

    I think the foyer/bathroom look really nice, and I know it’s just me, but I’d prefer the hand towels closer to the sink, even if it is a small space.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, there really wasn’t a good spot for it, though. The towel bar was over the toilet, but I didn’t like that, either. I might put one on a hook right next to the sink, but I’ll see if that will work once we get everything else done.

      Reply
  25. Katie Mansfield

    I think it’s for men’s hats. My dad wore a dress hat every day to work. It’s adorable and so are the updates to the half bath. I love the mirror.

    Reply
  26. Claire

    Can you explain to all of us what a paint color is mixed at 50% and how you know thatvis what you want when you are looking for a paint color? I think I know what it means technically but I don’t know that I would know to do that or to think about that.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Basically, you can customize any paint chip in a paint deck by asking for the pigments to be increased or decreased by a certain percentage. The ratio of pigments is the same, but the amount of them added to the base is different. If a color is mixed at 50% or 25%, it’s just a lighter version of the color you see on the chip. This is especially handy when mixing whites. You can select a yellow or blue or green that you love the undertones of and have it mixed at 10% or 25% and you have a custom white with undertones that are perfect for your home. Sometimes it’s hard to see white undertones in a small chip, so this makes it easier.

      Reply
  27. Wendy

    If you have fun umbrellas they would look adorable on top of your luggage rack at the front door.

    Reply
  28. Stephanie

    I know I will be the only individual who thinks this and my thoughts will be unpopular, but the braided front door rug and bench made me gasp when I saw them. For me, they stand out like sore thumbs. With your “eye” and talent, I know you can come up with something that looks and feels special.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Ha, I love the rug! I am not in love with the bench, but it fits perfectly there, so it’s a place-holder until I find just the right thing. To each her own, though! 🙂

      Reply
    • Angel

      I think the foyer turned out lovely, what looked like simply a stopping area, to enter or leave, now has a bit more personality. I just bought a grayish blue braided /rolled rug at target for my entryway, that is a small seating area, just off my dining room. I had a beautiful woven wool rug there for several years. The problem was, that people would step into the house, and instinctively, move to step onto rug! I have an outside doormat to wipe your shoes but because of our in swing door there is not enough clearance for a rug. I love the braided look because it can hide a multitude of sins, including dirty fur baby paws. I am all for constructive criticism with an alternative suggestion. However, when one starts a “comment” saying they know their opinion, will be unpopular, as it often is, maybe hesitate just a moment before clicking send, to be sure your comment is helpful, as I’m sure you meant it to be, and can only be read as so.💕

      Reply
  29. Marlene Stephenson

    You have such wonderful ideas, it looks so nice, thanks for sharing. Have a Merry Christmas .

    Reply
  30. Julie | Home On The Hill

    I’m the opposite, I had the entry foyer finished first before anything else, being a small space I found it much easier to decorate.

    We have a doorway with glass all around much like yours, but don’t need our foyer for shoes etc as we use the mud room/laundry entry for that. Instead I have a sweet little vintage bureau to hold bits & pieces with antique mirror above as you come in the door, a round jute rug with stencilled pattern in white, a grandfather clock and an old chest of drawers painted to match the exterior front door colour which is much the same colour as your floor.

    It’s one of my favourite rooms in our house.

    I think your foyer may benefit from something above the rack to add some colour variation? You have a really tall wall so have the space. A mirror in darker wood maybe or a painting in a vintage frame – you have plenty to choose from! LOL

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, I’m still playing with what works there. It’s a little awkward because the ceiling is 2 stories and that wall is narrow and houses two switches. It’s a tricky one!

      Reply
  31. JolieAnne

    I think every bath needs art on the walls. I would add some of your paintings!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I have considered that! I think a portrait would be fun.

      Reply
  32. Cindy

    Marian! I love the slate grey…gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the bathroom finished. I agree with Stephanie…the beige in the bench and rug seem to take away from the richness of the tile…and cheapen(?) the beautiful antique coat and hat rack. You got rid of the beige…don’t bring it back…LOL!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, I see what you’re saying. That bench is the perfect size, but I agree that I’m not in love with the style. I’m keeping an eye out for something with more character, but this works great for now.

      Reply
  33. Carol

    Please don’t skirt the sink 🙂 It’s beautiful and classic as is!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I think it’s fine as is, but I’d like to add the softness and pattern of a skirt. The nice thing is that it’s easily removed whenever I change my mind!

      Reply
  34. JoAnn

    Marian, You turned a builder grade house (with good bones) but no warmth or personality into a beautiful, warm, inviting home. You have the gift of seeing what could be and the talent to make it happen.

    Thank you for sharing and for your instructional videos. I am attempting to learn Upholstery!

    Also I am so impressed with your paintings, amazing!!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you, JoAnn! What a sweet comment. 🙂

      Reply
  35. Lynn

    Perhaps a couple of your vintage baskets could hold mittens, gloves and knit hats on the open shelf at the top of the coat rack,

    Reply
  36. Sheri

    I am thinking perhaps it’s to be used for hanging clothes on hangers????

    Reply
  37. Elyce

    I laughed out loud about your rug in the bathroom looking like a placemat. How about a painted floor cloth?

    Reply
    • Kathy

      I would love to see a painted floor cloth by Marian!!!

      Reply
  38. Andrea Mcqueen

    A few people mentioned they did not like the shoe shelf. I know you said it’s just temporary, so maybe paint the wood part the same cream color as the coat rack above to pull it together?

    Reply
  39. Debra Schwicht

    If you decide that you want pattern on the bathroom wall, I recommend paint/stencils/mural/etc. rather than wallpaper. After removing paper from three rooms I DEFINITELY understand the only-half-joking comment I read somewhere online that, “Wallpaper is the devil!” It was really, really horrible to remove (and repair the walls!!!)—and I think you’d kick yourself if/as you remove it in the future!

    Reply
  40. MaryLisa

    I love your plate rack for towels. I like the walls painted and the wainscoting that you will install. I think any more pattern on the wall will be a lot in the small space. You have transformed these spaces really nicely.

    Reply
  41. Patti

    You are getting so much done, I love the wainscoting idea and I can picture that plus the sink skirt as perfection. I may be alone in this but the idea of dishes in a small toilet room (even adorable antiques) just strikes me a little off. I know, I know, it’s your house and to each his own LOL – it just seemed like the one room I would think twice about using dishes as decor.

    Reply
  42. Michele M.

    Looking great, Marian!

    May I suggest that you give your half bath a bit higher wainscoting though? It would help protect your walls, acting
    as a make-shift “back splash.”

    Your updates to your home are amazing – well done, ma’am. Keep up the good work!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Reply
  43. Donna

    I love the bathroom and foyer update, i was hungry for details…and THE IRONSTONE TRASHCAN? OH MY WORD! i absolutely love it, what exactly is it, its looks tall.

    Reply
  44. Kate

    The hooks look similar to a train luggage rack. The top would have been used as a shelf to hold things.

    Reply
  45. kim yates

    That is absolutely beautiful! You are so talented.

    Reply
  46. Rachel

    Looks fantastic! Do you mind sharing the source of your foyer tile?

    Reply
  47. Beth

    I can’t wait to see your sink skirt. I have a similar pedestal sink in my powder room and have always wanted to make a skirt for it but could never find a good tutorial. I hope you post one!!

    Reply
  48. Janet in Kansas City

    The coat rack/luggage rack would look great with an old leather suitcase on top.

    Reply
  49. Stacey Arps

    How about a simple wood bench (painted in MMSMP, of course) with enough room for boots underneath or beside, rather than on top? And one of your paintings above the coat rack? I think that would make it functional as well as very ‘Marian’. I like the rug in the foyer, think it picks up the wood tones from adjoining floors. And how about a small Hanover or Carlisle in the half bath? Not sure, but half the fun is trying things out and deciding! Love your stuff! Bless you and yours this a Christmas!

    Reply
  50. Downraspberrylane

    For your heat register, try Signature Hardware online. They have many sizes and finishes in reasonable prices. Even Home Depot and Menards sell some “antique-looking” register covers. That floor is just beautiful!

    Reply
  51. Marybeth

    I love it all!!!!!!! I cannot wait to see the sink skirt, I love that look and am wondering how you attach it?, I think a tiny suitcase would look amazing on the top of your coatrack, and I love how the mirror and plate rack are both wood, so they look good together. what amazing style you have. Come and visit me so you can give me ideas 🙂

    Reply
  52. KJ

    Both areas are looking great. I love the new tile flooring. Am I the only person who thinks that anything food related doesn’t belong in the bathroom. Trays and pitchers seem weird things to have in the bathroom…. Love everything else. good job.

    Reply
  53. Heather

    Would you mind sharing this blue paint color?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It is Stonington Gray mixed at 50% strength.

      Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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