Freshen Up Your Foyer!

Photo: Crown Molding/Flickr.comIf you're anything like me, periodically you just get totally frustrated with your house and you wander around restlessly for several days rearranging furniture, marking up pages in home design catalogs, and wishing you could put your finger on what's bugging you. Because something definitely isn't right, and you're not quite sure what it is...if only you could figure it out, and breathe new life into your house!

Of course, your home might be ready for a remodel, or there could be a single room that's in need of some serious attention -- kitchens and bathrooms are common culprits because they tend to fall prey to painful "updates" 20 years prior that make them feel dark and dated.

But have you checked out your entryway lately? Your foyer, hall, or whatever you want to call it is the first impression your house makes on you -- and visitors -- as you walk through the door. If it's cluttered, grungy, dim, and not fun, it might be clouding your whole mood. Take a weekend or two to spruce it up, however, and you could feel those oppressive clouds lifting.

This super-cute foyer remodel didn't require major DIY skills, cost less than $1,000, and didn't need a ton of work, either, but the transformation was night and day. Angie and Colby Campbell tore out gross shag carpet and wood paneled walls, installed sheetrock and painted the walls a warm grey, and then, brilliantly, painted their balusters in a gradient of blues to create a subtle ombre effect. Boom. The foyer looks, and feels, totally different.

Their work didn't require a degree in rocket science or a contractor's license. They did need to spend some time ripping up carpet and refinishing floors, painting and repainting the stair treads to get the finish they wanted, and making sure the walls were evenly coated. The banister and balusters required some sealant and painting, but that was it; the balusters were precut and preprimed, too.

Check out your foyer, and see if anything about it is bugging you. Is there a lot of clutter going on? Does it desperately need some kind of organizing furniture, like a shoe rack, a secretary desk for letters, parcels, and keys, or a chalkboard for people to keep track of their schedules? Have you been walking on the same gross carpet for the last 30 years? Are the walls dingy and stained?

Make a list of things you want to change, and sit down to think about a new plan for your foyer. It doesn't have to involve a major remodel; you don't need to move load-bearing walls, install a tile mosaic floor, or call a Minneapolis electrician to hang a chandelier. A fresh coat of paint could do wonders, as could some simple resurfacing, like getting that grody paneling out and replacing it with beadboard or sheet rock. Need some inspiration? See what people are doing on Hometalk!

If you're nervous about taking on a project like this by yourself, get in touch with a handyman who can offer help. And get ready to make some magic happen, because once your foyer is fresh, your house will feel like a whole new world.

Katie Marks writes for

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