Foyers and Hallways and Stairs, Oh My!

photo via homebunch.com

photo via homebunch.com

The start of a new year is the perfect time to get a new look for your home.  I suggest you begin right inside the front door.  Your home’s entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house, so don’t overlook how important it is to create a good first impression.

I’ve had many clients who have really struggled with choosing a color for their foyers.  I understand why.  If you get it wrong nothing else seems to look and feel right, especially if your foyer is a large, open two-story behemoth, which is the case with many suburban homes these days. On top of that, you have to consider the stairway and/or adjoining hallway.

Even if your entryway is small, it’s still ‘introduces’ the rest of your home, and most likely, it connects most if not all of the other rooms together.  So, making the right color choice here is crucial.  I’m always asked my opinion on the best paint colors for foyers, so I’ve broken it down into four categories:

1. COOL AND COMFORTING NEUTRALS

The photo at the top features a foyer using Berkshire Beige from benjaminmoore.com. This is a cool beige, or what I like to call greige which is a blend of gray and beige.  This is a good alternative if you don’t like the idea of using a pure gray, but if you do…

via houzz.com {highmark buildiers}

via houzz.com {highmark buildiers}

…Pavestone Gray from Sherwin-Williams.com creates a clean, classic look especially when paired with dark wood tones.

The photo below features another cool neutral (Virtual Taupe from SW) that works well if you’re looking for a darker, cozier greige.

2. WARM AND WELCOMING NEUTRALS
via adeeni design group

via adeeni design group

Sherwin-Williams’ Viva Gold (a color I’ve used many times) was used in this warm and cheery foyer. I love this yellow because it has rich undertones that give a room a sophisticated feel and its not too bright.  Below, is another of my favorite colors for foyers, SW’s Interactive Cream.  This color is light and airy but it still has tons of warmth, and it goes with everything!

interactive cream

SW Accessible Beige (below) is also a great neutral.  I like this color because it has a beachy feel that works well for casual foyers.

via regan baker design

via regan baker design

3. CLASSIC BLACK AND WHITE
via decorpad

via decorpad

A black and white foyer is always elegant and will never go out of style.  But these days, black and white is trending in more casual, laid-back spaces, too.

via karen b. wolf

via karen b. wolf

You can achieve a classic, crisp black and white combo using Graphite and Super White, both by Benjamin Moore.

4. STRONG STATEMENT COLORS

Lastly, if you have a creative personality…show it off!  Sometimes the best way to welcome guests into your home is with a color that reflects who you are and what you’re about. In this foyer/stairwell, I used SW’s Copper Harbor and Jacaranda for a gentlemen who was inspired by his travels to the Caribbean.

But is it OK to paint your foyer fuchsia or turquoise?  Sure!

via designsponge.com

via designsponge.com (color is Razzle Dazzle by Benjamin Moore)

via decorpad (color is SW's Drizzle)

via HGTV (color is SW’s Drizzle)

And I love this purple foyer.  This color reminds me of a similar color I used for a client’s foyer — she was newly divorced and with her ex-husband gone, she wanted to re-paint her home with colors that made her happy and would help her to move on.  Never underestimate the power of color!

6 Christmas Decorating Ideas {that won’t bust your budget}

There are many creative things you can do to get your home holiday-ready without spending a ton of money.  Here are six sensational ideas from my home to yours:

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Whether you purchase a chalkboard or create one using chalkboard paint {like I did here}, you can design a stunning, personal holiday message that has a good old-fashioned feel. And don't forget to hang a fresh wreath. I made this one from Leyland cypress branches.

Whether you purchase a chalkboard or create one yourself using chalkboard paint {like I did here}, you can design a stunning, personal holiday message that has a good old-fashioned feel. And don’t forget to hang a fresh wreath. I made this one from Leyland cypress branches.

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A fancy bow can make anything look festive, so tie one on!

A fancy, red bow can make anything look festive, so tie one on!

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Get your candles in line!  You probably already have some lying around, anyway.  Line them up on a window ledge or long dining table.  If they're colorful and decorative, you don't even have to light them because they will already look great just the way they are.

Get your candles in line! You probably already have some lying around, anyway. Line them up on a window ledge or a long dining table. If they’re colorful or decorative, you don’t even have to light them because they’ll already look great just the way they are.

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Candy canes are extremely cheap but they look super chic when grouped together in vases or mugs.  I like traditional red and white, but these days you can find candy canes in a variety of fun colors to match your decor.

Candy canes are extremely cheap but they look super chic when grouped together in vases or mugs. I like traditional red and white, but these days you can find candy canes in a variety of fun colors to match your decor.

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Embellish long curtains with tassels, ornaments or both.  Sometimes it's the small touches that make your home look sensational!

Embellish long curtains with tassels, ornaments or both. Sometimes it’s the small touches that make your home look sensational!

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Every year I hand a wreath on just about every window and door in my house.  The ribbon matches the colors of the room. This is my favorite way to make our home look festive!

Each year I hang a wreath on just about every window and door in my house using ribbon that matches the colors of the room. I have a Tuscan-style kitchen, so these wreaths have bows made from brown, gold and copper ribbon. This is my favorite way to make our home look festive!

All photos and styling by Kelly Porter.

Super Chic Christmas Colors

red and turquoise colors

Well, it’s that wonderful time of the year, and it seems like the holiday season got here pretty fast!  At least for me.  But that’s a good thing because I truly love Christmastime, and I had so much fun creating this year’s Christmas Color palettes.  As always, I included a mix of traditional and unconventional colors, which I think are all super chic choices for decorating and entertaining….starting with the retro-modern red and turquoise combo shown above {my living room}.  I hope these color ideas help to make your holiday planning a little more jolly!

 

Christmas green_white

Create a simple and chic display by arranging sprigs of holly, pine and boxwood in milk vases. I have a huge collection of milk vases and I love how versatile they are! I found all of them at local thrift stores!

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vintage gold Christmas

For an antique look, mix yellow gold with rose gold and tones of parched ivory & natural wood.

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dare to be different {and whimsical} with an ornament display in tones of warm orange

Dare to be different {and whimsical} with a fiery orange ornament display that would make Heat Miser proud!

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keep it simple and easy with classic silver accessories -- they are always on trend during the holidays {and easy to find}

…Or keep it simple and easy with classic silver accessories — they’re always on trend during the holidays {and easy to find}.

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pinecones have a natural warmth -- these beautiful browns contrast perfectly against frosty white

Pinecones have a natural warmth, so display them all over your home in bowls and jars. These brown beauties look especially great in a frosty white setting. Let it snow!

All photos and styling by Kelly Porter.

Why You Should Choose Dark Blues

via pinterest

via pinterest

Lately, so much attention has been given to light, warm blues (read: aqua and turquoise) in home design, that the use of dark blue has been somewhat ignored.  As much as I love Tiffany blue–which I’ve used in my home–I also have splashes of dark blue around the house.

my sons' room - wall colors are honorable blue and copper harbor by sherwin-williams

My sons’ room – wall colors are Honorable Blue and Copper Harbor by sherwin-williams

via lonny

via lonny

If you like bolder, richer colors, dark blue can be a great choice because it works so well with so many other colors, or used with white, it creates a very classic look.

via oceans14

via oceans14

Even dark blue upholstery can be super gorgeous.  A dark blue sofa is very modern and makes a great focal piece in a mid-century styled space.

via nallau

via nallau

Dark blue is calming and comforting, and it’s associated with dependability, honesty and inner peace.  All very good reasons to use it in your home.

via chicago magazine

via chicago magazine

via pinterest

via pinterest

my dark blue paint picks (from sherwin-williams.com)

My dark blue paint picks (from sherwin-williams.com)

Kitchen Color: Dark Tones

via apartment therapy

via apartment therapy

I’m not a fan of kitchens that are overwhelmingly white — white cabinets, walls, countertops, backsplashes, everything.  Some would say this is a ‘clean and classic’ look, but I say this type of decor appears sterile, and lacks the warmth that a kitchen should have (there’s a reason it’s called the ‘heart of the home’).  I like kitchens the way I like my coffee — earthy and dark.

espresso cabinets

You can still use a white element… say, marble countertops…and achieve a warm feel by mixing them up with darker cabinets.  Using a combination of dark and light cabinets will also work very well.

via domino

via domino

via new england home

via new england home

Choose a mid to dark-tone stain, like espresso or be bold and paint your cabinets with a high-gloss black. If you still prefer lighter cabinets, go for a warm gray or off-white — as opposed to stark white:

via poshhome

via poshhome

via volunteer kitchens

via volunteer kitchens

via sxfit

via sxfit

Your kitchen should feel comfortable and inviting, just like a restaurant.  Ambiance is the key!