Inspiration for Mike & Sandie's Foyer Renovation

Renovation Diary

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Name: Mike and Sandie
Type of Project: Foyer renovation
Location: Saskatoon; Saskatchewan, Canada
Type of building: 2 1/2 story single-family home, built in 1919

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

Yesterday, we introduced you to Mike and Sandie's foyer renovation project. As part of their renovation, they plan on adding new flooring, refinishing the stairway (goodbye nasty carpet!) and adding a coat closet. Today, we're taking a look at some of their inspiration for the finished space.

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From Sandie:

Our style is a sort of Boho-Organic-Vintage-Modern mashup. We’re in a 1919 house that demands respect for its age, so we’re remaining open-minded about style while paying homage to the house. We just love what we love and playfully mix it together with as much practical sense as possible, surrendering to the process — and so far we’ve managed to make our spaces work for us (an engineer & an artist). The challenge of pulling it off is the fun part!

Structural repairs and architectural elements take the lead in this project. We’re delightfully preoccupied with rehabilitating the creaky stairs, providing solid floors, and meeting our practical needs (adding a coat closet, and respecting the house’s character), so decor will evolve after the functional elements are addressed.

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Constructing the coat closet and the idea for two kinds of flooring are lifted directly from Sarah Richardson (whose foyer is pictured above and at the top of the post.) We’ll be taking Sarah’s foyer design and making it “our own”.

A colorful foyer spotted on BHG.
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Our brainchild begins with the addition of a wainscoting detail. Maybe it's because we are trying to make up for painting the wood, maybe it's because we are weirdos who like to spend our evenings and weekends with the comfort of power tools — but the big idea behind the paneling is to showcase the depth of this old house’s personality.

Our plan for the woodwork. Photo from AM Dolce Vita.
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The staircase could potentially be a disaster, or a delight. We are preparing for structural repairs (indicated by a creakiness in the treads), but hoping for them to not exhaust our budget! If all goes well, rehabilitation will be minimal, with the risers painted white and the treads stained dark to match the espresso hardwood.

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After the floors, closet, wainscoting, and stairs, we’ll see where we’re at and then get dirty making the space “ours” with decor. We’re allowing the process to unfold as we work from the structural up through to the tchotchkes.

Spotted on Style at Home.
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The Boho jangling about in us wants twenty different patterns and textures of everything on top of each other like a foggy tapestry, the practical side of us wants vintage suitcases piled on-hand to store our seasonal wares & look hip while doing it, and the modern edges inside us want it all to be clear, clean, and easy.

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There is opportunity to add some funky wallpaper or perhaps a vibrant paint colour to the walls above the wainscoting, the stairs could add to the mix with a patterned carpet runner, and the furniture (we're envisioning some seating across from the closet where the built-in is now, and a console/dresser & mirror on the North wall by the door) has potential to set the tone for style. Or perhaps we choose a neutral palette with only a splash of paint in a shocking hue on the front door?

Image from House Beautiful.
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Here's what we know for sure: the floors will be both a tile and hardwood. We’ll use remaining hardwood from our kitchen renovation, and we’ve got our eyes on a marble-look for the tile... but will have to suss out what is available and can withstand the entryway traffic. Wainscoting and trims will be painted out in Ultra White. This un-tinted white is as bright as white gets, and will bring the light in!

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We’re also daydreaming about Jessica Swift’s ginko wallpaper. It would provide an undeniable whimsy and set the tone for a vintage style. But, we’ll see what develops!

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow as Mike and Sandie discuss the budget for her renovation.

(Diary Text: Mike and Sandie, Images: As linked above.)

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