Design On A Dime – Foyer Makeover


For the last two years, my foyer has been incredibly bare – not necessarily a bad thing. The foyer is very small and leads directly into the living room, so I didn’t feel too much urgency to decorate it. I’m a very “evolving” kind of decorator…I like to let projects happen.

Back in November, I finally decorated the foyer wall with shutters (yardsale find), an Uppercase Living expression and sconces from Kirklands – all for about $43.00.


I’ve lived with this blah-ish look for months, but I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect piece of furniture to anchor this space. I love high-end furniture and antiques, but I don’t love the price tags. Ha!

So, when I found this piece (with a matching mirror) at the thrift store, I snatched it up. I love the shape, dove-tailed drawers and character!  All for $83.00!


Can you see the scratches and bunged up places?  This past week, I sanded it down. I know I didn’t do the best sanding job … I’m not the most patient person and I worked while Ridley was napping. But I like how it turned out because some variations in the wood show through – even after several coats of paint!



What color did I paint it?

The most gorgeous limey green!  {The picture looks more like a light yellow green, but the real life color is definitely bright green.} Home Depot color matched Huntington Green by Benjamin Moore. Yay for inexpensive Behr paint!


I decided not to paint the hardware. It used to be shiny brass, but over time the finish turned more bronze – perfection. My dad is hilarious. He suggested that I use Brasso on the handles to make them shiny again! Love you dad, but no shiny brass in my house! 🙂

On Saturday in the middle of the stormy weather, my “boys” and I went to TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby to find the perfect lamp. I truly love what we bought at TJ Maxx and the price was just right!



I literally giggle when I walk past this.  It makes me so happy!  I have such a sense of satisfaction that I actually gave this desk a makeover and it looks just like what I imagined in my mind!

All of the other accessories I already had, so I just shopped my house! That, my friends, is the beauty of shopping at yard sales and thrift stores.

My decorating mantra is: If you like it and can afford it, get it, and find a place for it later!


For the entire foyer project, I spent right at $200 dollars. Two Hundred dollars, people! And that’s over the last few years.  Collecting pieces that you love works!

Umkay, I’m off to admire my foyer.  I could just sit and look at it for-evah!

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  1. That’s gorgeous! What a beautiful entry you have. And yea for the $83!!! I have a similar desk, even has the same pulls my mom bought at a garage sale years ago. It’s currently black but I think it’s calling to be painted red. We’ll see…

  2. I LOVE it!!! I wish you could come to my house and help me out!! The green is AMAZING, and the shutters are such an awesome idea! I also love Uppercase Living things! Have you every taken them off of anything?? Supposedly they come off easily, but I’ve never tried it!! Thanks for sharing!! =)
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Sunday’s Song….. =-.

  3. I love it and I love your blog name.
    The green was an unexpected punch of color and it is darling.

  4. I do love it when a plan comes together. I used to be apprehensive about my decorating, but have realized what I love and add to my home makes me happy. And that’s what is important.

    And, if I stop “loving” it, I can easily move it or get rid of it.

    Great job!

  5. OMG that is SO beautiful!!! You did an awesome job. I especially love the desk, that color is so pretty!!

  6. We are on the lookout for a desk for my daughter’s room – this gives me the inspiration to get something I love the shape of and then paint it to perfection. Great job – it’s lovely!

  7. I love this. I just learned how to “go shopping in my own house”. That is the best idea ever. I just redid a part of a room and I never imagined that I could do it so cheaply. Doesn’t it feel fabulous? I love your foyer. Have a blast staring at it!


  8. Myra, that is just gorgeous!!! You know I love lime green & what a pretty punch of color for your foyer. This is just perfection now, with the desk, lamp & accessories. You did a fabulous job with it all. I mean fab! So, yes, it does work to collect things you love, for sure. My mantra exactly.

  9. What an awesome deal you got here! Lovin’ the makeover…beautiful color and luv how you have dressed her up! Come by my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS PARTY and show her off!


  10. Love it! I have a blah entry right now too. Trying to decide if it should match my living room since it opens up to the living room, or make it it’s own color scheme. Love all your finds and your patience, I have very little of that!
    .-= Amy Foxx´s last blog ..Birthday Party =-.

  11. OK. So when are you coming to my house? We have been here 3 years and I’m just starting to put things together. Love how this all turned out. You are a brave woman going with the lime green, but it totally works!

  12. I love this! It needs to be a before and after on an HGTV show, it really looks great! I have many blah places in my home, because I’m horrible at decorating and too scared to try to paint something I might find at a thrift store or garage sale. Maybe someday, or maybe you will start a decorating business and give people like me some help 🙂

    Great job!
    .-= Sheri´s last blog ..Monday morning giveaway =-.

  13. Love the transformation!! The whole area looks fabulous. Have you considered wrapping a green ribbon around your candles to tie in with the color of the desk ? I love green and it looks so nice on a piece of furniture!! Well done…came over from NTT
    .-= patti´s last blog ..A New Lampshade =-.

  14. i LOVE it! hopping over from ntt, and just wanted to say i love the color you chose. it’s such a nice and happy pop of color and a great way to welcome guests!

  15. Beautiful! I wish I had a foyer that would support furniture that size. Mine is kinda of awkward so I have to stick to small pieces. Beautiful work. Stop by and visit me sometime. I found you at A Soft Place to Land.
    .-= Aimee´s last blog ..My Little Boy with 3-MCC =-.

  16. Wow. That is amazing! I have been wanting to redo our foyer for so long, but the prices of furniture are so discouraging! Maybe I’ll be off to the thrift store later because of this decorative inspiration!

  17. I absolutely love what you’ve done here! I would be ecstatic to walk by it everday myself!
    I will be featuring it tomorrow on Rave Reviews Wednesday at Sweet Pickles and Chocolate! Please visit tomorrow and grab the Rave Reviews button!
    sweet pickles and chocolate
    .-= Dena´s last blog ..Totally Tute-ular Tuesday! Freecycle Pillows =-.

  18. It is fabulous!!!!!! That green is awesome, and what a great deal! It’s a gorgeous piece of furniture. I love that you did a bright color — I’m trying to get up the nerve. 🙂 The little additions are perfect too — it is beautiful!

  19. That looks so great! I am in love with it!
    People love my decorating style so much. I tell them, I just shop yard sales and thrift stores and slowly it has evolved into something beautiful (and affordable). The danger is when you go shopping to find something exactly to fit here or there. Then you pay the big bucks.
    I love all the stories behind all my decorations. Each piece has a story.
    Again, great job! I love love love that desk!
    .-= Helen Joy´s last blog .. =-.

  20. LOVE it! You inspired me: i have a garage sale desk ($10) painted black. Perhaps I should say sort-of glazed black, with lots of bumps and rough spots. I think they forgot to wipe off the sanding dust before they painted. Anyway, if I sand it like you did, then I could paint it white just as I dream of doing. I thought I would have to use stripper on it b/c of the bumpiness. But trying out that sandpaper first will be worth it, I think.

  21. I did the same thing with an ugly brown office desk, but one that had great ‘bones’. I did all that sanding and applied two coats of white gloss paint…….it’s a dandy now!
    Really fun to see your project….I once painted a chest of drawers almost the same shade of green….back in the ’70’s……..super color to use for wooden furniture.

  22. That looks amazing! I just painted a garage sale find table this weekend, and am in the process of decorating it. What is the lamp sitting on? Old books?

  23. Oh!! This is gorgeous! You could not have picked a better color, and the already-owned accessories are perfect. (The color reminds me of an Apple Green I painted my very similar dresser when I was a kid.)
    No wonder you swoon every time you walk by. Kudos to you getting this done during nap time. Bravo!

  24. You know I had to take a quick look to make sure my vanity was still in the living room! After closer inspection the only difference between our “desks” (aside from the color, mine desperately needs it!) is the rectangular trim around the top 3 drawers.

    You did a great job on your foyer!! Love the new look!!!

  25. Ok – I know this is an old discussion… but I need some help! My foyer is ceiling to floor mirrors!! Yikes!! And they appear glued on – so no easy taking them down:( (Just bought the house and its WONDERFUL, but they did some really weird things – like mirrors in the foyer and mirrors on the closet doors on an entire wall in two bedrooms!! Narcissisicm?? maybe)

    1. Wow. Walls of mirrors are definitely not the easiest to decorate with! I have seen some sites that have posted about taking them down. Good luck! 😉

  26. This is awesome! First time on your site… Very neat ideas. I am using a similar green on a little hutch and I will tell you I understand what you mean when you say it makes you giggle. The color just pops on your wall and you brought in those other elements well to anchor it all together. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to getting your blog in my email.

  27. Love the desk, love the color~perfect! I love that you painted it such a fabulous bold color! The best part is, it makes you happy! Yea! 🙂

  28. That is so brilliant – painting that boring old vanity that lovely green! I see beautiful funky painted furniture like that in fancy furniture stores here in DC and I see schlumpy looking old vanities like that at the Salvation Army but never ever did it occur to me that I could make that kind of loveliness happen myself. You are an inspiration! Beautiful beautiful.

  29. LOVE THE DESK!!! Did you use water based or oil based paint? I’ve painted furniture before with water based and I don’t like how it looks a a few years later. It dents and gets stained easily. Do you have any tips on how to avoid that? Thank you!!!

  30. Hiya. LOVE love love your work. I’m curious, do you paint with a brush or spray paint. I love to reclaim and repaint furniture, but don’t have the hang of whether to use a tin and brush or spray, to use flat paint, semi-gloss, gloss etc.

    All tips deeply appreciated 🙂

  31. I love your desk. Could you tell me what sheen you used and did you put anything as a coat of protection?

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