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One Room Challenge | The Foyer! | Week One

Join me for an eight week journey to bring some function and style to our neglected foyer! 

Welcome back to the One Room Challenge, Spring 2020 edition! As you may be familiar with, the One Room Challenge is traditionally a six week room makeover challenge that hundreds of home bloggers and Instagrammers participate in, founded by former blogger Linda Weinstein and sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens.

On Wednesdays, 20 select interior designers and DIYers share the process of redoing a room, and on Thursdays the rest of the world is invited to join in and post about a transformation they are undertaking. After much consideration to the current state of the world, the ORC team decided to go forth with the Spring One Room Challenge and bring some cheer to the blogosphere!

I’m so glad this event is “on” because the ORC is fun to follow and a great opportunity to spread some positivity. This time around, instead of the traditional six weeks, participants are challenged to re-do a room in eight weeks and use what we have on hand, DIY whatever we can, and cheer each other on while offering some fresh inspiration and ideas to our readers!


Clockwise from left: building a wall of bookcases in our living room, my teen son’s bedroom makeover, our coastal bathroom remodel and the family room makeover among others.



This time around I’m using the ORC as motivation to put together all the pieces of our foyer, which was actually the first room I worked on when we moved to this house ten years ago! It started out like this…..

….and over the years I added board and batten, painted the front door, closet door and French doors black and the walls and trim white, 

and refinished the stairs with an ebony stain and DIY seagrass runner.

DIY installation of a seagrass runner completes a stair makeover in an 80s era colonial.

I did everything I could to make the most of this space, but the big elephant in the room has always been the old, cracked 80s tile floor. 

Mark and I joyfully removed that eyesore, along with two layers of vinyl flooring in our kitchen, last spring!

Removing tile and subfloor


New floors – I’m lucky to begin this challenge with the new hardwood floors that we had installed in this room and our new kitchen, (as well as having the adjacent rooms that already had hardwood refinished). I really wanted to do a herringbone pattern in here but with the shape of the room the installer thought it might look choppy, so at the last minute we decided to have the foyer and kitchen wood laid on the diagonal, and we love how it came out! 

Newly Installed Hardwood Floors On The Diagonal

The front door is open in this picture above, so the floor looks a little lighter than it is – it’s a 50/50 mix of Minwax Classic Gray and Special Walnut, in case you’re wondering. 

Refinished stairs – During the renovation last year I stripped the ebony treads and our installer sanded and refinished them to match the floors so they look fantastic. We also had a gorgeous newel post installed along with square spindles – so it sounds like this part of the renovation is done, right??

Refinished stair treads

Not so fast – since I claim to be a DIY blogger and all that 😆, I told the contractor who installed the new newel post that I would finish the trim on the stairs and get it all painted and ready for the runner myself. And then life intervened and a year later here we are with the half done stairs!!



Pulling this room together and calling it done after almost a decade of living here!!!! That includes:

Finishing the new stair trim and paint – a project I’ve been dragging my heels on for a good 9 months.

Installing a new runner. I shared some options on Instagram stories a while back, and some of you may already recall what the verdict was!!  Big surprise! HA

Giving our closet a makeover for more function and less things crashing on my head every time I open the door.

Adding some more much needed storage in the form of furniture.

A whole lotta door painting (there are 5 in this tiny room!)

The details – as in furniture, lighting, art, accessories – given our state of events, this should be the most challenging part of the One Room Challenge! 

The goal – to make our foyer warm and welcoming and to no longer cringe when someone comes to our front door!

The wild card – I always seem to have one don’t I? – is having the front door and side lights replaced. I’m not getting too excited at the prospect of this to-do though, given the current stay-in-place that we are still in, but this will definitely be a 2020 project!


Next week I’ll share the design ideas I have for this space and some progress too. I’m so excited to jump into this round and get creative with what I already have to work it, and I can’t wait to see the other projects getting tackled this spring! 

Check out the other One Room Challengers here, and best wishes to all participating!

Our Gallery Wall & Sources For Frames, Mats and Photography
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Sherry Cole

Friday 15th of May 2020

Your room is going to be beautiful and I will be following along every week. I do love your diagonal floors.


Friday 15th of May 2020

Thanks so much Sherry! We love our floors - the installer did such an amazing job with them!

Cristina Branco

Thursday 14th of May 2020

Hi Lisa!

I want to bring our Victorian staircase into the 21st century as well and I picked the same herringbone pattern that you used. We have 10 risers at the top, a landing, and then 11 risers down. I have to cover the landing as well. The current carpet runner is cut on a diagonal and the seam shows. Will the seagrass seam be unsightly? I haven't been able to find any how-to's on landing installations...would really appreciate some help!

Many thanks, Cristina


Friday 15th of May 2020

Hi Cristina! I actually only installed the runner on the steps and skipped the landing altogether. I had seen this in a designer's showcase home and liked the look of the bare landing, plus it solved my problem of having to turn the runner somehow!

Jen @ Jenron Designs

Thursday 14th of May 2020

Wow those floors look great I know it was a ton of work but they are so worth it!


Friday 15th of May 2020

Thanks so much Jen! The installer did an amazing job with them, we couldn't be happier!


Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I LOVE that you are finishing a project. I feel so inspired! Can't wait to see! Your rooms are always amazing.


Friday 15th of May 2020

Isn't the ORC the absolute best motivator for getting house projects done?? Can't wait to see more of your bathroom!

Lindsey from Hilltown House

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

That floor looks AMAZING! Beautiful job


Friday 15th of May 2020

Thanks so much Lindsey - they are such a huge improvement from a year ago, we love them!