Our Glam Cottage Foyer – One Room Challenge Week 1

All right friends, it’s that time again. It’s One Room Challenge time! The time of year when a group of design bloggers declare ourselves certifiably psychotic because we VOLUNTARILY sign up to complete one room in our homes over a period of just six weeks, while documenting our success (or failure, gulp) online for you all to read about! The challenge is hosted by Linda from Calling It Home, so be sure to head over there afterward to check out all of the other room makeovers that are now underway.

If this is your first visit to Prairie Girl Home, welcome! My name is Kari, I’m from Saskatchewan, Canada and I live in a small fixer-upper along with my sweet husband, who gladly supports me in all my crazy DIY shenanigans, and our sweet little boy, who despite being only in Preschool likes to spend time helping his mama ”decowate”.

I joined this challenge last spring and we tackled our very tiny 1950’s time-warp bathroom. Click here to see how we transformed our dated pink bath into a black and white chic cottage retreat. (Yes, I just called a bathroom a “retreat”. Come on. Vacations are few and far between, so half an hour in a bubble bath with a good book is definitely a bit of a retreat for this mama!)

For this makeover we will be tackling our back foyer and staircase. Now, I may sometimes refer to this room as the “foyer”, but you must know that while I am typing it I am actually saying it sarcastically in my mock “uppity girl” accent (think Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey). The truth is, calling this room a foyer is a bit of stretch. Actually, calling it a “room” is a bit of stretch! I just measured and the floor space, not including the stairs is 3’6” x 3’2”. Yes. It’s tiny! If there were a prize for smallest space tackled during the One Room Challenge, I might win it. You’re probably wondering how hard this makeover can actually be when the space is so small. Well, just have a look at these before pictures. Are your eyes ready for some UGLY?


Hang on. It’s about to get worse.


Yes, that is carpet. In an entrance. What are those giant stains you ask? Oh, that would be paint. From the previous owner? No. From me. Guilty, as charged. I use this space for a lot of small projects, especially in winter when I want to spray paint. Then I can prop the door open for air and I don’t have to worry about overspray because you can’t destroy what is already ugly! Completely logical thinking, right? That large white stain is from the spring One Room Challenge, when I was painting my DIY tree stump side table. I spilled half a can of paint. At 3am. Good times. (I truly must be crazy to sign up for this again!!!)


Yuck. I know. Can you believe that we use these stairs every single day? Even though the basement is unfinished, our laundry is downstairs, as well as an office and TV area. Oh yes, and my hoard of junk extremely organized collection of various DIY and decor items not currently in use. We generally use the front door for going in and out, but this is how we access our yard and garage. So the space is well used.

Here’s where it goes from gross to downright frightening. As if unfinished basements aren’t dark and dingy enough to begin with, the forest green makes it feel like you are walking down into a deep, dark abyss you may never find your way out of. No wonder I despise going downstairs to do laundry! (It obviously has nothing to do with the fact that I just don’t like laundry and everything to do with the decor.)


The previous owner had a deep and abiding love for this particular colour. I haven’t shared our kitchen renovation with you yet, but our laminate counters were forest green. I painted them black. They are now one million percent better than they were before. That’s the amazing power of paint. The ability to improve things by one million percent. Why have I waited so long to paint this space? It is definitely time to say goodbye to the forest green for good! The floral wallpaper border will be going as well. You can see where I halfheartedly started peeling part of it off.


What do you think of our fancy lighting? Impressive, I know. Really, there is nowhere to go but up with this makeover!


Severely damaged, beat up, cracked, dirty, worn, ripped and just plain ugly do not even begin to describe this space. The only update we ever did to the space was paint the inside of the back door a sleek black. (Dark Secret by CIL) The worse the before pictures, the better the after, right?

Oh, and did I mention you can see this space from our front entrance and from our main living areas?


This is the view when you first walk in our home. I shared this picture to Instagram, but I edited it in black and white because I was trying to hide the ugliness that is the back entrance. (Okay, I tried, I really did, but I can’t type “foyer” without laughing. We obviously aren’t “foyer” people. We are definitely simply plain old “entrance” people!)

I’m going to throw in a “before the before” pic. This is a slightly different angle than the pic above, but you get the general idea. This is with the previous owner’s furniture.


We’ve come a long way, but we have a little more work to do yet!

Okay, enough of the ugly before pics. Are you ready to see the design plan?


The items you see in my design board are not necessarily the exact items I will be using, since a lot of this makeover is going to depend on what I can find on sale or used and what I can DIY, but this gives you a general idea of the direction I am headed.

The one item I really don’t want to leave out is the french door. Here in Saskatchewan, we have very long, cold winters. What we do get though, is a decent amount of sun. The problem is we definitely don’t have enough windows on the back side of our house to allow the light in. I am really hoping we can find one in the size we need at the Habitat Restore or elsewhere used. I really think it will be a game changer in this space!

I am sticking with the same palette we have used in the rest of the house – a heavy dose of black and white, with touches of wood, natural texture (think woven baskets, sisal rugs), and maybe a touch of gold. My style is a mix of farmhouse, cottage, industrial and vintage, with a bit of traditional mixed in there. That wasn’t confusing at all, right? I like to call my style “Glam Cottage”, but really it’s always changing. That’s what keeps it fun!

Here are a few spaces that are inspiring me.

Image via Hammersmith Atlanta

I just love the crisp black and white! It never goes out of style.


I couldn’t find the source for the image above, so if anyone knows where it’s from, please let me know and I will edit it. I’m just in love with the wide floor to ceiling board and battens, set closer together than you usually see. Together with those gorgeous black and white frames and the industrial farmhouse sconces, set against that warm wood – ah! So striking.

Image via Houzz

Isn’t that industrial pipe hand rail awesome? I also love the classic vertical planking. I think it has more longevity over the more trendy shiplap that we see everywhere right now. (I love you Joanna Gaines, but you’re just too dang good and now every woman in North America wants to be you!!!)

Next week I will be back with more details about how we will be finishing off this space on a very tiny budget. This is where creativity, elbow grease and being a hoarder of all things DIY come in handy! If you would like to see updates along the way, follow me on Instagram. I also created a Pinterest board just for this makeover, so if you are a lover of Pinterest like I am, you can check that out.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you here next Thursday!

















18 thoughts on “Our Glam Cottage Foyer – One Room Challenge Week 1

  1. Love your “foyer” story! Can’t wait to see it finished! Sure hope you find the french door, I think it will be perfect :)

    1. Thanks Mary! I sure hope we find a door, all of the light will definitely change the way the space feels, not to mention brighten up our entire living and dining room! Thanks for commenting:)

  2. Love the plans! Can’t wait to see what you do, Kari! I love how much you’re changing your house.

    1. Thanks so much Emy! It’s so exciting when there are so many of us on the same deadline. It feels so much more motivating!

  3. Lol you can’t destroy what is already ugly! Love it!
    I don’t know why you don’t want to keep the green, oh and that lovely floral wallpaper! Ha, I am kidding! Your inspiration pictures are beautiful! I am looking forward to see how you transform your space!

    – Jaclyn

    1. Thanks Jaclyn!! Lol, yes, I love that rule! It applies to most things with décor, I mean really even if it wasn’t that ugly to begin with, you can’t do too much damage moving furniture, painting, putting a few holes in the wall! It’s just easier when you start with butt ugly items, lol! Yes, I will be so, so sad to see the forest green go, but I think I will get over it;)

  4. You are going to rock this. I just know it! What is UP with green? Our house is full of it too. Inside, outside, it’s all so green around here.

    Lookin forward to following along.

    1. Thanks Stacy for the confidence! So far this first week we have accomplished… NOTHING! Lol, so hopefully we can still pull it off. That green… I must be old because I can remember when it went through it’s popular phase! Hey, if we keep it long enough, it’s bound to come back around into style! 😉

  5. Oh girl you have your work cut out for you!! I absolutely love your direction though and you are going to nail it!! I’ll be cheering you on!!!!

    1. Yes, we do!!! It is so gross, it means that basically ANYTHING we do will be an improvement over what it is now! Can’t wait to see how your son’s room turns out!

  6. Kari — You are so right. That entrance to the basement is downright creepy! But, knowing the awesome work you do, it’s going to be amazing!!! Can’t wait to see and I’m so excited to know someone in the challenge. 😉

    Have an awesome night!
    Jen @ Noting Grace

    1. Thanks so much Jen! Lol, good to know I wasn’t just being dramatic about the creepy factor! Thanks for the confidence, I hope it all turns out! Yes, I love the One Room Challenge because it feels like such a team effort when we’re all working towards the same deadline. I love that I have a few insta friends taking part and we get to do this together!

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