Q: We want to brighten a rather nondescript but large weekend home without great expense or extensive alteration. One of the chief concerns is the sizable entrance foyer, which now has an ugly pine floor and staircase and a peach floral wall-covering. Do you have some suggestions for how to make this space more cheerful and still easy to maintain?
A: I've chosen this photo, hoping it will provide you with some ideas. While the space may not be exactly like yours, the design principles followed here are probably applicable to your situation as well. The foyer area of this country home, though quite large, depends partly for its brightness on the light that streams in from the transom and from adjoining rooms.
The color choices also contribute to the cheerful look. The walls were painted shiny white above the wood latticed wainscoting, which itself was painted in a Williamsburg blue. I'm not suggesting that you should add wooden wainscoting. But after you've removed that floral peach wallpaper, you might consider installing a simple chair rail. The portion of the walls above it could then be painted white, blue or yellow, with the chair rail, baseboard and door frame all done in a contrasting color. The exact selections are a matter of personal taste. But whatever colors you may choose, the effect should be similar to what's seen in the photo.