Dressing the “foyer”

Our local Oxfam store, is the store that keeps on giving.

On my walk to town a month or two ago, I discovered an ordinary, yet interesting oil painting by one Alfred W. Jessop 1965.


The top three things I look for when we buy a house are 1. A foyer, 2. French doors and 3. An ensuite. When we bought our Victorian Town House I bummed out on the ensuite – grrr! And the foyer – grrr!

But, not to keep a good woman down, I was determined to create a pseudo foyer; albeit in a very narrow hall 1000mm x 4000mm. A challenge!

One piece of décor that helped the foyer- illusion was a mirror. We bought a very large John Lewis French Oak framed bevelled mirror; and with the help of our boys’ muscles managed to attach it to the wall.


The next step to really establish the “foyer” was to hang some art work.

My husband, an artist, is in possession of a short list of paintings I want him to do for me. One of the painting on that list, I have been waiting eighteen years for!

So, I realised rather quickly, that my request for foyer art work was going to take longer than my patience would survive. To be fair, I had not really nailed down exactly what genre of painting I wanted…minor detail surely.

Enter the Oxfam store…626126f7-95f4-4380-bd0d-c75bab44b0c7_image_jpeg

It was in this shop that I spotted a rather uninspiring, yet compelling still life. The flowers were not entrancing, but they were solid. The colours  nearly exhibited yumminess, but not quite. The frame, was a generic bronze-brown tone, that somehow totally missed the point of enhancing this close-up still life; better suited to a busy distant landscape.

Having said all that, it was calling to me to take it home.

I walked around the store buying time, while my thoughts struggled with biases. Finally audibly expelling all my jumbled and random thoughts to my bemused son, I left the store. My son followed.

I could not imagine anyone else rushing to buy it. I needed to discuss it with my husband. I needed him to come and see it.

A couple of days later we went back and together, listing the pros and cons as if we were buying an expensive car, together decided –  yes, we would hang it in our “foyer”.

Once home, I painted the frame a friendly green.

I am not sure if I got the shade perfectly right, but the awkward painting somehow seemed to relax. The flowers were free to be themselves, the tones, (that look more vibrant in this blog than in reality), no longer needed to excuse themselves; and the hundred-and-fifty-year-old hall with its Anaglypta wall paper, so old that it is back in fashion, has received the addition like family.


It has been up now for several weeks; and to tell you the truth, we now walk past it as if it has always been there.


Although, the hall is really too narrow to step back and admire the painting, should you want to, the fun part is that the large mirror alluding depth gives our Oxfam buy a great vantage point.


Hall? Foyer?

Most certainly – Foyer! And to me, a foyer that greets and a foyer that calls “hurry home” as we leave.


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