DESIGN: A Foyer Makeover in Villa Heights

DESIGN: A Foyer Makeover in Villa Heights

As owner and lead designer of Bohemian Bungalow Design, Wendy Fennell gravitates toward Plaza Midwood, Villa Heights, and NoDa homes with quirk and personality. She doesn’t shy away from flashy colors and uses patterned wallpaper every chance she gets. “I think it’s the funnest thing you can put in a room,” she says. “It’s like art.” Her clients hired her to infuse some of that eclectic style into the main floor of their two-story Villa Heights home, so Fennell gave them an eye-catching foyer with statement pieces to anchor the wide-open space. In addition to a bold wallcovering, she added floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves, sleek light fixtures, and gold accents to create a stylish and functional entrance.

Christina Hussey Photography Bohemian Bungalow 3

“With open floor plans like these, you see everything,” Wendy Fennell says. “My goal was to define those spaces.”


With demanding careers and two young children, the homeowners had let the area beside the staircase become a drop zone for backpacks and shoes. “They wanted a built-in fireplace there, but I talked them out of it,” Fennell says. She knew they needed more storage, and a built-in shelving unit would make better use of that space. “I wanted to really max out that wall,” she says. “You have to live your life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a place to put stuff away.”


“The foyer was massive,” Fennell says, “so I knew we had to wallpaper it. I said, ‘Let’s own it and make it big.’” She chose an abstract Milton & King pattern with a neutral base and flecks of yellow, pink, and purple. The design is lighter toward the top, which draws the eye up and makes the space feel light and bright. “(The homeowner) didn’t want it to hit you in the face when you walk in,” she says, “and we wanted it to seamlessly flow when you turn the corner and see the built-in.”


Fennell installed gold portrait lights from Regina Andrew above the shelves and gold pulls on the cabinets below. She styled the area around the front door with a rug from Feizy and a black media cabinet from Global Views. The Jonathan Adler chandelier adds another pop of gold. “I love gold,” she says. “It’s so on-trend, and it just elevates a space. Brushed gold is so modern—it coordinates with other fixtures, and I use it in every project.”

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