Welcome to the latest edition of our Project Design Series. Mary Ann (Classic Casual Home) and I really enjoy these simple projects because they encourage us to look at our own homes with a fresh eye.
Do you feel like something’s not quite right about your entryway? Maybe it’s hard to see your front door, or it feels bland and uninviting. Whether you’ve recently moved in or have been settled for many years, the entry can often be an overlooked space particularly if it is small. How do you make it more welcoming? It is the first thing guests see so make it matter. If it is small a mirror can create the illusion of more space. Try something you might not try in other areas of your home. Bring in some bold artwork or wallpaper.
Try these simple tips:
For those of you new to my blog, we have lived in the same house for over 30 years. Our front door rarely gets used so my entry was definitely in need of some love. We are very fortunate to have a great entry. The ceilings are 24 feet high which can be a blessing or a curse (depending on how you look at it). The hallway above has massive beams and the entry itself has a very large hand forged iron light fixture. Furniture pieces need to live large even though the actual footprint of the entry is small.
There is a niche below the stairway when you enter. For years it looked like this. This little Brazilian chest just fit in the opening but it always seemed to small. It looked pretty good when our walls were glazed.
When we painted our walls white and our windows dark (about 2 years ago), the chest just didn’t work anymore. You can read about that transformation here. A couple of months ago I spotted this English Wicker Travelling Truck in a local antique store. It was just what I was looking for. I knew it was going to be close but I prayed it would fit in this spot. It wasn’t much wider but deeper which created the illusion of more mass.
Here is the entry now with the travelling trunk in place. I wanted the whole area to be brighter, more textural, with a pop of color. A fresh green is just what it needed. I brought the black mirror down from the guest bedroom to hang above the trunk. All of the other elements were things I already had. Shop your home before you buy something new.
To the right when you walk in the door I still have the same two pieces I have had for years. We bought this late 1700’s English Bench over 20 years ago. It fits perfectly in the spot next to the door and is a great place for guests to park their stuff. The shelf is a Mexican reproduction. I like it because it has hooks so guests can hang their coats. We do not have an official entry closet.
I decided to use green for a pop of color. I got rid of the drawers and filled in the areas where the drawers are with old Bobbsey Twins books (they just happened to be the right shade of green) , natural elements and a Bulgarian bowl I found when we were up in Napa last weekend. I added new pillows to the bench and a great new rug.
The green pillow came from pillowme on Etsy. The striped pillow on the left came from a great new source the kilim pillow store. and the cowie shell pillow was found here I am a huge fan of Etsy and their purveyors.
On the wall going up the stairs calendar prints (from old cavallini calendars) have resided for at least 15 years. The ones on the left side began to fade due to their proximity to the window. I have never tired of the basic arrangement. I think it works well in that area.
I ordered new (old) antique botanicals from Ebay and had my buddy Butch from Peninsula Arts and Crafts do french mats for them.I kept the original frames.but darkened them with a little ebony briwax to perk them up a bit .The result is fresher and more up to date.
I originally painted my front door green, marbelized the panels and comb grained the recesses. When we painted the windows dark I painted the base of the door black and left the comb grained recesses for interest.
I brought the antique chair from a bedroom upstairs and added a graphic pillow to give it a more current look. The rug is an overdyed Oushak. You can find them in every color imaginable here
Stop by and see what these talented ladies have done to update their entryways. I am sure they will inspire you!