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an entry re-fresh (tell us what you’d pick!)

    This is my friend Rae (and her spunky/darling/super fun daughter, Tilly):


    Fun story: Rae married Ryan’s best friend from high school and we met right before their wedding. Two years later, they moved in with us for several months while they looked for a house in our area. They found one and lived there for 6 years.

    A few years later, my best friend, K.C., and her family moved in with us for several months while they looked for a house. They bought one in our neighborhood and lived there for 5 years. Then they moved to Texas (sad).

    When they moved out, Rae and her family moved in (yay!).

    So now my friend Rae lives in my friend K.C.’s house. It’s the best.


    Anyway, Rae and her husband have 5 adorable kids:


    and we love having them just down the street. They only lived a few minutes away before, but now that the kids can walk to each other’s houses, we see each other way more. The best is when we get together for dinner and have 9 kids running crazy around us. It’s pretty entertaining.

    Last week, she asked if I could help with some ideas to make her entry more cheerful and welcoming. It’s sort of a funky space – a bit narrow and dark and empty – which looks nothing like the rest of Rae’s bright/colorful/cool house.¬† Of course I said yes.


    (a bookshelf in her living room)

    Here’s the space we’re working with:


    from the top:


    and when you open the front door from the outside and from inside looking to the corner:


    Its a small area with a coat closet and room enough for a few hooks, mirror (always a nice addition to an entry space for light-reflection and last-minute hair/outfit/something-stuck-in-your-teeth checks), bright art and a rolling crate for shoes (a diy project we’ll do). There is a great mudroom area off the garage entry that the family uses for daily use, so this is more for guests. Rae is hoping for a cheery, welcoming feel.

    We talked about a few things and decided on painting the inside of the door (black, I think), dropping down a pendant light, adding a colorful runner and some fun art for personality.

    I pulled some ideas together and sent her my favorite options:

    rugs hooks lights art

    Rae made her picks instantly, but we thought it would be fun to see what you think! Here are three photoshopped images of our favorite combinations:


    light / art / hooks / rug


    light / art / hooks / rug


    light (spray painted) / art / hooks / rug

    Do you have a favorite? What would you do if this were your entry?

    We’ll be back soon with a few diy’s for the space and the final reveal. Until then, be sure to check out Rae’s website and instagram feed (you will probably fall in love with her).

    155 thoughts on “an entry re-fresh (tell us what you’d pick!)”

    1. I pick option 3 with a couple of changes, I prefer the rug in option 1 and I like the idea of the light in option 3 or option 2 if she doesn’t like the yellow light. Everything else I like in option 3, however another option for storage could be a small bench with baskets for storage…Good luck and can’t wait to see the end result!

    2. # 1 !!! “Why #1” you ask… Darker rug (less dirt to see); Bright colored & very sturdy hooks!

      I might switch out the light fixture…to the open brass one…to light up MORE of that little space. But on the other hand, a less diffused source of lighting like the white metal one as pictured keeps things looking more streamlined. Hmmm.

      My mantra (after raising 3 incredible “men” WAS AND STILL IS:

      Keep it:
      Low maintenance, Simple to operate, Drama-Free, Honest, Uncluttered, & relatively clean.
      This applies from hairstyles to sermons to friendships to electronics to FaceBook, etc…

    3. out of the photoshopped pics, #3. If I were to do it myself I would pick #3 in each of the options for the rugs, hooks, art, light (spray painted yellow. The only thing different in pic 3 would be the black and white rug, I do think the mint chevron works too

    4. I would choose #2 but exchange the light for #4.
      For your friend, she seem like a #3 kind of gal!
      I wish I had a friend like you in my neighborhood!

    5. I love # 3…..all of it. Love the peacock print :)
      I might paint the wooden catch all a pop of color!…because I like everything to look like you just opened a box of Crayola crayons… can be pretty dull around Ohio in the winter, so color makes me happy! But you do neutrals beautifully.
      It will look fabulous what ever you do. It always does.
      Blessings in abundance…..

    6. Hi! I love following your posts and am always inspired by them! I also ADORE your freebie downloads! Thank you so much for sharing!

      I love Option #3, except I would use the rug from #1. That’s my vote for what it’s worth. I’ll be interested in seeing what she chooses.

      Keep the posts coming…they always give me ideas for my events and for my home. Thanks again!

    7. I like number 3 because it is colorful and funky ! I would probably pick out the darker blue on the peacock and paint the bin on the floor that color – a color that would harmonize with the chevron rug color. Hope you post what you decide !

    8. My favorite is number 2. The white light in #1 is not in keeping with her decor and seems out of place. The grey chevron rug is too matchy matchy.. Personally I don’t like that look, but if your friend does , shed’d be happy with it. The issue I have with option 3 Is that the floor does not add up. The styles are too choppy with little to keep them cohesive.. Option 2 is my favorite choice by far. The rug compliments the space by drawing light from the window. The hooks are modern and have an individualized funky, modern style. The light is perfect as one barely notice it’s there – keeping the maximum amount of light in what could be a dark space, yet serves it’s function with style. The artwork ties it all together by being super fun and repeating that fun, funky style. Option 2 is definitely my favorite by far. The other 2 are just ok and a bit predictable. Please let us know which one she/you choose!

    9. I like #1 but with the funky height of the window the bin size hurts my eyes! It looks lost in the space. Replace it with something taller/deeper. And I agree with another comment…give it a lid.

    10. I would choose #3. It has a touch of whimsy with the color in the light fixture and the art, it is colorful but not too childlike. The hooks and geometric shape of the light fixture give the arrangement some class and structure.

    11. I love the items you’ve chosen and lean towards Option 3. Have you tried combining (from your ‘menu’ of selections) Rug 3, Hooks1 (love the wood hooks with the crate!), Light 2 (white classic) and Art 4? I like the dark rug to hide stains and to pull out the dark contrasts in peacock picture. I wish you were my neighbor!

    12. instead of those selected, how about a more simple classic feel: rug3, hook3, light3 and artwork 1. sorry, to change the dynamic. love what you guys are trying to do. fun, fun, fun!

    13. I love number 3 the best. Of course Id have to paint the crate for the shoes and I prefer the wooden/ modern hooks but love love love the peacock painting and yellow light.

    14. Option 3 = Love the yellow light but I would use a great basket instead of the wooden box. Not sure about the hooks on the wall, if they have a mud room why would you need the hooks?

    15. Love #1, but the artwork from #3. Love the bright colors, but not a light rug…not in my house with even 3 kids and a dog. Bet it will be awesome!

    16. rug #3, hook #3, light #2, and art #2….less dirt and more movement with rug #3, hooks are whimsical, light is classic, and the art is simple and yet adds a “spot” of color. :) Fun!!!

    17. Thank you for sharing. I like option number 2. What a blessing to have a friend close and getting to share a fun weekend with your husband. Blessings.

    18. Option 2 is my favorite! I liked it instantly, no hemming or hawing. But I also think any of the rugs would look great with the other pieces in that option. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    19. Decisions,decisions…. Personally,Emily,I love #1. I feel if the mood or seasons motivated you to make some changes,these foundations provide a nice spring board to created something new.

    20. I love the direction, I think the black door is a great anchor. I think I’d prefer the combo of:
      rug 4
      hook 2
      light 3
      art 2 or 3

      Looking forward to the “reveal”
      (cute story btw – funny how things work out…)

    21. Just so you know, these rugs do not hold up well in entryways. They tend to not want to stay on top on the rug mat and when washed, fade fast. I had a beautiful one in our entryway from them, but after I washed it, it wasn’t useable again. My son has one in his room that’s great, but it’s on top of carpet so it stays in place.

    22. I personally liked a fully matching choice of all the number 3 options. As a
      choice from your designs then I would again choose option 3!!
      Your friend Rea has a beautiful family and I thank you both for giving us the
      link to Rea’s site. Regards to you all.

    23. I love #3! The yellow light, and stripey hooks with the peacock…so cute! I’m not sure I would be brave enough to choose such a light colored rug for the entry, but it’s cute, and perhaps it’s washable.

      When I moved to Seattle, from Southern California, I noticed everyone took their shoes off when entering a home. Is that how it works for you and your friends? I liked it because in the Northwest most of the time shoes were wet with dirt and leaves, and it saved me some work, besides I think it creates a homey and comfy atmosphere. Now that we’re living in Phoenix, I notice that shoes stay on (like in So. Cal.). This is seriously a bunch of random rambling, but random things are interesting? What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, rugs :)

      1. ha! Yes, most of us do take our shoes off in our houses. I guess mud/wet/leaves/etc make it messy to walk around with shoes on, so it saves our floors just to take them off!

    24. Interesting space, I would go with rug 3, hooks 1, light 4 and artwork 3. Love the black patterned rug . As it is a small space I would probably keep the back of the door white to give,the light, hence the black patterned rug.

    25. I’m in the minority for sure, but I like #2. I’m not a fan of a light rug, even if trying to brighten up the space, because they always seem to be dirty (or maybe that’s just MY house). The rug in #2 isn’t dark either, but patterned enough to mask the dirty marks. Also, I would be tempted to give my kids some paint and have them make the artwork for the entryway. You could pick the colors they’d have to work with to get the look you wanted. Maybe the oldest son could do a large one as pictured and the younger ones could do smaller ones for an adjoining wall.

        1. Thanks for replying Emily. I think so too. It would be much more personal and I’m sure the kids would take great pride in their contribution.

    26. I like #3 but with rug #3. i love fun colors and creative unexpected light fixtures and decorations but i’m also very practical. the chevron rug with 5 small kids will be dirty oh so quickly. they will also love putting their siblings in that crate on wheels…wheeeeeeeee all the way around the house on those beautiful hardwood floors LOL! Again…my practical multipurpose side ~ get a really fun bench with a lid ~ it will keep all the stuff inside devoid of dust and serve as a place to sit to throw on shoes, drop a purse, backpack whatever. if casters are a must, could be added to a bench. i got a great inexpensive unfinished low back bench from ikea 18 years ago and color block painted except the lid which I painted in high gloss black paint and splattered it with the color blocked “colors”. It’s lots of fun and the bench still looks and works great with my teenagers.It’s a super great place to stash clutter when unexpected guests pull down the driveway :)

    27. No 1 just the way it is.

      If Rae went for a more formal look for the front door entryway, I could see the either of the open framework fixtures (#1 or #3) there. I’d probably choose #3 – the steel grey light. The gold fixture (#1) would look a little too closely matched to the gold hooks for me and most fans of this blog, I’d guess.

    28. #1 hooks, #2 light and rug, #3 art. I guess I need to be difficult. Fun question. Not everyone agrees but everyone has an opinion. ;)

    29. #3 gets my vote – I love the peacock art and those funky hooks. BUT, I have another idea to share… since she has 5 kids (ok, 4 & 1/4), what about having each of them paint an abstract colorful piece of art in a coordinating color scheme?

    30. Love the color in #3! Art print & rug go nicely together. The hooks and light fixture add an element of fun. Thanks for the inspiration!

    31. Cheryl Holsonbake (@cherylreads)

      #1 definitely. But no matter the choice, I think I’d whitewash then distress the bin so the white carried through a bit to it.

    32. Option 1. Especially diggin’ the artwork & how it ties in with the hooks & simplicity of the cart – which I would likely paint white on the outside. I am not in love with the light fixture, though I think white is spot on. Any chance light fixture option #4 is available in white? I’m sure whatever you come up with will be fully inspiring! Keep up the great work & thanks for sharing. :)

    33. Yellow hooks, White light, Peacock picture, Rug #4 & maybe a bright yellow door? the white fixture makes me think of a boat dock? Love it!

    34. Oh man, Option #3 is calling my name. I just about stuck my nose on the screen to see that peacock art better the second I saw it, and I’m majorly jonesing to get that same World Market pendant (and give it a coat of seafoam spray paint) for Theo’s (my brand spankin’ new baby boy) nursery redo.

      Plus, I think the pops of color with the funky stripey hooks fit best with the aesthetic of the rest of her house (from what I’ve seen).

      But that’s just my two cents.

    35. I am not trying to sound harsh but I am not so sure that a black door would brighten the space. Is a new door with some glass inlays to let in more natural light in the budget? I love the accessory ideas but I am not sure about the door painted black with the dark floors. This is just my opinion and I am not in any way an interior designer. Just wanted to add a comment. Thanks. Can’t wait to see what the majority vote is.

    36. Number 2! Everything goes really well together. Not any one “item” in this entry way, out shines another. Number 2 is creates a welcoming affect and provides just enough pop of color.

    37. Before I even knew you were gonna do the photoshop options, I had the Aqua chevron rug on the floor and the b/w stripe hooks on the wall so I gotta say #3…so Jonathan Adler!!!!

    38. It’s all cute but with 5 kids and visitors I’d go with the black and white rug for sure (even if there’s a garage entrance…dirt just has a way of finding it’s way around! I also love light #1 and the peacock…I feel some idea “stealing” coming on ;-)

    39. Such fun! From the options provided, I’d love to see this combo: Rug 3, hook 1, lighting fixture 1, artwork #1, with a high gloss yellow or black painted door (depending on the colors used in the rest of the house!)

    40. I love #1. I really like the yellow hooks.(my favorite color) An eye catcher for sure with artwork. It stands out against the gray walls. I really like the rug as well

    41. If it were my entry…..I would go with #3…>I love the painting and the hooks…the rug is perfect as well! Can’t wait to see the finished space!

    42. i like elements from each! my favorite combo, isn’t on here, though, because i loooove light #4! i’d pick rug #2, hook #3, light #4, and art #2!

    43. Love them all, but I think I like the top one the best and I’d switch out the second rug (the blue one). I like color. Painting the inside of the door black is perfect.

      1. This is exactly what I was going to say! I am SO loving that marine blue lately (have a big smooshy blue and white rug in my living room, and it literally makes me happy every time I see it). Lots of orange with mine, but yellow is just as awesome!

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