As we are beginning to meet people in our new town, we’re finding that when they drop by, we end up chatting in the entry.
The problem is, the entry is not the best representation of our style and what we’re doing in the rest of the house.
Here is the entry on the day we moved in (taken from the now moody living room):
The ultimate vision for the entry is to update the front door (with something like this to let in more light), add medium-toned hardwood throughout the entire main floor to keep the floors consistent, simplify the banister, remove the carpet from the stairs and replace with wood, add bulkier white trim to the baseboards and around the doors.
Before Christmas, we did make a couple of updates: switching out the light fixtures for these simple drum shade flush mounts and painting the walls and ceiling the same white as in the kitchen (shoji white by Sherwin Williams).
This definitely helped clean up the area, but it is still so far from what our vision is!
I would say that has been an interesting challenge so far in this house. We have a clear idea of what each room will end up like, but the process is slow, budget must be considered and there is an order that makes most sense.
For instance, replacing the carpet on the second and third floors takes precedence over adding hardwoods downstairs. Before we do hardwoods on the main floor, we want to take out the wall between the kitchen and dining room. And while we are taking out that wall, it will require moving appliances, so we want to be prepared to redo the whole kitchen at that point. It’s like the ultimate “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” moment.
We are trying to be realistic and find the balance between giving ourselves time to really live here and jumping ahead with our vision. And to top it all off, every square inch of this house has me so inspired to make changes that it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. I have this sense of urgency to make updates when really, there is no rush. I keep reminding myself to take it slow, keep it fun, share the process.
So what we’re ending up with is a series of stages of updating. Phase One: make short-term changes that freshen up the space for little investment. Phase Two: make long-term choices that take longer, cost more, but ultimately give us the result we’re after. Phase One might feel like a waste since it will all be changed out eventually, but these changes help us enjoy living and entertaining in the house today and that feels worth it. (The kitchen mini makeover is a perfect example).
The entry is another place for us to make our Phase One changes.
After we updated the kitchen and painted out all of the orange-toned oak trim, cabinets and doors, the doors and trim connecting the kitchen to the entry really stood out.
This is a view I look at a million times per day and so it was time to pull out the paintbrush and make a change.
Using the same method as before, I spent this past weekend painting and am so happy with the in-the-meantime results.
We used the same color as in the kitchen – Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams – in a semi-gloss finish. After a light sanding and cleaning, I simply painted on two coats of latex paint (the Behr highest quality, Marquee).
What a big difference!
The dark doors look modern and clean and even with the change in flooring material, it feels less busy.
Here’s another view from the entry:
The french doors leading into the still-untouched office are so handsome in the new dark paint!
And the stairs.
There is much to be desired with this entry staircase. We would love to have it feel more grand and open, but we’re a bit limited with how the floorplan is laid out. So the basic layout will remain.
While it looks like the carpet runner is just put down over the wood stairs and therefore would be easy to remove and paint the treads, this is not the case. The wood only runs along the edges. So for now, the carpet must stay. When we put in new wood floors, we will run them all the way up the stairs for a consistent look. At that time, we will also remove the rounded end cap and put in a simple straight-lined banister (something like this).
In the meantime, however, these stairs needed an update.
I wasn’t sure exactly where and how much to paint, so I started by just doing the side trim and banister/rails.
It ended up looking very choppy and drew more attention to the orange tone in the wood and the odd placement of the carpet runner – not things we were wanting to highlight.
So out came the can of paint and I went over all of it with the charcoal color.
So much better. Still not the perfect solution, but it does simplify the space.
When we moved in, we put that black dresser in the entry and I threw a few things out in an attempt to have it look decorated.
A favorite print found in a local boutique (sorry, I don’t know a source!), a vintage brass tray, cement light (from Target a few years ago), pleated wreath (here’s the tutorial) and a vase made in art class by our oldest son (a new cherished possession).
The black dresser feels pretty dark and bulky in this spot and will find a new place to be shortly. It is one of my favorite pieces we own, but it isn’t quite right for the entry. I’m thinking now with the dark paint, we need something lighter and brighter in the entry. I’ll keep you posted …
Right inside the door we have a bench, basket for shoes and tall mirror (such a steal at $49 from IKEA). I’d love to see a bigger rug in here – something durable with maybe a touch of color. I’m on the hunt.
Opposite the bench is a row of my favorite hooks (from here) for guests to hang coats and bags when they visit.
Phase One in the entry is complete. Phase One part two will be some changes in the furniture and styling and we’ll get to the bigger Phase Two changes later this year. Overall, these simple fixes do a lot to freshen up the space and make it feel more like us.
Now when guests drop by, the entry feels a little bit more like us.