Sep 26, 2010

Making an Entryway More Inviting

Looking back through the past few years as I've moved from apartment to apartment, I realized I've never bothered to decorate the entryways. I was always too busy focusing on the other rooms to notice how empty and neglected the entryways were. Since the entryway is the first thing a guest sees when they step inside, it adds a nice touch when you make it just as welcoming and inviting as the rest of your home.

Living in an apartment has its challenges. I would have loved to paint this entryway a fun color or tear out the linoleum floor for real hardwood and baseboards. If it were up to me I'd even add a new door in an old world style with paned glass windows. However, having restrictions isn't always a bad thing, it inspires one to be creative with what they have.

Above is our entryway. As you can see in the before photo, it was really bare. The lighting was what we referred to as "murder light," as in murder on your eyes. You know - the super bright, washes out your skin type that leaves you blinking when you walk in and looking like a pasty ghost with deep shadows under your eyes. Then there's the circuit box, not horrible (especially since it was painted to match the wall) but not wonderful either. The two neutral colored rugs were actually hiding a blue internet cable to keep us from tripping on it. Fancy huh?

Our lucky break came when I was visiting my parents one weekend. I was out in their woodshed (an old barn) when I discovered a rusty piece of steel buried under a bunch of old garden tools. Dad figured it was something used to hold batteries or other electrical components in a workshop. I figured it was the perfect table base. He had no use for it and fished it out for me (thanks again dad!)

Together, we looked around for some wood and came across some weathered pieces of cedar that seemed destined for this table. After a few cuts, they fit perfectly. I cleaned it up and brought it home and what do you know - another perfect fit!

Next up was the big blank wall. I wanted to cover up the circuit breaker but still have it be accessible should we need it. Enter: an old broken mirror.

After removing the mirror part, I made the graphic art using vine charcoal and drew right onto the cardboard backing. I'm actually not sure about keeping it so this might change sometime in the future. I "hid" the internet cable by painting it a taupe color and hot gluing it to the metal carpet tack strip (making sure to test it first so that it could easily be pulled off should we move).

To solve the light issue, I went to several places and bought lampshades to see which one would look the best. The one we all liked turned out to be too small and since they didn't have any in a larger size I returned them all and decided to make my own using the famous embroidery hoop and burlap DIY idea that's been floating around the blogosphere (I'll post a tutorial soon).

 Here's a look at the entryway now when you walk in the front door:

The mirror is great for checking hair and makeup before leaving, and the basket under the table will probably be used to hold mail as we come inside. I'm looking forward to switching out the accessories as the seasons change too.

I'm participating in Metamorphosis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch!


  1. Your new entry way is so sophisticated. When I saw the photo, I thought we would be reading about a shopping trip. Your finds are terrific. Your table is rustic and refined and perfect for everything you need when entering and leaving. Your lampshade is a work of art and I think your framed "artwork" is, too! Great Job!

  2. This is so pretty! I love the leaf print, new chandie and big score on finding that piece at your parent's house ... it's perfect for that spot! A beautiful and warm welcome, indeed! *Becca*

  3. Wow this looks so great!
    How clever and resourceful. Amazing idea to recycle the old mirror into artwork.

  4. Great job ! So welcoming and cozy - yet sophisticated. Perfect for a modern young woman !

    thanks for sharing,

  5. I've been looking for a way to conceal our breaker box in the laundry. It is a bit different shape but we too need to have easy access.
    A great idea and I am crazy for your light fixture. An excellent update.

  6. I find myself incredibly inspired by you, Monica! It's just that whenever I think about rearranging my own home, I find myself unable to let go of old furniture I've had for ages or... having enough energy and patience to remove every book from the bookshelf just to move it across the room. I dunno how you do it. You're amazing!

    And the entryway looks so good!!

  7. I want that leaf- any interest in doing a tutorial?


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