April 11, 2011

A Warm Welcome

The entryway: it meets us at the end of a hard day, completely willing to let us check our baggage, literally, at the door. At my house, we drop heavy backpacks, kick off muddy rainboots, pile up library books and mail, and toss our keys down before we bolt up the stairs or down. The entryway is the first impression when guests walk through the door; it's the last impression when we bid them farewell. It's a room that's easy to forget about, but it's a room nonetheless.

Our entryway was another one of those rooms that we treated with haste; we hung some pictures, moved in what we thought we wanted, and called it "good enough." Sure, it's been painted two or three times {what room hasn't been painted at least that many times in my house?}, but as far as real thought and attention to detail, it was seriously lacking. When we did the whole Project Paint the House, I wanted to give real thought to the entryway and turn it into a space that I loved to see when I walked through the door.

Before I tell you what we did, let me show you what the space used to look like.

Upon walking though the front door, a coat closet was the focal point. We painted the closet doors white along with the rest of the doors and trim long ago, making the room a bit brighter. Jackets, boots, hats, gloves, mittens and scarves were stored in the closet; with a full four seasons in Wisconsin, we need all kinds of outerwear! Our artwork consisted of two random prints and a favorite framed photograph of Dave and me. None of it "went" together; we simply put it on the walls and called it done. Once upon a time we had a small desk as a catch all place for keys, phones, mail, etc. and a lovely antique mirror that has been in my family for many years. And finally, we had inherited a small wooden hook rail behind the door for coats and bags. Long story short, it wasn't pretty.

In planning a makeover for the entryway, I knew that I wanted a pretty focal point to lay our eyes upon  when we walked through the front door. In order to accomplish that, Dave and I decided to take away our coat closet and make a little nook at the back of the entryway. We removed the closet doors, the large rod, and one of the large shelves that ran across the length of the closet. A bold move when dealing with all of that necessary Wisconsin outerwear? Not really. We simply installed the coat rod and shelf right outside the door leading into our garage. When we're getting ready to blow this joint, we simply open the door to the garage and grab whatever coats we need - easy peasy. The entryway instantly appeared more spacious, and we were eager to tackle more. We removed the small hook rail and the three mismatched pieces of artwork. The small desk moved into our master closet. We took down the mirror and set it aside for later. With the room cleared out, our next step was adding life to the space through new colors.

In keeping with the new color scheme for the rest of the house, we painted the entryway walls Berkshire Beige, and the inside of the closet got some depth with Berkshire Beige's darker companion, Texas Leather. The railings got a do-over through new black and white paint, adding a bit of pizazz to the space. We purchased two new hook rails and mounted them to the right side of the door leading to the garage, giving us plenty of hooks for backpacks, coats, and bags. The antique mirror was placed on the left side of the garage door, a just-right spot to check yourself out before hitting the road. We decided to paint the doors black {Dave would call it dark brown} to tie them in with the railings. Remember that free dresser courtesy of my friend Emeigh? I painted it black and tucked it into the closet space. It's the perfect home for hats and gloves and mittens and scarves. That favorite photo of Dave and me hangs above the dresser, as well as a collage of our other favorite prints. Ready to see the final product?

Alice enjoys the new space as much as we do.
And I couldn't get her to move while I was taking pictures.

A possible layout

The chief picture hanger hard at work

Less clutter; more function

No more random pictures on the wall. Space to breathe!

We like our entryway a whole lot more now. It was thoughtfully decorated with a plan and style that worked for us. We don't just kick off our shoes and run up the stairs anymore. We take a few extra seconds to say, "We're home."


  1. Susie, where did you find the hook hanger things...for the purse and jackets? I have big issues with the entry as that's wear school backpacks, jackets etc all find themselves on my floor....and the dog has a blast;/

    Love your blog!

  2. appears I can't spell either sorry

    Sheri mom2aii

  3. Hi Sheri! Thank you so much! Those hooks have come in so handy for all of our backpacks, jackets, and bags. I bought them at Target a couple months ago. I can't find them on Target's website, but I did see them in my local store just a week or two ago. Good luck!


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