The Entry Gets a Makeover!

August 14, 2014

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The entry has been on my radar for awhile, but when August hit, I knew it was time to seriously start thinking about it. Jacket weather here is just around the corner and we’ll be working on the mudroom throughout the winter, so we needed to get something in place here. I went back and forth on what to do with our front entry. Something functional? Maybe just art since it is the first thing you see when you walk in our home? After a constant battle with a stack of shoes, I went the functional route and I don’t regret it one bit. Here’s where we started when we first moved into the home about 11 months ago.


Over the last several months, we’ve painted and upgraded the floors but the entry remained pretty much like this afterward. Very minimal, which isn’t really us. We gravitate toward casual, comfortable and modern traditional.


Which is how we landed on this design for the entry.


(I realize this would look so much more polished with baseboards, but we’re working on it!) I ordered this runner first. One purchase is all it takes for me to revamp a whole space. I got it through RugUSA’s 80% off sale recently and it only cost me about $40.


Funny enough, it is the same jute rug that we had in our living room, except bleached. The lighter color goes a lot better with our floors. We knew we loved the texture underfoot and the lighter tonal color does not disappoint. After I ordered the runner, project entry was in full effect. These walls here have some odd angles. Not your simple squared off rooms. So, I thought I’d make the entry wall stand out by painting 3/4 of it–which, in my mind would be the area under a few chunky hooks. I ended up painting this little wall 4 times! Saturday morning I thought I finally got it right (Chris insists they were all “right” I just wasn’t satisfied–which, true) but then when the evening sun hit it, it turned purpleish on me. My fourth coat, I said a prayer and pried open a can of Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray and I was, finally, satisfied. In love really.


It’s a very warm gray, which we needed on this wall. Two days after purchasing the runner, I engulfed myself in some online retail therapy and found the most gorgeous hooks on Pottery Barn‘s site. I wouldn’t normally spend $100 on 4 hooks, but I knew these were going in our front entry and they needed to be special.


Ohhhh, they are worth every penny. They are large and heavy and in the brass finish–so chic. I do think they really made this entry for me. We mounted them on a piece of wood I painted white which makes for a nice barrier between the Chelsea Gray and all-over wall color (Richland by Clark+Kensington). I opted for four hooks to leave a lot of room in between each. We hope to maximize storage in the mudroom, but for the front entry the goal is function and form. Four hooks spaced farther apart will eliminate over-cluttering on its own. Hopefully.

And speaking of clutter! I knew I needed a shoe corral here, too. I found these great canvas baskets with leather handles at TJMaxx and loved the look of them and they were the perfect size to throw shoes in! I plucked three off the shelves for Chris, myself and Greta (Faye can share with her for a few years) so we can easily sit on the bench to remove our shoes and put them in the respective baskets–even carry them easily to our room when it is time.




As for the bench, Chris and I designed and made it together. It’s slim to maximize walking space and minimal to allow other things to shine. I’ll give you a step-by-step of that soon! The last thing I did was hang the mirror (from Ikea) that used to hang vertically on the main entry wall, horizontally on the back wall.


That wall has always been kind of dark and the mirror takes up a good portion of it, bouncing lots of light around. And, really, what’s an entry without a mirror?!  This was a quick and fun project and relatively cheap. In the midst of a lot of larger ones, this was just what we (and the house) needed.

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What do you think?

  1. Jackie says:

    I like the direction you’re going with this – but something looks off to me. The seat of the bench isn’t deep enough for the size of the baskets you have underneath. I don’t think the steel legs are the best choice either – it clashes with the hooks (which are so beautiful- you have such pretty taste). I think a wood or white surround (a cube for each basket if you will) would make this look better. It would also mean that you don’t have to always rely on those specific baskets forever (you could use the cubby itself down the road or during a wet season).


  2. Jessica says:

    I love the hooks. But I’m afraid the rug is way too narrow. Also, I’m puzzled by the bench. Is it affixed to the wall? It looks very precarious, with one set of spindly legs. I’d be afraid to sit on it! I think it’s a bit too narrow, too, since the baskets don’t fit all the way under it. All in all, it’s a cute space.

    • Julia says:

      Jessica, thank you! The bench is very sturdy. It is made up of solid redwood and steel legs. The back is screwed into another board that is screwed into studs. It’s not going to snap, not a chance, but we have gotten mixed reviews on it and it is definitely making us take another look at it. Thanks for your input!

  3. I think you did a wonderful job updating the entry! Looks great, and is still functional.

  4. Alana says:

    LOVE IT! I would love to know how you made the bench, and how wide it is… You may have helped me solve my entry problem!

  5. Judith says:

    I very much like the wall makeover and can see why you splurged on the hooks, they are gorgeous! And keeping on with testing wall colours was very much worth it, too. That’s the kind of thing that keeps bothering you and then you end up painting over everything after a couple of months anyway.

    The only thing that’s bothering me is the mirror in the background. The placement feels random, and too low. Since you’re both tall people, can you even see yourselves in it properly? I realize you had to avoid the white box (the door bell?), and hanging it next to it would’ve pushed the mirror too far right. But at least from the photo, it looks not quite right (maybe it’S different if you’re standing in the space, photos don’t tell the whole story after all).

    If the box really is the door bell, I’d consider moving it a bit to the left. They usually only have a few cables coming out of the back, it shouldn’t be too difficult to change its placement a bit and either move the cables behind the drywall/extend the connection from where it comes out of the wall now. Then you could hang the mirror in the same place as now (maybe a bit to the right), but upright and its top aligned with the door frame, with the box exactly between them. I think it could look a lot more deliberate and in proportion. Maybe something to consider unless it is way more of a hassle than it looks like from behind a computer screen – always a possibility :)

    • Julia says:

      Thanks for the idea, Judith! That is a doorbell and we’d love to move it and possible get a smaller box as well. There’s also a switch currently behind the mirror (you can see it in the first two photos) that we also need to move in the next couple months. The switch is for the night lights in our staircase and there’s another switch elsewhere, so it isn’t urgent, but would be nice. In real life, the mirror is the perfect height. We are both tall and can see a large portion of our bodies, including all of our heads. Haha. Even Greta can see her face, which is nice. But I agree it looks a little unintentional with the doorbell there. All in due time.

  6. Victoria says:

    This looks nice. My entry has one big bucket basket in it. I also got it at TJ Maxx. It catches mail, umbrellas, shoes…

  7. Chic! Yeah, the splurge on the hooks was totally worth it and you can take them with you if you ever move again. I just got fabric baskets for shoes (also a light color) and I noticed that the top is starting to get dirty from the shoes going in and out. You might wanna think about Scotch guarding the tops before they get dingy—just a suggestion!

  8. Meagan Briggs says:

    I love this so much! So smart. I am going to start looking for a bench because this would be perfect for our entry way.

  9. Ginet says:

    Aww man! Now I want those expensive hooks too!

  10. Robin says:

    Great great great job!

  11. Jeanna says:

    Love the hooks! Won’t you be glad when those baseboards are done? :)

    • Julia says:

      Yes. Yes. YES! Such a large and expensive job!

      • Cindy says:

        We too are in the midst of a baseboard replacement project (which seems to grow as we work, what’s up with that?), and I completely agree. And is there anything less fun to spend money on? I can’t think of a thing.

  12. Susan says:

    Love this, the hooks are so elegant. Hope we get a PB here in England soon! Great to have the bench for putting shoes on, I have not solved that one yet so am still sitting down on the stairs.
    The rug type is is just right for the space but I agree it’s too narrow. Just had that issue myself and am on the third rug trial for my hall. Hauled a 3m by 2m rug back to Ikea, sent the John Lewis one back by courier, and thank goodness I think the Designers’ Guild one – in a smaller size- is the keeper. I finally worked out that I had the scale wrong as well as boring designs.

  13. AlisonG says:

    It’s nice to know that even an artists has trouble with paint colors. Function should always win, helps keep the house cleaner. Besides it looks like it was meant to be! Pardon me for saying so but that rug looks too narrow. It turned out great, especially the way you used a color under the hooks.

  14. Megan R says:

    Those hooks are killer! Love the whole space!

  15. This seems like such a simple but really functional entryway makeover! We too are having a shoes-all-over-the-place issue in our entryway. I like your idea of open baskets – it seems like it would be easy to get shoes in and out and keep everything organized.

  16. Adrienne says:

    I love the idea of baskets with handles!! It’s always a scene when I attempt to carry multiple pairs of shoes up the stairs of our split level home.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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