MAKING YOUR ENTRY WELCOMING + FUNCTIONAL

I am currently working on updating our foyer/entry (check out phase one here), so I thought I’d use today’s post to give some ideas on how to make your entry more welcoming and functional.

An entryway in a home is unique in that it is the first space guests usually see. Therefore, they often make their first impression of your home when entering this space. Your entry should reflect you and feel warm and inviting; it should be a space that makes visitors want to come on in and explore more of your home.

An entry is also the last space we exit when leaving our home to go somewhere and the first place we enter when returning home. Therefore, it needs to be a very functional and organized room. This is the place we gather the last few items needed before we leave—like an umbrella or the dog’s leash. And it is the first place we drop things when we return home—like our keys or shoes.

It doesn’t matter how grand or how cramped your entry is, these are some easy things you can do to make it more welcoming and functional.

CREATE A FOCAL POINT

Find a unique item and display it in a prominent place in your entry. For instance, it could be a bold wall painting, an antique table, a gorgeous light fixture or a handmade rug. It doesn’t have to be large or expensive to be interesting. When entering your home it’s nice to have something that immediately draws your eye and leaves a positive impression.

Below are some interesting ways to create a focal point…

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A simple and small entryway becomes anything but boring due to this bold painting that creates a major focal point.

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Upon entering this foyer your eye is drawn to the graphic wallpaper which adds pattern and interest.

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A grand staircase like this is sure to leave an impression once you step foot in this home.

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These vintage theater seats will surely grab your attention when you enter this home… And they are very functional too!

STORAGE IS IMPORTANT

Think about everything you like to store in your entryway, then look for decorative storage options that are not only functional but also attractive. Choose storage that is easy to access and just the right amount for the items you use. Focus on furniture with drawers or baskets so everything is neatly tucked away from plain sight. If floor space is limited, look for wall shelves or hooks.

A place to sit may be important too. If you can’t fit a large bench in the room then opt for a small stool you can slide under a console table when you aren’t using it.

Here are some of my favorite stylish entryway storage pieces…

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The family’s shoes stay organized and hidden by these crates which also add character to the room.

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You can easily grab your accessories from this coat rail on your way out the door.

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This bench is not only functional for sitting, but it also holds a basket for storage and a few decorative pieces. It’s a great multi-functional piece of furniture for a small space.

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A large console table like this provides plenty of hidden and open storage.

CELEBRATING A BLOGIVERSARY!

This month I am celebrating the third anniversary of this blog! I must admit I haven’t accomplished all that I’d hoped to at this point, but I’m chugging along doing the best I can. Thanks to everyone who has read my posts, tried my tutorials and contributed comments!! I appreciate it!!

I decided to use this opportunity to share the most popular posts from my blog over the post three years. So sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy perusing the site! (Click on each photo below to learn more.)

THE 10 MOST POPULAR POSTS FROM STUDIO 36

WEST ELM INSPIRED DIY DINING ROOM TABLE

DIY CUSTOM BATHROOM VANITY TUTORIAL

MY NEW DINING ROOM REVEAL

MANTEL STYLING TIPS

MY POPULAR IKEA HACK BUILT-IN

NEW PROJECT #2: A POSH GIRL’S BEDROOM

Happy New Year!

I had mentioned a little while ago that my kids’ bathroom reno was not the only project I was going to be working on. Shortly after posting that, we had dear friends of ours who now live on the other side of the world ask if they could stay with us for a little while during the holidays. I, of course, said yes and was looking forward to seeing them, but realized that the bathroom we had just started renovating is the bathroom that they would normally use as overnight guests at our house. Ugh!!! I felt a time crunch to hurry up and get that bathroom finished before their arrival so I put my other project on hold so I could go full force on the bathroom reno.

Well, the holidays are now over and we had a wonderful time with our friends! But sadly the bathroom reno was not completely finished when they came 🙁 . I made a lot of progress but still didn’t have any functional sinks in there. Yikes! Fortunately, they are gracious people and were okay with it… And fortunately we have two other fully functional bathrooms in the house.

I am now close to finishing up the kids’ bathroom, but I’ve also gone back to doing some work on my second project so I’ll give you a look at that today.

My daughter, who recently started middle school, has spent the last year and a half asking me if I could give her bedroom a makeover. She’s watched me redo other rooms in our home and enjoyed the final results, so she thought it’d be fun if I gave her own bedroom a new look—a more mature look now that she’s so old.

Here is her current room:

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I decorated her current bedroom when she outgrew her crib ten years ago. I’ll never forget the experience! My kids spent a week with their grandparents out of state, and I spent nearly every hour they were gone transforming my daughter’s room into a new “big girl” room so that it would be completely finished when she returned.

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I created my own stencil for these daisies on the wall which go all around her room. With my OCD I had to get each one perfect, so I ended up touching up every line by hand which took about three straight days of work! But it was all worth it in the end because my daughter came home so excited to see her new “big girl” room!

Now that she’s getting close to the teen years, she feels like this is a “little girl” room and she wants something cooler. I was happy to oblige! I have to admit I was excited about the idea of redoing her room for her. It’s fun having my daughter as my client and getting to create the perfect bedroom for my favorite girl in the world!

My inspiration for the design of her room came from old New York City apartments and brownstones. So many of the old New York buildings are filled with so much character and detail. They tend to have a traditional look influenced by various European styles. Just take a look at what I’m talking about…

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DON’T FORGET THIS IN YOUR NEXT MAKEOVER…

When giving a room a new look, most people regularly add some paint to the walls, replace the floor and update the furniture and decor. But there’s one area a lot of people forget to consider: THE CEILING! The ceiling offers a great opportunity to complete the look of your room or to create something unexpected. Ceiling treatments have also been quite trendy for awhile, so now’s the time to jump in and try it!

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As I mentioned in my last post, I am giving my kids’ bathroom a major renovation. After giving the walls a much needed coat of fresh white paint, I turned my attention to the ceiling. As you can see it’s boring and basic. I wanted to give it some style without spending too much time or money. I decided to start by adding some color so I painted it a medium gray (BM Coventry Gray).

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That alone was enough to create an immediate improvement, but I wasn’t done yet! I then added some trim to the ceiling. I wanted something more interesting than basic crown molding…

I started by installing 1×6 pine boards flat against the ceiling.

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Then I added 4.25” baseboards on top of them to create a layered affect.

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I finished off the edges with a simple 1×2” pine board running along the top of the wall.

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I caulked everything and coated it with white semigloss paint, and here’s the final look:

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I used a nail gun to install everything, and this was honestly a very easy project. All totaled, it only cost me about $135 (for paint and molding) too. For that price, I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck!

My bathroom ceiling design is just one way to address a ceiling, there are many other more creative ways to give your ceiling new life. Here’s a roundup of some ideas (with pretty inspiration photos of course)…