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.

BRINGING BEAUTY + ORGANIZATION TO YOUR CLOSETS

As I mentioned a while ago, I’ve been slowly removing all of the old wire shelving in every closet in our home and replacing it with custom wood/mdf shelving. With a total of eleven closets in our home, it’s taking me awhile. I just finished our guest bedroom closet and my daughter’s bedroom closet. (My daughter’s closet overhaul was the first step in giving her room a makeover.) Now I only have one closet left to do and I’ll finally be done!

Here are the two closets I recently finished, they are nothing fancy but better than the cheap wire junk that was there:

my guest bedroom closet

my daughter’s bedroom closet

Here’s a photo from my walk in closet that I redid a while ago:

All of my closet overhauls have inspired me to share some tips on organizing and beautifying closets! If you feel like your closets need a new look and a little order, you could hire a closet makeover company, but that will cost you a lot of money. You could also gut your closets and install a completely new storage system on your own like I did, but that will cost you a lot of time. (If you do want to install custom closet shelving like I did, the process is really quite simple it just can be a little time-consuming. If anyone has any questions about the shelving I installed, leave a comment below and I’ll reply.) If you’re limited on money and time, you can still give your closet a brand new look for an affordable price all in a weekend. Just read on!

It really comes down to two steps. First, purge and group the items in your closet. Second, find some ways to bring some pretty. It’s that simple.

So I LOVE organizing and beautifying any space but in case you’re not a big fan, I’m going to start by giving you some inspirational photos of gorgeous well-organized closets…

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Has that gotten you motivated to bring some beauty and organization to your closets? Okay, you may not be able to transform your closet into some of those in one weekend, but you can certainly bring some noticeable improvement!

Time to get started…

TIPS + ADVICE FOR DECORATING A TEEN/TWEEN BEDROOM

As I mentioned a little while ago, I am giving my tween daughter’s bedroom a makeover. My apologies for how slow this project is coming! The delay has been a result of a combination of many TOTALLY unexpected things, including dealing with a fire in our home (yes, we had a fire in our garage and thank the Lord no one was hurt but it’s taking forever to get cleaned up!), our hot water heater bursting in the attic and damaging our ceiling, prepping for my son to go on a mission trip to Haiti this summer, me getting distracted by other design projects, my son accidentally destroying a DIY project I was about to photograph and post about last month, and last but not least, not being able to find the right used furniture piece to start my first project for her bedroom (all the equipment I needed to make this project was in the garage and it’s ruined now so I wouldn’t be able to do this project for awhile anyway so I guess it’s kind of a moot point). Throw in my kids’ activity schedules and the regular responsibilities of life, and it’s been an exciting past couple months! Okay, it’s been a FRUSTRATING past couple months, but c’est la vie! As soon as I can get the items in my garage replaced, I’ll be back in business and hope to share some progress on her room with you!

In the meantime, I’m going to share some tips for redecorating your teen/tween’s bedroom.

Maybe you’ve been considering giving your teen/tween age child a bedroom makeover for a while, or maybe your child has been nagging you for a cooler room for over a year now and you can no longer come up with an excuse to put it off (I’m slowly raising my hand for the latter option here). Either way, you’re not super excited about the prospect. After all, it’ll take lots of time, some money, and even worse you and your teen will have to make lots of decisions together and you’re not sure it’s even possible that you can actually agree on something… anything! I am the mom of a 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter so I get it! Parenting teens and tweens is a challenging task in general, and the idea of decorating your teen/tween’s bedroom successfully can feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to! Here’s some advice to help you navigate this process with ease…

come up with a plan

Your current plan for your teen’s new bedroom may simply be to spend a day shopping together and let them pick out whatever they want. But this is not the best way to end up with a room that you and your child both like. Instead, I recommend coming up with a plan before you hit the mall. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or involve learning how to draw a floor plan in AutoCAD, just a little brainstorming and a few thoughtful ideas is enough to help you create a room that works for your child.

I suggest starting by sitting with your teen in his/her bedroom. Have a quick conversation about what’s working and what’s not working for them in the room. What’s important to them? What items do they feel they’ve outgrown? What items do they never use? What areas of the room feel overcrowded? Is there too much furniture and storage or not enough? I suggest having a pad of paper handy and jotting down your child’s answers so you can remember them.

Discuss how your child will be using the room. Will they do their homework in there? Practice music or sports in there? Do their hair or makeup in there? Regularly host friends in there?

It’s important to design a room around its functional needs. If they’re doing homework, they’ll need a desk and chair. Hosting lots of friends? They’ll need lots of seating options. Practicing an instrument every day? They’ll need a designated space for a chair and music stand. You get the idea. Write down things they’ll need in order to accomplish their desired tasks in the room.

Now that you’ve finished brainstorming what’s needed, you can focus on coming up with a room theme and/or color scheme. Browse Pinterest or online stores like Pottery Barn Teen for some great ideas and color options.

If you have the time and want to take it a step further, go visit places of inspiration for your teen’s room. For instance, years ago when I redid my son’s bedroom, we visited a sports museum. Since he loved sports and wanted that to be a part of his room, I took notice of the displays, colors, and decor in order to help bring that same vibe back to his bedroom. Does your daughter love horses? Go visit a local horse farm then take note of the colors, textures, and items around the farm. Try to incorporate those types of things in her room.

Once you know what you need and have a general idea of what styles and colors your teen/tween likes, it’s time to let the shopping begin!

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This teen girl’s room covers lots of current design trends including pastel colors, lots of texture, and hanging furniture.

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This teen boy’s bedroom includes storage space for all of his hobbies and interests

let them express themselves

Remember this is your teen/tween’s room, not your room. Since you are in charge and are likely paying for this makeover then you get a final say in what goes in the room, but it’s important to give your child as much freedom as possible to express themselves in the one place that’s really all theirs: their bedroom. In case you haven’t noticed, teens love to express themselves any way they can and here is a safe environment for them to do it. So if your son wants the theme of his room to be some trendy rock band you find weird then let him do it, just keep it in moderation (see tip “don’t overdo a theme” below). If your daughter wants a hot pink zebra stripe theme that you find annoying, let her do it… again, just have her keep it in moderation. Your teen likely needs to feel some ownership to what happens in the room, so let them make as many decisions as they can while you give them some general guidance and boundaries.

It’s also important to personalize the space to your child. You’ll want to include things that are important to them like a place to display photos of their friends or room to store all their art supplies. Create an area to display their collections, hobbies, or trophies. My daughter was big on having her initial somewhere in her bedroom. All of these things put your teen’s personal stamp on the room and define it as theirs.

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I love the way the teen’s trophies are neatly and prominently displayed in this bedroom.

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This teen girl’s bedroom has lots of seating options which is great for hosting friends,
and the gallery wall puts a personal stamp on the room.

5 QUICK BEDROOM REFRESH IDEAS

Wishing you could give your bedroom a whole new look? Well, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to make a difference. As little as a hundred dollars and a couple hours can make an impact.

Here are some ideas! Just choosing one from this list can go a long way in changing the overall look and feel of your room…

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01. CHANGE THE BEDDING

If you want to give your bedroom a refresh while only addressing one area, it might as well be your bed. After all, you probably spend most of your time in the room using your bed. Treat yourself to some luxurious new sheets, a comforter and fun throw pillows to give your bed a whole new look. There’s nothing more satisfying than falling into a bed covered with fresh new bedding after the end of a long day.

Use your bedding to introduce new colors, patterns and textures to your bedroom and it will likely end up feeling like a brand new space. There are lots of fun and trendy bedding styles out now at very reasonable prices!

Some ideas…

Plum & Bow Soukay Delicate Comforter  |  Coastal Stripe Blue Pillow
Nate Berkus Sheet Set  |  Pia Medallion Quilt & Sham


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02. CREATE A SITTING AREA

You don’t have to have a lot a space in your bedroom to make this happen. If you can’t fit a large chair or a group of seating in your room, then try a small bench below a window or at the end of your bed. Even a small chair in the corner can create a nice retreat to relax and curl up with a good book. Whatever you choose, make sure you add beautiful pillows and/or a blanket to dress it up and make it more comfortable.

Adding a special sitting area can not only expand the use of your bedroom, but it can also make it feel more tranquil and luxurious.

Some ideas…

Boston Loft Lindley Storage X Bench  |  Campground Throw Blanket
Safavieh Marcella Bench  |  Poang Chair