I have two new things to share today!!

First, I have given my website a new look!! I’d been wanting to do this for awhile and am grateful that I was finally able to squeeze some time out of my busy schedule to make the changes. I do all of the design and maintenance of my blog myself… which is crazy because I knew nothing about setting up or maintaining blogs when I started. I’m still learning so much each day!

I feel like this new website design better reflects my own personal style and is also more user-friendly. Check out my updated ‘About’ page and my new ‘Projects’, ‘Portfolio’ and ‘Design Advice’ sections for easy access to all of my DIY projects, makeovers and design tips. Hope you enjoy the new layout!

But the blog isn’t the only new thing I’m sharing with you today, I have also started a new makeover project! For this project I’ve divided all the changes I’ll be making into phases, and I’ll be sharing the reveal of each phase as I go. So today I’ll share phase one!

I am excited to finally be getting to alter one space in my home that has been bugging me for years—our foyer! I’ve had a plan to redo this area for a long time, but it kept getting bumped by more pressing projects and responsibilities. I’m so grateful to finally be able to tackle this outdated space!!

When you enter our home you come into our foyer or entry or whatever you want to call it…

this is the view from our front door

our dog says hello

This space opens to my home office…

And also opens into our dining room…

I have already given my home office and our dining room a makeover, and I’m happy with how both of those rooms turned out. However, sandwiched between these two newly updated rooms is my very outdated entryway! Right now when you walk between my dining room and my foyer it almost feels like you’re stepping into two completely different homes! So I’m very excited to finally bring some cohesion to this area of our house!

However, this makeover goes beyond just this area of our house. I’ll show you…

See the thing about the layout of our home is there’s a good amount of openness, which I LOVE but that means one area flows in to another. So I can’t just redo this foyer because this room connects to other spaces.

The two-story entryway includes a staircase that leads up to a catwalk/balcony…

Which overlooks our great room on the other side…

And then in the other direction this catwalk/balcony leads to our upstairs hallway…

Which opens to our loft-like bonus room. I already gave the bonus room a makeover too, so this is another area of our home that has a bad mix of a fresh updated space and a completely old outdated space…

And then we have a second staircase that leads down to the kitchen…

So as you can see, simply deciding to redo our foyer means also redoing other areas of our home. I am actually quite happy to redo the upstairs hall and back staircase because they need a fresh update anyway. So that space will be a part of my makeover. However, I am not ready to take on the major reno of either the kitchen or the great room at this time (even though they both badly need it!).

So that leaves me with a problem to solve. One wall in our foyer continues all the way to the back of the great room.

The foyer walls need to be repainted but I’m not ready to repaint the great room walls yet. What I want to do is repaint the foyer a new color but then stop the color so it doesn’t have to continue into the great room. I decided to solve this problem by adding some molding above the double doors upstairs in our balcony.

BTW these are the doors to our master bedroom

If I could create a pattern of molding from the top of the existing doors to the ceiling, then the foyer wall would now be separated from the great room wall. And the added bonus is putting some trim above the doors also adds a nice aesthetic feature!

So I measured the area above the doorway and drew out a couple options (actually it was 15 options!) for lintel designs over the door. I ended up choosing this one:

I made sure my design only used pieces that I could find at the local home improvement store for a reasonable price. So I bought my materials and got to work!

I started by adding a 1″x2″ on each side of the existing door casing (this was after removing the old baseboards)…

Then I added a 2″x2″ and a 1’x10″ above the door to create a lintel design…

I finished off the lintel with some crown molding on the top…

There are lots of options for lintel designs, but I chose to keep mine simple since I like a more minimal modern look. The reason I added the 1x2s to the side of the door casing was to bulk up the base of the door so it looked a little heavier which looked better proportionally with the added visual weight of the lintel above.

Since I was doing work on this door anyway, it was also time for me to address an issue that had been annoying me for awhile. Our dog likes to scratch at this door and over the years it has caused some very noticeable damage…

I was able to fill in and sand away all the scratches.

Then all I had to do was caulk and paint everything (including the doors) with some white semi-gloss paint.

Looking good! And the damage from the dog is all gone! Did you notice I also replaced the shorter baseboards we had up here with 5 1/4″ tall baseboards? I’m going to be installing these throughout this entire project (…and later through the whole house).

base of door detail

lintel detail

I think this improves the look of the door, but even more importantly, I’ll now have a place to stop the paint when I repaint the foyer.

This wasn’t the only doorway that needed my attention though. Let’s go back to my front door…

My front door is a pretty standard builder grade door with sidelights. While I chose to add the lintel molding above the double doors upstairs because it solved a problem for me, I decided to add the same lintel molding above the front door simply to make it more visually interesting. The added molding makes the whole door feel heavier. When you add molding to make an element feel heavier it emphasizes the element to make it feel more important and thus more noticeable.

I used the same process on this door to get it looking like this…

If you notice in the photos I also have some new trim pieces on each side of the door. That’s because this is another area that needed some work done to fix some damage. There were more scratches from the dog around the door…

Unfortunately, the damage here was worse than upstairs so I couldn’t fix it all by filling in the holes and sanding. The trim piece right next to the door had so much damage that it was best to just replace it. Since I replaced the trim on this side of the door, I had to replace the piece on the other side too so they would match, even though there was no damage to the piece on that side of the door.

I also never liked how the quarter round looked next to the bottom of the sidelight area of the doors.


So I removed the quarter round and it looked like this underneath…

Yuck! I ended up just buying a 1/4″x2″ piece of poplar that I cut to fit. It creates a nice clean finish to the bottom of each sidelight and now there is no longer a need for the quarter round there.

And there was one last area of this door that had been damaged: the door stop had punched a hole in the door…

I removed the old doorstop and used a plastic wood filler to fill in that hole.

So with all of the damage now fixed and with all the new trim installed, it was time to paint everything!

Looking better, but this door needed one more quick update…some new color!

FYI: This color is BM Wrought Iron.

This is such a simple update, but boy have I been waiting a long time to paint this door! Years ago I noticed the black door trend and wanted to try it on my front door, but once again, life just kept getting in the way of this project. I’m so excited about the dark color because I’m hoping it will hide the dirt/smudges that were so noticeable on the door when it was white.

My apologies that the paint job on the front door is very messy along the edges. I was purposefully not very careful when I primed the trim because I will soon be priming the walls too so it seemed silly to tape off the edges.

The damage from the dog is now completely erased:

And the bottom of the sidelights is looking much better:

I also replaced the worn old brass hinges on this door with some new black ones…



The materials for the molding cost me about $33 per door. For the front door, I also spent $15 on the door paint, $2 on the poplar for the sidelights, and $9 on the new hinges. Everything else I used I had on hand.

Not bad to go from this to this and only spend $59!

I have many more updates planned for this foyer, but for now that’s it. Look for my phase two reveal next!


  1. Avatar Rena

    Your work is very inspiring. I have a question about the rug in your hallway? Does it wear well? Hard to find one that is plush and holds up to traffic. Could you please let me know the manufacturer and name. Thanks

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Hi Rena,
      My rug is from the Safavieh Courtyard collection and it is an indoor/outdoor rug. It wears very well, plus it’s easy to clean. It is not very plush though. I suggest looking for indoor/outdoor rugs made from durable materials for high traffic areas. Hope that helps!

  2. Avatar Sara

    Is the black paint semi gloss?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Hi, yes it’s semi-gloss.

  3. Avatar Amy

    This is just beautiful! You are so talented. I am going to be doing this in my laundry room, it seems easy enough but adds a tone of charm.

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks! So glad it inspired you!

  4. Avatar Heather

    Would you mind sharing what crown moulding you used on the top piece of the lintels? Thanks so much!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      I can’t remember exactly what it was called, but I know we bought it at Lowes.

  5. Avatar Debbie

    These small updates look terrific!! Impressive!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks! It is surprising what a difference small changes can make!

  6. Avatar Val

    That is a great idea if you want to visually separate two areas. You might want to edit this sentence “So I measured the area above the doorway and drew out a couple options (actually it was 15 options!) for lentil designs over the door.” For a moment I was puzzled what these “lentil designs” are 🙂

    Looking forward for updates on your foyer.

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Lol, yeah spelling error. Thanks for letting me know!

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