Make an Entrance


One of my biggest challenges upon moving from an apartment to a house was being the proud owner of a legit entry.  In our apartment days, our door opened directly into the kitchen/dining combo hence the months it took me to figure out what the heck to do with this space.  It’s not the largest of entries but looked cavernous and frankly not very welcoming in all of its emptiness.

Here’s a shot of the entry when we initially viewed the house, before purchasing it.  The entertainment value of screaming our names like 8 year olds to hear it echo back quickly passed as we realized this only made our house seem emptier… and thus sadder.

Hm, so what’s a girl to do?  Go shopping of course.  I didn’t want to break the bank on filling the entry so I jumped to what seems to be my go-to furniture source lately: Craigslist.  I lucked out on my first try.  Someone was selling a rustic wooden table that they found at the Round Top antique festival for $75 which had a rich walnut color to it.  Nothing piques my interest more than the words rustic, antique, under $100, and, of course, Round Top.  Bingo.  (Never heard of Round Top?  Never fear.  We happened to create three different guides to conquering the festival which can be read in part one, two, and three.)

I immediately dragged Chris out the door and into the car while he muttered something about “you know, this won’t fit in our car, right.”  Psh, minor details.  We pulled up to the seller’s house and not only discovered this table was quite the gem but also found that we were the second party to view the table.  The first viewer was discouraged by the wobble in one of the legs and turned it down.  I immediately assumed it was something Chris could fix, agreed on a price drop to $60, and only then remembered Chris’ comment about the table not fitting in our car.  As we pondered solutions, the sellers graciously offered to deliver it for us.  Yes please!

So, I had a piece of furniture but now needed to figure out how to fill it.  I assembled the following group of accessories to complete the look:

  • Brushed nickel lamp with white shade from Christmas Tree Shops for around $15
  • Iron crown from eBay seller Arbed Floral for $15.95
  • Glass milk bottle from Christmas Tree Shops for a whopping $2
  • A small sunburst mirror from Michael’s for $20
  • Candles and silver candle stands from Michael’s for about $20
  • White silk peony flowers from Michael’s for $5
  • Silver decorative frames from Garden Ridge for $10 each
  • White books from Half Price Books for $0.25 to $1 each… which sort of killed the inner-reader in me to think that I was purchasing books I would likely never read but just use to decorate.  I justified the purchase to myself knowing that at least these books (from the clearance section at a half price book store) would end up in a good home, rather than just going recycled and the guilty feelings passed.
We lightened the walls from the darker tan color to a lighter tan.  The paint color is called Raffia Cream by Behr.
Now, the entry is warm and inviting and I couldn’t ask for anything more.  Oh wait, there is that old pot light that needs to be replaced with something more glamorous… but more on that later.  Some time may be needed to convince Chris to convert a candle-burning chandelier into an electric one…
There’s not much I have a real opinion on, and the entryway into our house is really no exception. There’s no “grand foyer” per se, so as far as I was concerned the functionality of the entryway had met all expectations… or so I thought. And apparently I was wrong. Again.
According to Julie, our entryway was “blah” and needed “something.”  I wasn’t sure what the specifics would be, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t going to like it.
We started simply enough by painting the walls to match the other hallways in the house, and hung up some of our wedding pictures on the wall (because we love looking at ourselves).  I assumed we were done, but Julie announced that we needed a table. I couldn’t think of a single use for a table next to the front door, so I foolishly asked “what for?”
“Oh, Chris,” she replied, “it’s an entryway. We need an entryway table, silly!”
This may have been the worst argument in history, but I’ve learned to pick my battles, and I decided to let this one go.  I put a cap on how much we could spend on an “entryway table” and Julie embarked on a Craigslist search.  She eventually found one close by, but I insisted it wouldn’t fit in the car. “Nevermind that!” she says, “it’s perfect!”  So away we go to look at what we would soon discover is the wiggliest table ever made.  The sellers claimed it was an antique but I’m convinced it was someone’s wood shop project.  Anyway, Julie committed to buy it and then decided to worry about whether or not it would fit in the car, but, fortunately, the sellers were planning to have dinner at a restaurant down the street from us and were kind enough to deliver it.  Thanks!
The next order of business was to add a little rigidity to something that appeared to be constructed from rubber.  I flipped it upside down and determined the critical points of instability.  Apparently, our wood shop student disliked fasteners, so I ran a few drywall screws in the backs and undersides of a few joints and bingo- stability.
What happened next was something I wasn’t prepared for- Julie announced that she wanted to decorate with books.  This didn’t strike me as too odd, nor did the fact that she specifically wanted white books.  What shocked me was that we went to a second hand bookstore and asked for “books by the yard”… and they had them!  I don’t read much, but I understood books to be something for reading, not decoration.  What’s even weirder is that I think my mom reads them when she visits.
A few more frivolous decor items and we were done, except for the square recessed light I swapped out for a hanging light to be revealed later.  It was a small and confusing task, but at least our guests can feel welcome now!
And now for the after pictures!



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