When we were house hunting the front entrance was one of the things on my “must have” list that I was not willing to compromise. The front entrance is not only the first impression of a home but is a place you use every single day and that can easily put you in a good mood before leaving the house or annoy you before you’ve even left home.
This was the front entrance when we did our house tour, before we bought the house. I really wanted a few things: enough space to enter the house with a snowy child or groceries, a closet and a place to sit and put on/take off shoes. This entrance covered all of my “must haves” and immediately made the house a contender.
I have to admit that the front entrance was VERY low on my priority list in terms of decorating or making any real changes and yet it happens to be the one space that we have continued to pick at over the last two years to transform into what it is today.
Table of Contents
The front entrance makeover went in stages. We changed the light fixture and painted right away, but the rest was a process and as i mentioned we really just picked at it. I think it’s important to mention this because often we want to have a room entirely complete in the first month we own a new house. that is just not practical financially or to make sure you are really capturing your vision for the space and how it will be used by your family.
Lighting & Paint
We painted the entire house except for the bathrooms in the first weekend that we owned the house. The front entrance was of course included and actually has two colors of paint in it since it is open and shares walls with both the upstairs main area and the downstairs main area. It has a combination of “Whooping Crane” and “Grey Seal”, two colors from the Beauti-tone National Parks of Canada colour collection.
The second order of business was the light fixture. I really didn’t hate the light fixture that was there before we bought the house but I knew once we painted the walls it would stand out like a sore thumb. Luckily I was able to sell the old light fixtures on kijiji and make a little money to put toward the new ones.
I was sold on this new light fixture by Euro Home from the beginning. It was silver, it looked like an upside down wine glass and it would show off the Edison light bulbs beautifully. However, I didn’t think about cleaning it… It is not an easy light fixture to clean and there are moments of the day when I would just direct a guest’s attention elsewhere 😉
Front Door Lock
After owning the house for a few months the lock on the front door was starting to drive me bonkers. It was the kind of doos that you need to lock with a key from the OUTSIDE of the door. Now, picture doing this with a toddler in your arms, a work bag and a storm door getting taken by the wind… let’s just say that locking the door was putting me in a bad mood before I even got in the car to head out every morning.
The solution was simple – change the lock. There was nothing wrong with the handle so we kept everything the same but changed the deadbolt for a touchpad electronic deadbolt. This might have been the best $100 I have ever spent! It made locking the door dramatically easier and also made it convenient upon arrival back home not to have to get the keys out, etc.
For the next year the front entrance looked like this:
The mirror was from our previous house and the bench was purchased as “something for the meantime”. I had envisioned a painted church pew or something like that in the space but failed to consider that people actually needed to use the stairs… so the bench stayed for a year while I figured it out. In the end I noticed the we didn’t sit on the bench like I thought we would. We always sat on the stairs to put on shoes or help Little Dude get ready. In turn the bench became nothing but a holding spot and another area to clutter. We didn’t need the bench, but we did need storage…
Wallpaper Feature Wall
I knew I wanted to do something fun on this wall, but deciding what the definition of “fun” would be was another thing. This wall, although in the entrance, is visible from the Master bedroom looking into the living room, exiting the main bathroom, etc. The visibility of the wall made my search for something “fun” more challenging because the “fun” pattern and color palette all of a sudden needed to flow with the living room, dining room and basically the entire upper level of the house.
After many visits to the “special paper store” as Little Dude calls it I finally settled on a wall paper from Candice Olson’s designs. Also, until this little adventure I had no idea what wallpapers can cost! Make sure you pay attention to the prices but also consult an expert based on the amount of sunlight it will be exposed to or in my case the amount of traffic.
Since it was being installed in a high traffic area I wanted to make sure the quality of the paper was very good and that the installation was done by a professional. The man who installed it for us was fabulous, brought all of his own glue (that he special orders to guarantee his job) and only charged $50. I couldn’t have bought the materials and even tried to install it myself for that price! The only downside was that he is VERY busy so we had to wait about a month for him to be available at the time.
I was thrilled with the results and couldn’t believe how just this one little wall of wallpaper changed the feel of the space entirely.
We decided that even with the new lock having a new front door on the house might really help to modernize the look from both the inside and the outside. Having a collared door has always been something I wanted so we figured it would be a good addition and it would get rid of the storm door that was still driving me bonkers.
A word to the wise… if you plan on changing an outside door on your house for a colored door, order it early! The door took almost two months to get in after we chose the shade of blue we wanted and the window design. We kept the new lock and the handle from the previous door and were able to sell the old door and storm door for it to be used on a different house.
Shoe Storage Cabinet
As you may have guessed there are a fair number of shoes floating around our house. I wanted the front entrance to have a storage solution that hid the mess or scattered shoes, was accessible to Little Dude and didn’t block the access to the stairs leading to the basement. The Hemnes Shoe Cabinet from IKEA was the perfect size and an ideal solution for the front entrance. The price was great ($149), the functionality ideal and the look suited perfectly.
Last but certainly not least was the accessories. I wanted something for the shoe cabinet that would be welcoming but not look like clutter and also want to make the shoe cabinet look unique. I have accessorized with many different flower arrangements and seasonal pieces all of which were from HomeSense, Marshalls or Dollar Store finds mixed together to look like something I paid more for.
My favourite accessories are the knobs. I have three sets of knobs that I am rotating right now through different seasons. I bought two of the sets from Chez Boudreau and one set from Winners. The sets were all $20 per set or less. I think knobs are a super fun and inexpensive way to change things up. Kind of like throw pillows on a couch or a shower curtain in a bathroom.
I am now very happy with our front entrance and love the transformation it has gone through one piece at a time. I am still on the hunt for the perfect key rack and welcome mat, but they will come in time.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what we did to makeover the front entrance and hopefully it has provided you a little inspiration for your own spaces.
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