February 16, 2012

Before and After: Fun and Funky Entryway

Posted by Kristin

So it may feel like I mentioned moving into our new apartment ten years ago but surprisingly its only been about 5 months. And let me tell you....it looks just a little bit different than when we first moved in. Make that alot different. So instead of holding out any longer (why I have been I have no idea) I'll start by showing you some small improvements I made to our entryway.

When we first moved in, it was pretty bland with cream colored walls, brown painted steps, and wood floors. It did have a window, a definite plus, but it sorta just felt like "womp, womp..nothing exciting here, just move along". The problem is, we walk through this space atleast twice a day and I wanted it to be fun and cheerful.


Looking in from the kitchen: Blah, blah, blah...literally, it was really blah!

Looking down the stairs to the entry door. More blah, blah, blah.

Shedding some light on the subject.

Looking from the kitchen at the interior door that opens into the entryway. And yes,
 that's an awesome soccer-themed light switch cover on the right in our bedroom.
 It makes us feel young at heart (or I just can't find the right size one to switch it out).

I started off by thinking about the fundamental things I needed in the space: a place to hang coats, keys and bags; a place to stash the shoes we wear most often; some color and fun in the space; a simple window treatment; and a small chair or bench to sit on while putting on shoes.

The good news is that I already had everything I needed to meet the list of necessities. I also wanted to tie in some of the existing colors in other parts of my home. The most common colors I have are blue, green, and brown. I knew bright teal would add some pop to the space, while the brown and green would ground it a bit. 

Enter some extra fabric, left over teal spray paint (from my dining room hutch redo), an existing coat rack I made a while ago, a spare small chair (found free on the side of the road ages ago), and a DIY entry sign. After a little bit of painting, sewing and hanging, it just kinda of came together.


The After!

A teal blue coat rack adds storage.

This coat rack used to be black and was made years ago from 2 scrap dresser drawer fronts attached together on the back. I added some hooks and called it done!

Hanging Help: This baby can hold a lot of stuff!

I used a collection of silver frames for some fun art I made from an old NYC subway map. It had the light colors I wanted, was something different, was free, and reminded me of fun trips into the city. 

NYC Subyway art.

I varied the heights of the frames to add interest but lined them up on the bottom to create one clean edge.

A plain jane chair got her seat recovered with some light blue micrifiber fabric and a handmade pillow from a friend found a spot on top. A $1 tag-sale basket holds mittens, hats and bike locks under the chair.

I sewed a simple valence from some left over fabric. The circles are fun and whimsical while the blue, green and brown colors tie into the blue coat rack, brown floors, and brown trim.

On the wall near the entry door I hung some numbers I had for interest (our wedding date was June 9, 2007). As long as the 7 stays with the other two numbers, its all good. If I just had 69 hanging on my wall, it may be a bit....weird, if you catch my drift.

Moving outside, I really wanted some kind of a sign with our name on it so visitors would know which apartment is ours. I knew I wanted to do the sign myself and I wanted it kinda sleek and funky. I found this simple sheet of stainless steal at Home Depot for $5 and made a stencil out of contact paper and "Thomas" printed on computer paper. I had the teal paint on hand and knew it would tie all the colors together. I sprayed 2 coats of paint over the stencil and then did a top coat of a clear arcrylic sealer so the metal wouldn't rust. The font is Aubrey and was downloaded from here.

I feel like a real family now that were established! 

This shot may help you understand the coat rack made from dresser fronts a bit more. These fronts used to be attached to the drawers via tongue and grove joints (seen on the side). I removed the drawer fronts and just attached them together on the back with a scrap piece of wood.


You can see the break in the front where to two pieces of wood join.

And just to keep it real, here's what our coat rack really looks like on an average winter day: overloaded with coats, bags and keys.

It wouldn't be complete (or New England) without salt and mud stained floors and bulky winter boots. Winter is real up here and the clothes to survive it have gotta' go somewhere, right?

Has anybody else ever turned a piece of scrap furniture into something totally different? What entry way solutions do you have? Share, share,share!