LiveLoveDIY home home my story house tour projects top 10 contact How To Make Gold Leaf Art faux stacked log fireplace tutorial DIY Abstract Wall Art diy ampersand thumbtack art 10 budget decorating tips LiveLoveDIY Image Map

March 7, 2012

Our Entryway Makeover: The Before & After

Our entryway was the first thing we saw when we first looked at our house 2 years ago. Most people wouldn't have been too jazzed about the sight I saw, but I saw something special. Sure, the foyer was filled with terrible orange-toned wood, had parquet floors, and carpeted stairs, but it also had sweeping 30 feet high ceilings, cool light fixtures, and a whole lot of potential.
 I saw what could be, not was was.

Budget ideas for updating old houses | LiveLoveDIY

This it what the foyer looked like when we first moved in to the house.

Well, actually that's what the foyer looked like after hours of sanding down all the wood and prepping it for paint. Still though, that's pretty much what I lived with at the time. 
My own personal wooden nightmare.

I've probably gone through 10 cans of white paint since we bought this house, and have painted nearly everything I own white. I've had several people ask me what my aversion to wood is. Let me clear a few things up. I like wood. But it has to be the right type of wood. Not the horrid outdated 1980's orange wood this house was filled with. Plus, for someone like me who is constantly treasure hunting, white paint is a great way to unify a house full of mismatched thrift store furniture
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Shortly after we moved in, I spent several days painting all of the trim and woodwork. It completely transformed the space. Here is the foyer today.

The neutral paint and white trim really updates the space so much.
Also, check out the little nook I created.

There just wasn't any room for a console table area in this foyer, so I removed the closet doors and created a nook by painting it with some leftover paint from the bathroom. I really love the way it turned out. It's unexpected and fun, yet totally functional. 
Here's a closeup.

I used an old dresser and some accessories I found while thrift store shopping to style the nook. Here is the before/after of that dresser. I painted it white the same way I did our bedroom dresser. I also changed out the hardware. 

Let's look at some other views of the entryway.

I  envision this entire space with really dark ebony hardwood floors. I plan to start the hardwood in the foyer and have it come up the stairs and into the entire upstairs area.

Here are some side by side comparisons:

It's come a long way, and I'm really pleased with the progress.

I think once the carpet and parquet are replaced with dark hardwood, this space will really shine.
 This is what you see when you head up the stairs.

And this is the view you see when you come in the door. The house is a split level and you come in on a landing and then the stairs go up to the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Then there is a long hallway that leads to the master bedroom, guest bath, guest bed, and office. Going down the other set of stairs leads to the basement living room, another guest bedroom (currently our home gym) and another bathroom. I've not yet worked on the downstairs area, so it's still pretty outdated.

The entryway is one of my favorite parts of the house. It's still a work in progress, and has a long way to go, but I think it's already come a long way! I love walking into the house because it feels so open and spacious. It's one of the parts of the house that really sold me in the very beginning.
And it still hasn't lost it's charm!

Budget ideas for updating older houses | LiveLoveDIY

Follow my blog with
bloglovin' photo BlogLovin_zps5407d9e3.jpg
Follow my blog onFacebook or


Subscribe to LiveLoveDIY with email!
Enter your email address:

click map Facebook Pinterest Google+ Twitter Mail Subscribe



  1. I swear, did I know you were this crafty in hs?! Did you just start with trial by error??

  2. Hahaha...Heather! It's TOTAL trial and error! My first 30 design attempts in this house were just plain awful! I just keep at it 'til it looks good! :)

  3. i luv it! i totally agree with you on the wood. wood is awesome, luvy and swoony if it's nice, not so much when it's ugly. i'm wanting to paint our wood too. it's cedar but the stain they put on it makes it look like yellow pine. so my next major diy is painting the wood in the house.

  4. Thank you both!! So nice to hear! :)

  5. Wow - what a great transformation! Your front door is beyond fabulous now that it has been painted. I think the nook you created is great and I love that you painted it a different color. Great job!

  6. woah! What a little white paint can do! This is a fabulous makeover! I love the closet turned entry nook ... a much better way to be greeted when you walk through the door :)

  7. Wow what a difference paint can make! I love the crisp white against the rock!

  8. What a great transformation. And I *love* that rock wall.

  9. Just found your blog today and love it! Your feelings on wood are MY feelings! I just painted over ugly oak in our living room AND kitchen cabinets. Your entry looks fabulous!

  10. WOW! Thanks ladies!!! Such sweet comments today! Has totally made my day! Ya'll are fabulous! Thanks again!! ~ Virginia

  11. This looks amazing! Its crazy that features that look dated (floors and stone wall) before looks so chic now! Great job :)

  12. Congrats on your BetterAfter feature =) That is how I found this post. Looks fabulous!! Love the clean, white goodness.

  13. Just saw this post and love the makeover! I have the exact same parquet floors throughout my first floor (the 98 yr old lady who lived in our house before kept talking them up as a selling point for the house) so I feel your pain. My dream is dark wood as well (I've even gone as far as to try and stain some extra tiles we had--no good)... until then we'll just have to keep the rest of the room pretty!

  14. I love your entryway. It's so gorgeous and welcoming :)

  15. The space looks amazing! I love a good home with the potential most don't see. Great job!

  16. Your entryway looks beautiful, that dresser fits in there just perfect too - it's gorgeous! I have this linked to my mudrooms and entryways post as well today, nice job!

  17. To me there is nothing more fresh than lots of white and fresh colors like you use! We have a very similar look in our home too :-)

    I don't mind the parquet flooring actually. I think it looks pretty nice. Maybe you could sand a little and stain darker? Much cheaper and DIY. On the other hand, I know what's it's like when you really want something. That's all you can think of. :-)

    I showed one of my e-decorating clients your closet nook. I hope she took your great example and used it too! (I sent her a link to you too.)

  18. Love the transformation!!! I am also now following you on Hometalk! :)

  19. Can you tell me where you got the stone siding for the wall?

  20. Oh my goodness your whole house is gorgeous!!! What color paint did you use for the stairway??!!! Thanks!

  21. Beautiful!!! You mentioned you wanted an ebony floor. Just watched an episode of HGTV's House Hunter's Renovation? They had the same parquet floors as you have. Their designer painted them with black porch paint and went back over with gloss poly. Absolutely stunning!!!

  22. Putting a mirror on the stone really lightens the place up. Looks great!

  23. Agreed your house is amazing so big too ! I have a smaller house terribly small in fact the hallway so narrow you can't even stretch your arms out 1 tiny bathroom a tacked on ensuite and 2 bedrooms even the main one is small maybe I should knock it down!

  24. I have those horrible parquet floors ALL over my house :( AND my husband wont let me paint our cabinets or the ugly 1987 tile counter tops....its horrible. I really admire your home and what you've done on a normal budget! I cant wait to see if you do anything on your patio next spring. I have a thrift store wooden patio table that I'm not sure what to do with :) color, stain, black??

  25. Hi Virginia, just wanted to tell you it's been nearly a year since I first saw this post about creating the nook from a coat closet, and I loved it so much I just keep coming back to it. I mean, how brilliant is that? Even my builder grade rancher has a coat closet behind those fine, 1978 louvered doors lol. I'm planning the nook! Thanks for the stroke of genius. PS Would have commented earlier when I first saw the post but I was too new and dumb to know how to do it!

  26. Just found you via Pinterest. I love the stone (with the white.) it looks great and dark hardwood will be fabulous (or maybe that's happened since you posted this. I need to keep exploring!)

  27. It never ceases to amaze me why people don't think to paint old, ugly dark wood white. Like, how did they live with that? Ugh. Anyway, you made it look great!

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. I came to the blog from Pinterest, fully prepared to hate every change you made. Why? I'm a strange bird who loves vintage homes and decor, and, honestly, wanted to love your "before" pictures. HOWEVER, I quickly discovered that I love what you've done. You have updated what needed to be updated while keeping the spirit of what makes your house unique! I love almost everything you have done, and it looks remarkable! I would love to see the exterior... and I actually love your living area. The only thing I would implore you to keep is the parquet flooring-- but, otherwise... love it! ;)


Thanks so much for leaving a comment!! I do the hammer dance every time I read one.

Quick and Easy LiveLoveDIY Projects

Mod Podge Hangers Photo Wall Ideas Sequin Art Chalkboard Cabinets Gold Leaf Art Stacked Log Tutorial