Welcome to My Home: Entry Makeover – Part 1

Welcome to My Home: Entry Makeover – Part 1

An entryway is often a neglected space, but really it is the first page to your home’s story, the introduction.  Maybe yours is small or is just a makeshift, but it needs to have something that make people say “oooooooh” when they walk in, to make them want to keep reading.  Perhaps it is a paint color, or a revamped bench from your grandmother’s house, or a really neat framed “watercolor” your two-year-old completed.  Today I’ll discuss the components that make up my entry in Part 1 of my entryway makeover.

I should probably tell you a bit about my house…this is my husband and I’s third home.  It is the largest and needed the most work of any home we have ever bought.  We have never purchased a “turn key” home, that is not something I would ever be interested in.  Projects are something I thrive on!  This house is just how we like our homes to be…old.  Built in 1921, we are its third owners.  We love old homes because of the character, and the way they are built.  Most homes built before World War II were crafted by artisans:  there was a tile master and a woodworking master and a brick master.  Sadly, in our day and age, we simply teach someone to lay a brick, and they lay it.  Most of the time, it is not an art.  Nevertheless, I love each squeak of the original wood floors; of course, this can mean bathrooms coming through the living room in the middle of the night (more to come on that later!).  We have poured much thought and love into this home, which will probably be the home our children grow up in, and we still have quite a bit to do.  This blog will be full of projects gone right, and ideas gone wrong and corrected, so get ready!  I am happy to open my front door to you though, and welcome you to our home.

This is a photo of the entryway before we moved in.  You can see the previous owner’s wallpaper and decor. Since this is an older home, there is a formal entryway, and come to think of it, this is the first home we have had a true entry!

So other than the beautiful (and original!) wedding cake chandelier and hardwood floors, this is a pretty blah space.  My first task was to remove the wallpaper, and if there is one thing I have gotten good at since we moved here, it is removing wallpaper.  The problem I ran into with this particular room was that when new wallpaper was put up, old wallpaper was not removed.  You could literally see the decades peeling off.  I hit about the 1940’s, and I just couldn’t take it anymore.  It was soooo difficult to remove, and frankly, it wasn’t worth my time.  We scraped off as much wallpaper as we could, and retextured in a smooth finish.  Originally, I was going to paint it white, but since the molding in here is so wonderfully commanding, I decided on a medium shade of grey to show it off.  Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray, to be exact.

You can count me in the thousands of people whose heart still hurts over the loss of Domino magazine.  RIP!  (Though there are stirrings they will bring it back as a quarterly magazine after its April 2012 “Quick Fixes” caused such a frenzy!)  An image from an old Domino inspired my entry makeover after floating through the revolving doors of my mind for several years.  Side Note:  This Flickr page  houses many of the inspirational photos from Domino, ENJOY!

Sara Costello's Home as seen in Domino


Sara Costello's Home as seen in Domino

These images inspired me to buy my first succulents, and I love them!  A little spritz spritz of water every couple of weeks, and they are good to go.  I am always looking for interesting ones to add to my collection.  Plus I almost always have an orchid – they last four to five months, and they require bi-weekly watering also – perfect for us busy bees!


I chose Annie Selke’s “Links” fabric in Indigo for my curtains because I felt it added a contemporary punch to the traditional feel of my entry.  I wanted the space to feel fresh and modern, with the background of age.  This pattern has worked out great, and I have not tired of it!   Housefabric.com is a company I have ordered from before, and they have the cheapest price I could find online.  Joanns sells it for $10 more.

Annie Selke "Links" Fabric in Indigo

These curtains were the first I ever made with grommets (I bought this kit, and it was actually pretty easy), and the background story to their creation is rather typical of me.  I drank some coffee around 9:00 pm to get revved up for curtain making.  I cut.  And measured and wound my bobbin. And sewed and sewed and sewed.  Finally, I finished.  I let out a breath, turned off my machine, and thought “Whew, I bet it is late!”  It was six o’clock in the morning.  On the dot.  The kids were stirring.  I poured myself a large cup of coffee.

I don’t know if you can tell or not, but these panels are not the typical 54″ width.  I actually cut the fabric in half to save money, and if I were to go back, I would have just waited longer on the fabric so I could purchase the yardage to make full width panels.  Now these curtains are dummy panels (I don’t open and close them) so they are fine, but just a little tidbit of advice in case you ever consider doing that.  It works fine, but I would like them more if they were typical width.  I think they would fold more pleasantly.

If you look closely, you can see the ceiling is not white.  I almost always paint my ceilings, I feel it adds an extra finished sophistication in a room.  The color I chose is part of Benjamin Moore’s Off-White Color Collection and is called “Balboa Mist”.

Come back tomorrow to see my finished space!



  • Jennifer
    Posted at 14:36h, 17 July

    Just have to say that your blog is fantastic and you are so talented! And even if I started drinking coffee all day long, there’s still no way I’d get as much accomplished as you seem to! Love you, Grace!

    • Grace
      Posted at 20:53h, 17 July

      Sweet Jennifer, you are too kind! I STILL think about your Christmas party, and how warm, inviting, and put together your home was! Very inspiring!

  • Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating
    Posted at 00:39h, 30 December

    Hi, Grace. Love your entryway makeover. I recently purchased a pillow in the Annie Selke Indigo Links fabric from an Etsy vendor,and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. Love the fabric as curtains in your entry, too. Bold, graphic and modern, but not in-your-face.

    I know what you mean about not doing the curtains in the full width. I had dummy panels made at our old house in an expensive fabric, so I decided to save money that way. I always wished they were fuller. Alas, the things we learn. Sometimes it’s best to spend more to be more satisfied, right?

    • Grace
      Posted at 12:42h, 31 December

      Hi Hollie, thank you so much! I think you will love your pillow! And you’re exactly right, that print is great because it is contemporary without being over the top. Love it! Ah, good to know someone else out there made the dummy panel mistake. We live, we learn. 🙂 G

  • Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating
    Posted at 00:41h, 30 December

    P.S. Thanks to the Flickr link for the Domino images. Sadly I wasn’t exposed to Domino much before its demise, but it now seems like a shelter mag I’d be totally into. I’m much more BHG than Elle Decor, and Domino seems to fall in the middle, with attainable style, but pushing past a catalog look.

    • Grace
      Posted at 12:44h, 31 December

      Domino was the best! Sigh, I just don’t think it can be replaced. I think Veranda is making strides but it still can be a bit too unattainable at times, I would guess. BHG, in my opinion, really stepped it up in 2012! So happy you enjoyed the link, Hollie. Thanks so much for reading!