home tour: entry before & after

Entry favorite view (550x413) (2)
Imagine you arrive at our home and are greeted with this amazing (if I do say so myself) painted on porch rug

Painted Porch for Blog 2 (600x450) (2)
… and then the door opens to this …

Yeah, that can’t happen.

Truth be told, I finished the entry project last spring before moving outdoors to tackle the disaster that was the front porch (you can follow that story here).

I’m exceptionally proud of this project because it was 99% diy.  The missing 1% goes to bringing in an electrician to hang the new chandelier.  We learned early on that changing out light fixtures in our 100+ year old house requires the assistance of a licensed professional.  There are some scary things going on inside our walls and ceilings …

… though I did play the role of the trusty assistant.


The before was pretty sad stuff.  I hung a mirror over the radiator cover, used a cheap laminate left-over chest to catch toys …

entrybefore entrybefore3
… painted a blue ‘accent wall,’ made a faux stained glass window, and added some black & whites of our wedding photos to the wall leading up the stairs …

entrybefore7 entrybefore10
… and that was that.  I’m embarrassed to say that’s how it remained for 15 years …

entrybefore5 entrybefore6
The entry is the first impression of our home and it certainly wasn’t making an impression that I was proud of …

… and once again I can’t believe I’m airing our dirty laundry here for all to see …

Besides being ugly, the entry wasn’t functional.  We have limited storage in our square-foot-challenged city home.

It was in the planning stages for this project that I truly discovered the world of blog diy and became an ardent fan, true believer and an obsessive/compulsive follower.  Pass the Kool Aid ladies and gentlemen …

The first major change came in the form of ‘faux’ board and batten …

Entry B&B 2 (550x413) (2)

Entry B&B 3 (550x413) (2)
It’s all over the blog world and was old news by the time I discovered it … but I can’t get enough. There are big plans in the works to carry it through the entire first floor …

Entry B&B more (550x413) (2)
… but I first needed to convince my husband that this was a good idea because I couldn’t hang board & batten on my own …

Mike was quite the trouper and we nailed each and every piece of lumber up by hand.  Needless to say it was a long and noisy day.  And a day that prompted me to rush out and purchase a nail gun of our own.

You can find my board & batten tutorial here …

Entry Bench birds eye (550x413) (2)
The mail used to just pile up on the radiator cover, so I added some inexpensive bins from Target to sort it all out.  You can read more about it here …

Entry boxes again (550x413) (2)

Entry Boxes Closeup 4551 (550x413) (3) - Copy
They’ve been invaluable in keeping me organized …

Entry boxes and boots (550x413) (2)
My rain boots really do live here all the time.  They’re both decorative and practical …

Entry boots (550x413) (2)
The staircase and wood floors on the first floor (oh, and the foundation and a weird closet in the master bedroom) are the only things original in our house.  The molding and trim had to be torn out because it was painted with outdoor paint (most likely to cover up lead paint).  Needless to say, I had more than a few trepidations about painting the original, 100+ year old newel and bannister posts …

Entry down the stairs (550x413) (2)

Entry Staircase (550x413) (2)
But in the end am confident in my choice.  (You can find my tutorial on the staircase here). Oh, and I really do love the closet door painted black (and of course you can read more about that love here …)

Entry enter (550x413) (2)
Centsational Girl was by far the greatest influence on my entry design … and execution. I followed her instructions about how to B&B and how to strip, stain, poly and paint a staircase to a tee. I even traveled out of the city to Lowes to track down the exact same hooks she used in her project.  Centsational Girl’s tutorials can be found here (board & batten) and here (strip, stain, poly, paint).

Entry stairs (550x413) (2)
I just love the final results …

Entry down top (550x413) (2)

Entry down going (550x413) (2)
And, yes, that’s the same bench as before.  Just primed, painted black, distressed, and dressed up with a custom cushion and pillows …you can read more about that project here

Entry Bench closeup (550x413) (2)

Entry bench closeup pillows (2) (600x450)[5]

This is the vibe/feel that I plan to bring into the rest of the house …


And be sure to link up at our multi-blog “The Great Outdoors” link party.  The party is open until midnight (CST) Friday, June 1.  Click here or on the blue folder for more …


Let’s keep in touch … 

facebook twitter contact
And one last shot of the entry decorated for the holidays. You can see the full holiday house tour here …

I’m linking up …








  1. Looks absolutely gorgeous – great job!!

  2. Thank you Deb. You are always so kind …

  3. Love the addition of color and style! We all have spots (or entire houses) that get neglected for too long. Thank goodness for helpful hubbies,too!

  4. What a transformation! It barely looks like the same house! I love how you diy’d everything yourself, with hubby’s help, of course. Your older home looks so modern now. Fantastic job!

  5. what a beautiful entryway! Love the color..So organized too!

  6. That looks fantastic! What a huge difference. You really did do a great job!

  7. Amazing! I am in the middle of my century home reno too! This is such inspiration. LOVE the colours and the painted porch mat. Clever idea.

    Thanks For sharing!
    Krista @ therenoprojects.blogspot.com

  8. Wow! Looks terrific! I found your blog from “better after”

  9. Came to your site from the Better After feature. Love what you are doing with your home and your blog is fabulous for you being a newbie blogger. Very impressive. :-) Following via email. Keep it up! Iris

  10. what color is that gray?

    great job on the make over

  11. Great job!! The hooks are off the hook :-) Your entry is so inviting. The B&B looks great!

  12. Your entryway looks amazing! The board and batten made an incredible difference! I live in an older home also and know all about the “charm” of things like electrical and plumbing.

  13. Great transformation!

  14. HI! So glad to find you through A2Z!! I’m your newest follower. Love the foyer/mudroom.

  15. What is that color you used in your entry way? The dark greyish color.
    Could you email me at jenmose@hotmail.com?

  16. Found you through link at Shabby Nest…love what you did!

  17. I LOVE that entry…..The hooks are so cute – you’re door….darling!
    Holly @ Down to Earth Style

  18. Absolutely gorgeous!!!! I would LOVE to steal that chicken wire basket from you…. lol. Featured you this weekend :)

    Happy New Year!

  19. Beautiful job. I love the black in there.

  20. It’s amazing how awesome board and batten can make everything look. Your entryway is simply beautiful. B&B is on my list of projects for the new year, too. (I look forward to your tutorial.)

  21. WOW, this is totally amazing!!! Happy New Year to you–Your style is fabulous!!! And I adore those boots in the entry!!! You did an amazing job and it is spectacular!

  22. I love it! The colors you chose are great! I’m your newest follower :-)

  23. and yes, I see a few of your projects as well…good for you…and good for you on suggesting to “party girls” that if its good enough to click on, its good enough to comment!

  24. You’re so talented! Newest follower here! Visiting from Debbiedoos newbie party! Would love to see you over at my place too!
    Love, Olga

  25. Looks great! I adore board and batten!!! It looks good paired with your paint choice too!

  26. I love it!! Now if i can work that kind of magic on my very tiny split-level entry i would be so happy!!

  27. just amazingly beautiful! following you through Debbie’s party, love for you to stop by my blog too:)

  28. Incredible job – almost can’t believe it is the same spot.

  29. Love your projects and am so happy to be following along with you! If you get a chance I would love it if you could link this up at my party tomorrow night. Happy New Year!
    Jenn :)

  30. Absolutely amazing! I love everything about it…you did a phenomenal job!

  31. I love it. That bench is so cool.

  32. Very beautiful! Love it a lot.

  33. What a trasformation! Love everything!

  34. wow! beautiful would love for you to link up to my newest link party http://www.getouttamyheadplease.com

  35. It looks beautiful! Well organized, fresh, and cheerful too! Love the b&b, the little bench with the cute cushions! Love the name of your blog. I’m a painter, and your newest follower! New Year Blessings!

  36. Fabulous transformation! I have a staircase project half-finished and you’ve definitely made me want to get back to it!

  37. this is amazing, beautiful, and classy!

  38. This came out so great! I love the pic with your dog at the bottom of the stairs. Your wall of pics and letter is great and I love your wire basket with the pine cones. Nice job and happy new year!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

  39. Wow! Your entry looks amazing; great job!


  40. Absolutley stunning. The change is totally amazing. I love it all. Your staircase is wonderful too. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  41. Very Pretty! Love your paint choices and all the great organization!

    Warm Wishes,


  42. What a beautiful entry way! I’d love for you to share this at my party! : )


  43. Great job on your makeover! Looks magazine worthy!!


  44. p.s.

    I’d love for you to link up at my Show & Tell party. It kicks off on Wednesdays each week. You can find the party at mrshinesclass.wordpress.com

  45. That hallway is super-gorgeous! Great job!!!

  46. Wow, it looks so good! An amazing job!! Where’s the camera and news reporters!! I’m one of your newest friends…drop by my blog soon…gift give-away going on!!

  47. How awesome is that. Thanks for sharing with my newbie party.

  48. K, now I’m loving that! Great job. :) Wish so badly I wasn’t in a rental so I could copy. I’m dying to do a diy project. :)

  49. Thanks for linking up at my Show & Tell party!


  50. Thanks so much for linking to Thrifty Thursday!! I featured another one of your projects on my FB page this week and I also pinned you on Pinterest! Love your stuff!! If you’d ever like to do a guest post/project, just let me know! :)

  51. I’m jealous! What an amazing entry way. Found you through HOH’s Linky Party.


  52. LOVE what you did! you entry is beautiful!

  53. What a transformation! Simply beautiful.

  54. Wow – this came out great!! Will you come do mine?? I featured you today in my Friday I’m In Love favorites!


    – Jenn @ Social Salutations

  55. Letting you know this great project was featured at Hating Martha today! Stop over to get a button if you like. Great job!

  56. I love it too! Newest follower. okay,my head is spinning with projects! I must get my {first} husband in on all of this too! Would love a follow back if you can, laura

  57. I’m back.. check out my rod iron spindles diy project… they would look amazing in your home.. tell your hubby he can thank the one who … imnotatrophywife.com ps still snooping around

  58. BEA-UT-I-FUL!!! Totally works well with the amazing faux rug. *drool!*

  59. Lovely. Just absolutely lovely! I’d be thrilled if you came to share this at the Head to Head Showdown, going live tonight at 10 at http://www.icantstopcrafting.blogspot.com ~Jen

  60. Such a beautiful job you did on this house! Thanks for sharing at my party!

  61. Fabulous….I love all your great photos. You did a great job. I love finding new creative blogs to follow…Stop by and visit anytime, cause’ I love to meet new blog friends. Lori

  62. I <3 this! I am uber inspired now! <3 from your newest follower and fellow {brand-new} blogger! I am so excited about this I can't wait to try the board and batten look :) I am so new to blogging and would LOVE it if you would follow my blog!
    PS. SO glad I found you on TTAJ!

  63. It’s so awesome! I love the color scheme you used and the details like the hooks, wainscotting, fabrics. It’s just perfect. I’d love if you’d link it up to my party too!


  64. Linda — your entry way is so pretty! I love the color combination you used. And the painted rug on the porch is so cute.

    I featured it on my TT&J FB page :)


  65. love, love, love your entry way! you give me hope-we’ve been in our house just over 15 years and i haven’t done much-i’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff and now it’s time to get going!!

  66. Great job!!! I did my foyer last year too and love my board and batten:) love it!!!

  67. This is truly an amazing makeover! I am so impressed and inspired! We do not have an 100 year old house but we are getting ready to do lots of DIY projects with B&B being one of them. I will definately be following your links. Thanks for sharing! Smiles~Beth

  68. Your entry is gorgeous! I think I’ve looked at the pictures a dozen times. Thanks for linking to the Home Decor and Organizing Link Party. I’m featuring this on my blog today.

  69. fantastic job!! love the colors you have used and the photos!!

    Natasha xx


  70. wow, everything looks amazing!
    new follower here :)


  71. Wow–that looks great! Love the name of your blog:)

  72. WOW WOW WOW! This is an amazing transformation, it doesn’t even look like the same entrance, it’s gorgeous!!! You worked so hard and it paid off, great job!
    PS I”ll be featuring it tomorrow :)

  73. It is a beautiful new space to walk into. I love the board and battan for sure!! Oh, and the red sneakers are a fun pop of color!

  74. Love love love the colors…do you mind sharing the names?

  75. Kimberly,

    You message came as a no-reply in my email box, so I’ll answer your question here. The gray is Benjamin Moore Wolf Gray (flat) and the white is Benjamin Moore Bright White gloss. And the black is just Benjamin Moore black.

    Hope that helps!


  76. Oh, girl, FABULOUS entry! I am hereby INSPIRED! I did clean up my garage, and will be posting my efforts to the 2012 “Imagine the Possibilities” party. Thanks!!

  77. It is just gorgeous!! I just love the board and batten with the hooks! I featured this today at Creations by Kara. :)

  78. It looks amazing! What color is the gray?? I would love to copy it for my entryway! :) Could you email me the color? jewelof3@yahoo.com Thank you!

  79. That is fantastic! Such a cute organized space you have now! Thank you for linking it to Home Sweet Home!

  80. So inspiring.
    We have a Friday FREE-FOR-ALL Linky party each week – if you ever want to link up one of your amazing inspirational posts.

    ~ Dana

  81. WOW!!! what a great tour, and love, love, love your entry. Thanks so much for linking up with VIF, I’ll be featuring this post today!!

  82. What a nice job! I could never even have the vision for a house project like that! (I would just copy yours!) haha. Too bad, we would have to move before I would ever get it done! Just love looking at your photos!!

  83. Wow! Absolutely stunning! I love the colors, how organized and how welcoming it looks! Nice job!

    The Not So Functional Housewife

  84. What a transformation. It looks great. Love the color choices!

  85. Hey Linda-

    Just letting you know that I featured you at Creative Juice. I also pinned and tweeted this post.

    Hope you have a wonderful night, and don’t have to brave the cold here in Chicago this evening…

  86. Thank you Abbie!

  87. Just wanted to be sure you knew you were featured last week, yay!


  88. I love this! I’ve seen it everywhere and I had to look at it again because it’s just such a great makeover! I think this time I noticed that I really like the pops of pink here and there and that you used some fantastic angles to photograph it! Thanks for sharing at Creatively Living’s Linky Party!!!

  89. I’m featuring this tonight on Tell it to Me Tuesday @ Creatively Living!
    Come on by and grab a button!


  90. I loved this since you first shared it and it seems to look better each time I see it! I am featuring it on the Crafty, Scrappy, Happy Link Party!

  91. So charming and functional!

  92. What a fantastic job you did!! I really like your DIY stained glass window, and that fabric on your bench is so fun! The board and batten looks AMAZING. I’m loving checking out your blog and can’t wait to peek in on everything else that you’ve done!

  93. I’m exploring your blog a bit more tonight, making my way through some of your house tour. And wow, Linda! I LOVE what you’ve done with the entry way. You make me feel a little jealous that we don’t have an entry (front door comes straight into the living room). I agree with how wonderful it is to find inspiration through blogland. There are so many things that I would never have thought of but am positive I’d be able to do.

  94. Your entry way is just amazing!! Thanx for linking up!:)

  95. This is the most awesome thing I;ve ever seen. Just beautiful. I love board and batten.

  96. Love what you have done here and I am putting this site to favorites to continue to look over when I have more time. I love old house interiors and what you have done is just wonderful !!!

  97. What a gorgeous entryway! I love the organization of it all and the colors are just perfect. Megan

  98. Such a great makeover. I am totally in love with your little stained glass window. Also love the radiator cover!

  99. Jennifer V says:

    I know this post is from quite awhile ago, but if you see this, I would love to know where you got the chandelier? I just love it! Thanks so much!

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