home tour: entry before & after


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 …

… 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 …

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

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 design ideas
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.

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 …
… but I first needed to convince my husband that this was a good idea because I couldn’t hang board & batten on my 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 …

mail sorting ideas
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 banister posts …

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 …)


dark stairs with white risers
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).

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 pillows (2) (600x450)[5]
This is the vibe/feel that I plan to bring into the rest of the house …


Links to Entry Projects:

Board and Batten Tutorial

How to Hang Board & Batten

How To Strip, Stain, DIY Staircase Makeover

How to Strip, Stain & Paint Staircase


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Board & Batten Dining Room

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  1. says

    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!

  2. says

    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!

  3. says

    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

  4. Anonymous says

  5. says

    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.)

  6. says

    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!

  7. says

    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!

  8. says

    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 :)

  9. says

    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!

  10. says

    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

  11. says

    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! :)

  12. says

    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

  13. says

    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

  14. says

    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

  15. says

    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!

  16. says

    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!!

  17. says

    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

  18. says

    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.

  19. says


    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!


  20. says

    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!!

  21. Julie says

  22. says

    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!!

  23. says

    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!!!

  24. says

    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!

  25. says

    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.

  26. says

    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 !!!

  27. 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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