Home Upgrades – Fixing Up the Entryway!

Another home project down!! We are on a ROLL!!! (Except that, well, we started this project about 9 months ago… *cough cough* *shifty eyes*
When Jonathan and I bought our home, one of the first things we mutually agreed to work on was the entryway. In our little 1950’s ranch style home, the floor plan had the classic boxy entrance with a coat closet… functional but closed off, boring and boxy. The previous owners had a LOT of great ideas for upgrades, but they kind of did things halfway. So when they decided to turn the closet into a mudroom of sorts, it was a GREAT idea… that kind of fell flat.
They pretty much just removed the rolling closet doors, painted the walls, and then nailed some 2×6’s into the wall as a makeshift bench. The bones of a great entryway were there, but it was so raw that it just felt.. I dunno, tacky?
When the home appraiser came out, he even put in the house report under “negatives” that “the entryway closet doors are missing”. The “entryway” clearly was just that… a closet with doors missing. We decided we’d change that! We wanted to make a room that felt like it BELONGED to the entryway, with no sniff of closet to it!
Here are a couple of before and after pictures… check it out!!


How the entryway looked on the day we moved in. You can see how this has SO MUCH potential. There wasn’t anything I really wanted to drastically change about the concept.. I just wanted to polish it, flush it out and FINISH it!



You can see how they just left the sliding door tracks intact..


They also left the original paint splattered baseboards inside the recessed closet area, along with random holes in the drywall. (They also didn’t clean or sweep before they moved out, haha!) And did I mention I am NOT a fan of the dirty looking brown tile??!

The Upgrades We Made to the Entryway

Here is a quick rundown of the upgrades we made! First things first, we could NOT have done this project without the help and generous support of our friends, the Buckleys. Not only did they lend their expertise on woodworking with baseboards and such, but they loaned us ALL of the hardware and tools for this project – the nail guns, the saws, the drills… pretty much EVERYTHING.
Secondly, the paint that I used for this project was graciously provided by AFM Safecoat Paints. We were delighted to use this eco friendly primer and paint for our baseboards, casing, crown molding shelf and entryway bench.. I’ll be following up with a review of this awesome product SOON, so keep an eye out for it!
So on to the project details! We decided to rip out ALL of the baseboards, molding and door casings in the entryway, living room, kitchen and dining room and replace it with a nice bold, thick, beautiful design. This way the entryway baseboard and door frame had a flawless flow throughout the entire living area. Nowhere do the moldings feel jarring or different or set apart – they finally all match!
We also changed out the outdated lighting fixture to something simple, modern and energy efficient. We switched out the light switch cover to a beautiful black and brass cover. We fixed up chips and cracks in the tile, painted it a beautiful flat slate grey, and then added some quarter round floor transitions (the tile previously had a very jarring unfinished edge with a half inch drop to the hardwood).
We filled the drywall holes and touched up the paint, then we made and installed a crown molding shelf and coat rack. Next we added decorative molding to the 2×6 boards and had  it flow into the doorframe casing to make it appear less “boards nailed to the wall” and more “finished artisan bench”. (I also added a much thicker cushion than the one they previously had.) Then we bought some shoe baskets to put under the bench! And voila!!! New and improved entryway! Check it out!


Now the baseboards for the entire entryway match and flow into the baseboards for the rest of the main living area. The tile also has an oak transition strip instead of just dropping off abruptly to the hardwood floor. Also note the new light switch plate and light fixture!



No more closet door tracks, or even signs of a closet door! The entry way has a finished open look, without a hint of a previous door frame.



Check out the new veneer on the ceramic tiles! This project was a LOT OF WORK, but I think it was certainly worth it! I hated the brown broken tiles, and no matter how clean they were… they ALWAYS looked dirty! The slate grey blue works well with the surrounding wall colors, and the flat tone feels great and looks good (and is easy to clean!)



You can see how we added the decorative molding / edging to the bench, and let it bleed into the entryway casing for a finished feel! No hint of crude 2×6’s anymore!
My favorite touch was the crown molding coat rack, another Pinterest inspired project! It’s cute, it functional, and it gives me a great chance to show off some family photos and cute knicknacks when you first open the front door!
Overall, I am extremely pleased with this project! It is quite literally the first one we started upon moving in, and now that it’s done, I just keep staring at it, and trying to find excuses to go sit on the bench and fiddle with my shoes, haha! BIG THANK YOU to everyone who made this project possible and enjoyable!

So what do you think? Are the “afters” an improvement on the “befores?” Let me know your thoughts!

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Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

74 thoughts on “Home Upgrades – Fixing Up the Entryway!

  • 10 February, 2015 at 2:39 am

    oh, I LOVE it!!! 🙂 it definitely looks 100 times better than the “before”!

    • 10 February, 2015 at 3:01 am

      Did you see my shout out to you guys? Huh?! Didja didja?! hehehe…

  • 10 February, 2015 at 3:06 am

    I love this! You sure have an eye for design. I especially love the tiles…what a great idea & such an amazing improvement. Well done sweetie.

    • 10 February, 2015 at 3:13 am

      I forgot to mention that the cushion fabric was a former curtain / thrift store find, haha! What’s funny is, it was the only fabric there that was the right texture, the right amount and was not hideous. I figured I’d be upgrading it soon.. but now that it’s there, it TOTALLY matches the color palette of the room! And that was soooo unintentional, lol!

  • 10 February, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Gingi… I love your makeover… it’s so pretty with all the crown molding.. It’s definitely much better in the after… you did such a fabulous job xox ♡

    • 10 February, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you so much! Sometimes it’s hard to see the transformation when you’re so closet to a project! hehe.. I’m glad you like it!

  • 10 February, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Wow! You did a great jon here. I love the crown molding coat/rack! The smooth transitions and the added molding for the bench are really nice, too. 🙂

    • 10 February, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Yeah, I had been eyeballing the crown molding coat rack off of Pinterest before we even bought a house! So glad I had a place to use it here!

  • 10 February, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Wow, this looks great! I love seeing your home improvement projects!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

    • 10 February, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks! I love sharing them! <3

    • 10 February, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks! <3

    • 10 February, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you so much! And you too! <3

  • 10 February, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Oh wow, you did such a great job! I love how it turned out! I have to admit that I absolutely fell in love with the red plant pot!

    • 10 February, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      I actually found that at the Dollar Store!! And the snake fern plant was on sale at Lowes for $2… not bad for a $3 air cleansing plant, no? ^_^

  • 10 February, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I would like to take credit for this project because I babysat for two days and that kept Tessa from walking in paint. And I believe those two days were the most essential in the whole project. So it’s pretty much like I did most the work…

    • 10 February, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      I guess you kind of have a point… I can’t even IMAGINE doing this with little Miss “I Want To Help With Everything”.. 😉

  • 10 February, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Wow – EXCELLENT job! You added functionality and beauty. Gonna share this out!

    • 10 February, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks for the share on Twitter!! I really need to start using my Twitter account… I built it up then kind of.. forgot about it.. it’s on my list of things to focus on soon! (Yes, that is a real list, lol!)

  • 10 February, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    love this!! my comment was longer but the dang password i copy and pasted wouldn’t work,hehe

    • 10 February, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      I HATE when that happens!

  • 10 February, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I love it! It seems like you have an extra mud room now. What a great project and the woodworking looks super professional.

    • 10 February, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks! I am VERY happy with the finished project!! <3

  • 10 February, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    That is so cool. That is a neat place for all the shoes. I love it! I am really clueless on doing any of this stuff. You are talented at this 🙂

    • 10 February, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      I really have no idea what I’m doing, haha. I would NOT have been able to do this project without our friends the Buckleys!

  • 10 February, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    What a beautiful makeover … I love the new look.
    Enjoy it, I know you will

    • 10 February, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you! I am quite happy with the outcome! <3

    • 10 February, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you! I am quite happy with it myself!! <3

  • 10 February, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Oh my goodness, it looks so totally wonderful! I’ll have to remember this for my future home.

    • 10 February, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      Yeah, it was a pretty easy upgrade! Just very time consuming!

    • 10 February, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      LOL, right?! My husband says the most expensive part of having more kids is the nesting, not the actual kids! hehehe!

  • 10 February, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I love this! I covet your bench 🙂 We just don’t have space for something like that, but I want it1

    • 10 February, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Take out a closet?? hehe! The bench is literally 3 2×6’s spaced out to fill the closet space!

  • 10 February, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Oh, it looks awesome!!! I love the shelf above the bench!

    • 10 February, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks!! ^_^

    • 10 February, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      Thanks!!! <3

    • 10 February, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      Yeah, I insisted the bench have a pretty edge! My husband and our friend Buckley thought I was crazy, hehe.. but it’s my favorite part!

  • 11 February, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your nice comment. And wow, this turned out amazing! The bench is such a great idea and I love the decorative molding you chose. Nice work!
    Gina – On the Daily Express

    • 11 February, 2015 at 1:11 am

      Thank you for stopping by!! I hope we can keep in touch! <3

  • 11 February, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Cool makeover! Always love a series of hooks in an entryway ’cause we always have something to hang up …

    So good to meet you today, Gingi!


    • 11 February, 2015 at 1:12 am

      Thank you for stopping by Linda! I hope we can keep in touch!! <3

    • 11 February, 2015 at 2:37 am

      Thanks! <3

  • 11 February, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Your entryway looks amazing!! Great job! I’m currently in the process of decorating our new apartment, it feels like its taking forever!
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! 🙂

    • 11 February, 2015 at 2:44 am

      Thanks!! This project did take forever… I don’t know how people manage full home makeovers in like, a summer! lol… thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope we can keep in touch!

    • 11 February, 2015 at 3:04 am

      Thanks! <3

  • 11 February, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I love the decorative edging to the bench, it looks very elegant and beautiful! The grey blue tiles definitely look much better than the original brown tiles too!


    • 11 February, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Yeah, I HATED those tiles.. they always looked dirty!! Thanks so much for your kind words!

  • 11 February, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I say you did a wonderful job turning the before (which looked like twas halfassed by the owners, like they just gave up on it and walked out kind of activity) and turned it into something that’s a million dollars worth. I loved that it looks much neater now, and put together with ZERO trace of messes anywhere. And that bench part is my fave along w/ the details of the edging piece. Good job!! 🙂

    • 11 February, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      It totally WAS halfassed.. they did a LOT of projects around the house that were great ideas, but totally and completely half assed! Glad you like it! I’m quite happy with it!!

    • 11 February, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks!! I stole the idea off pinterest! hehe!

  • 11 February, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Yes, much improved! That is a part of our house that needs a lot of work – our entryway. I love yours.

    • 11 February, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks Tamara!!! <3

    • 11 February, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks Linda!! <3

    • 11 February, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      Yeah, it’s a clever use of space I think!

    • 11 February, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks!! <3

    • 13 February, 2015 at 2:10 am

      Yeah, that brown tile was GROSS! Glad you like the transformation! <3

  • 13 February, 2015 at 11:09 am

    You’ve done a fantastic job! It looks lovely!

    • 13 February, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Thank you so much! <3

    • 13 February, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks! <3

  • 18 February, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    This looks so good. This is something I may have to copy and do to the ugly closet in our entry way.

  • 18 February, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    It looks fabulous! I’d like to change up my entryway – it’s been the same for so long. You’ve inspired me!

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