Before & After, House / Living Room, Rental Remedies

{Create} An entryway for a rental home

Q: How do you add an entryway to your rental home without doing demo work and losing your deposit?

A: Easy.  Just channel your imagination, build a bit of a bookshelf, and add a few accessories.  Like muddy boots.

That’s pretty much what Ryan and I did in our living room.  Remember how boring this wall was?

Well, I couldn’t take it anymore!!  With the help of my dad, and [of course] some plans from Ana White, I created an inexpensive bookshelf to serve as an entryway table, complete with a boot shelf on the bottom.

Ok, so I didn’t end up building it – my dad did.  But that’s only because I was busy helping my mom with things.  As demonstrated by our nightstands, I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and grab a power tool (or two).

So the shelf is all decked out for Christmas, even though it’s not stained or finished yet. I figured that it’s better to put it to work until I’ve got the time to slap some stain on it.

create entryway with shelf unit

To make up for the unfinished top, I topped it with part of an old Christmas table runner that I sewed way back in the day – around 2002, by hand, because I had no sewing machine!  Anyway, the fabric would have stuck off the ends like a sore thumb, except I used my trusty painter’s tape (yet again!) to tape the corners of the fabric down like I was wrapping a package. 

Next, I added another little wintry vignette, this time in an antique silver tray, with green yarn trees to match my pine scented candle and a few random sparkly pears for bling. A pair of Christmas shoe candle holders, which have been in my family for as long as I can remember, top off a small stack of books, and a small lamp adds a nice homey touch.  It’s amazing what a difference a little mood lighting can do.  Just having that lamp on when coming home to a dark house makes the place feel so much more inviting!

Christmas Shoes candle holders

On the second shelf I added a few books, a beautiful Turkish bowl for keys, a seasonally-appropriate Christmas photo of the pups with Santa, and a few design books I love.

The bottom shelf provides a resting place for snowy boots and muddy shoes.

Don’t you just love how easily the bookshelf transforms the blank wall into a totally functional entryway?   I know it’s not the most gourmet piece of furniture, but for the cost of $65 for a solid wood piece, it can’t be beat.  Now I just need to get my butt in gear and stain it to match our living room furniture.

PS:  Iif you’d like some free help with a decorating challenge in your rented home, (with our without the use of branches), drop me a line!

PSS:  Shared at My Backyard Eden – check them out!

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  • Reply mikalah at 9:19 am

    It does make a huge difference- really sets it apart as the “entryway.” Cool design, too!

  • Reply Katie @ Making This Home at 10:30 am

    Every time you offer the little note about helping with a decorating challenge in a rental, I’m sooo incredibly tempted to write in and say, “What do you do when your walls are made of tires?”

    I love your wintery little shelf.


  • Reply Jen at 10:42 am

    I love how your stockings are hung!!! And your entry too! You are incredible!


  • Reply Robbie at 11:23 am

    I never thought of using a bookcase in my entryway. That would be a great idea

  • Reply Abby @ a delightful design at 11:25 am

    Way to transform that wall! You go!

  • Reply Sunny's Life in Rehab at 5:17 pm

    It does define the function of the space perfectly without taking up a ton of room or blocking the walkway. That’s a tricky wall.

  • Reply Anna at 9:02 pm

    Is that Turkish bowl from Melissa? I believe that I have its red twin. =)

  • Reply Cheap, Easy Candle DIY Project & Christmas Wrap-Up | The Borrowed Abode at 9:32 am

    […] three, and four of the Christmas Tree Disaster of 2010, to the cute Yarn Trees vignette to my new entryway bookshelf and my temporary tree branch stocking […]

  • Reply Entryway Makeover: Totally free | The Borrowed Abode at 8:10 am

    […] The entryway “before” (it was better than a blank wall) […]

  • Reply Before & After: A Mid-Centry Modern Entryway | The Borrowed Abode at 10:21 am

    […] first attempt, which consisted of a home-built book shelf, was unsuccessful because I didn’t tape it out on […]

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