Before & After, House / Living Room

Entryway Makeover: Totally free

Hi!  Did you have an awesome weekend?  I hope so.  We got to kick ours off to a great start with a little dinner party Friday night – and yes, we had the house ready in time.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was clean, organized and most of the projects we’d wanted to accomplish got done.  I guess this week will be all about sharing the fruits of our labors.

Let’s start with the “entryway.”  Hit with a sudden burst of inspiration on Tuesday night, I totally transformed the space – using only things I already had in the home.

Both Ryan and I really love it, especially compared to how it looked before.  When we last talked, I wasn’t loving how the wood bookshelf fit in the space. I was reluctant to move it, as my dad had made it especially for that space, at my request.  But you know, sometimes you just don’t realize that a piece isn’t going to work – until you’ve actually made it and put it in a space. I’ve since added a back and sides to it, and will stain and seal it, and use it elsewhere in the house.

But back to the “new” entryway.  Here’s how this new design accidentally happened.

The metamorphosis started when I asked Ryan about hanging my vintage mirror on a different wall.  We crossed wires, and he thought I meant this entryway wall, and enthusiastically said yes.   Once we got on the same page, I realized his idea was better than mine.  We hung the mirror, but then the bookshelf was too tall.  So I tried my vintage record cabinet, whose honey tones and mid-mod lines blended perfectly with the other wooden pieces in the room.

After I moved the record cabinet into place,  I noticed the stack of books and Paperwhite plant sitting next to it.  Because the cabinet was so much smaller than the mirror, a stack of stuff next to it would help to balance the space.  Now I’ve always thought that the whole stack-the-books-on-the-floor design trick was silly, but suddenly I was really digging it.

I braced myself for Ryan’s reaction, because I was sure he would think the stack of books on the floor was ridiculous. But he came out of his office, and immediately said “Wow, babe, that looks really good!”   An impromptu design compliment from Ryan is definitely a good sign.

And with that, I can finally say that I feel our living room looks “finished” enough for now.  Sure, when time and money allow, I still would like to make some box valances for the windows, and some custom pillows, and add a rug, but I really am satisfied with the room as-is.  And that’s a great feeling.

This project was a great reminder to always “shop your house” when decorating.  And the most important lesson (re)learned?  Don’t force yourself to live with a decorating mistake just because you spent the money.  Sometimes you have to admit that you’ve made a mistake, cut your losses, and then assess what you have on hand in order to fix it.  Because at the end of the day, your home should be a place that makes you happy.

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  • Reply Abby @ a delightful design at 1:55 pm

    This looks amazing! This may be my favorite project to date! love it.

  • Reply Kerri P. at 2:22 pm

    It looks fab, Jane!

  • Reply Julia at 2:22 pm

    It looks great. And I really loved Ryan’s compliment. Nothing like your man thinking something is awesome while you were sweating his reaction lol.

  • Reply Jennifer Laughlin at 3:18 pm

    I love the stack of books with the plant — might have to steal this idea. and the plant…. bahaha! <3

    good job!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  • Reply Robbie at 4:12 pm

    I love it! It looks great.

  • Reply Mikalah at 4:57 pm

    I love the new look! That mirror is really amazing, it brightens the hallway and really matches with the look you have in your living room. That tip you gave at the end is good too, I have lived with decorating mistakes far too often out of guilt, and it’s just not worth it! Plus, with something like that bookshelf, you can always use it somewhere else, so it won’t go to waste!

  • Reply Jenn at 6:43 pm

    Oh my goodness. You are totally pulling off books on the floor … something I cannot for the life of my figure out how to do! It looks completely amazing! 🙂

  • Reply Liz at 6:53 pm

    It looks really great. I love the cabinet and mirror, and am happy to see them in a prominent spot in your home!

  • Reply tracie at 8:29 pm

    looks GREAT!

  • Reply April in CT at 2:34 am

    Absolutely LOVE it!!

  • Reply Anonymous at 5:05 am

    YES YES YES! LOVE LOVE LOVE! That mirror looks AMAZING in that space! Way to go, I love when those kinds of “accidents” turn into wonderfulness!


  • Reply LifeinRehab at 9:56 pm

    This has soooooo much more presence! That mirror really anchors the whole thing too- LOVE it!

  • Reply Anonymous at 4:47 pm

    I LOVE mid-century modern furniture and am extremely jealous of your record cabinet.

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