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FIX IT FRIDAY: We Gave 4 Relatable Entryways Some Major Design Advice To Bring Them Back To Life

Anytime we’ve talked about entryways, we always say two things. They are the first thing you see when you walk into your home so you want to create a space that instantly makes you happy, and secondly, we know they are notoriously hard to keep organized/are a dumping ground. Not an ideal combo, right? That’s why we thought entryways were a great space for our second “Fix it Friday” post.

Now remember, the point of these posts is to show you that you don’t need to throw every single piece you already own out to create a space you’ll love. There may even be pieces in other parts of your home you can move around making the whole house feel a little newer! A real budget-friendly hack that I don’t think is promoted enough.

photo by tessa neustadt | from:the 10 easy things in your space you could update this weekend
design by velinda hellen design | lead design by julie rose | styled by emily bowser photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a kitchen makeover that focused on small changes for a big impact

But back to entries. I am now of the firm belief that entryways are like snowflakes and no two are 100% alike. We got so many awesome entries that I wanted to help but since I couldn’t, I picked 4 that felt versatile enough that they would spark ideas for a lot of you. Plus there are a lot of cute things I found in case you are in the market:)

Also as I was looking at all of the entries we’ve done over the years (or our designer friends) there is a ton of inspiration too! Make sure you study them. Take this basement entry of Emily’s best friend’s old home. That “built-in” was partially a ready-made piece that was customized making it a bit more affordable overall! Oh, and the color palette is very intentional and colorful, but also neutral and sophisticated.

These photos were ideas from a Target shoot we did that were just as useful but even more affordable. While this is much easier said than done, once you really know your and/or your family’s needs you can clearly think through what the physical pieces you should get are and perhaps try to create new habits that will help to lessen the visual clutter (that’s the harder part, obviously:))

design by velinda hellen for ehd | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: sara’s living room & dining room reveal

Now, we still want it to be pretty which is probably the biggest reason you come to a design site. Funcation is great (and necessary) but a little form never hurt anyone. Take Sara’s “entry” above. It’s teeny tiny but she chose pieces that fit within her space and with her style and added pretty things like new leather pulls on the cabinets, a cute lamp, properly scaled art (more on that later), etc.

design by sarah zachary | styled by emily bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a historic mid-century modern home that was completely brought back to life (hope you’re ready for some cool original details)

Ok, let’s finally get into these real-life examples. But if you need a little more visual guidance, here’s a graphic with 5 easy-peasy formulas to help you in your home.

Helpful, right?! Ok, here’s our first reader entry…

Bigger May Be Better

Here’s what she said about it: “Our entry is not a separate space, it leads right into our open concept first floor. I love the vestibule with the moulding and wallpaper and 120+-year-old doors, but once you get inside the second door I don’t feel like the cabinet and decor relate to it very well. I feel like I keep adding more decor to make it feel more “designed” but something has always felt off. I am open to any ideas you have, but the moulding is on plaster and would be really difficult to remove so I think that is the only thing I wouldn’t do.”

Since these post are really just for light decor ideas that’s what I’m going to focus on. Plus this is such a pretty home that it doesn’t need much! But what I find is the most related issue is scale. While that Target cabinet is so so cute, it feels a little too small for me. I think something longer would be an immediate visual upgrade. But let’s get into the designs so I can talk about it more.

Combo on the Left: Mirror | Lamp | Credenza | Planter | Woven Tray | Candle | Match Striker (similar) | Boot Tray | Combo on the Right: Mirror | Lamp | Credenza | Vase | Burl Wood Tray | Candle | Match Striker (similar) | Boot Tray

I created two design options because since I don’t know what the other side of the room looks like I wanted to give an option with the light wood credenza and one that’s darker. Let’s start dark. I feel that a darker wood credenza would look so beautiful next to those vintage doors. It adds a bit more richness which could be what this reader is looking for! I also think that adding a larger mirror to lean on the top with the other piece of art would also help make it feel grander (in a good). Plus mirrors are always helpful when running out the door for a last-minute check. I love the table lamp and other accessories they already have but getting a tray would help to corral some of them to make everything feel more intentionally placed. I also added a few more things since the credenza was a bit longer:) Oh and adding a cute boot tray like that metal one could also make things look a bit more streamlined but not mandatory:)

As I said before, I don’t know what the other side of the room looks like so the lighter wood could look WAY better with the overall space. So I made another combo with the same but larger credenza with some other pretty accessories that would all look great together. Good luck!!

In Need Of A little Function

This sweet little PXD home doesn’t really seem to have a space to drop your keys or store your everyday shoes. The budget for this one was $500 and I am pretty proud that both combos are cute and nailed the budget! Now, the existing runner rug and wood cube are great. I did an option with the existing rug but feel that, while so pretty, the cube isn’t helping in the function department aside from a place to sit or place down a bag. Let me show you what I came up with.

Combo on the Left: Plug-In Sconce (set of 2) | Runner | Tray | Vase | Console Table | Storage Basket (x2) | Combo on the Right: Plug-In Sconce | Runner (similar to existing) | Tray | Candle | Planter | Console Table | Storage Baskets (set of 3)

I took a swing with the combo on the left and went more with a classic PDX style. That console table is simple but great and only $126. The rug is a little more of a splurge but it’s almost the length as the original (this one is 9′ and her’s is 10′) but is available in much bigger sizes! Then for a little color, I think this schoolhouse-y plug-in sconce is awesome and works well with the style of her flush mount. They to elevate the look a little I loved this marble tray and cool little vase. But of course, shoe storage is key and I love these baskets from Target. The weave pattern is pretty and I love the warmth of the leather straps. The total for this look was $494!

For the combo on the right, I let the style of the rug they have take charge! I chose the same console table since the price could not be beat and I really love that classic linen shade sconce because it also goes great with the flush mount. Then to space out some black accents, that tray is stunning in person (Emily has it) and the black leather straps on the shoe storage baskets tie the whole thing together. But to add a little fun, the checkered planter is perfect (and would look awesome with a plant:)), and a pretty candle always belongs in an entry…especially when it’s in a pretty vessel you can reuse after the candle is long gone. This total was $502 which isn’t too bad either!

Simple But Cool

Let’s start with what our lovely reader had to say when she emailed me: “We just moved in a couple of months ago and would love to get the team’s help. Attached are some pictures. I also included a coat rack we have but not sure if we should hang it up. Not sure if it’ll look too cluttered above the shoes. Oh, the measurements are 80in x 40in and the budget is around $300. Thanks so much!”

Isn’t this a great and almost blank canvas!?! Since the budget is small, shoe storage is clearly important, oh, and they have a gorgeous coak rack already, I kept it simple but fun…at least to me:)

Combo on the Left: Coat Rack | Shoe Bench | Rug | Storage Basket | Combo on the Right: Coat Rack | Shoe Rack | Rug

I am partial to the combo on the left but it is fairly over budget buuuut could be reduced a little which I’ll get to. Now as I said above, the coat rack is a no-brainer but if it were my home, I would try to eliminate as much of the visual shoe clutter as possible. That’s why I picked this shoe bench! It’s pretty, goes great with the coat rack, and the cushion is leather so it’s easy to clean. There is a linen version that’s almost $30 cheaper. I also added a shoe basket since the bench doesn’t hold as many pairs as the rack they have. Of course, to lower the budget by another $30 that could also be eliminated. Lastly, a rug with a graphic pattern would really inject a ton of personality! This one is probably my favorite rug in our collection and has been in my kitchen for at least 6 months so I can attest to its durability:) The total for the whole combo is $481 (I know it’s a lot over but it’s not easy finding the right pieces at the right prices! Oh, and remember it could be $420).

So for the second combo, I went with the original open-storage look but wanted to make it feel a little more modern. I think this shoe rack is very cool and also looks great with the coat rack. Then to really go graphic and match the shoe rack, I love this rug. It’s amazing how three little things can change the whole vibe of a space. This one comes to $385…

Ok wait, there’s a third option. To save A LOT of money, they could also spray paint the current shoe rack black and get the shoe show basket for more storage. Then they could pick either rug. This would put them very under budget:)

Oh and for those who love that coat rack but need a more affordable option, here’s a great one!

A Looooong Journey

From our reader: “I’m looking for any suggestions for our awkwardly long entryway. The double doors take up all the width so we can’t put furniture close to the doors or else the right door won’t open all the way. (The right door is the main one with the deadbolt.) We use the entryway to store all of our dog-walking gear. The runner is not my favorite, but I have to have some sort of rug to prevent my dog from slipping (she is arthritic). A sitting area is not needed; we just had the bench from the last house and brought it here. The width of the entryway is 74″ and depth is 24′. The distance from the doorway to the edge of the first room door is 8′.”

This one was bar far the trickiest one so I very much felt for this reader (or anyone with a very long entryway!) And sure there are way to potentially break up the length by adding some architecture but that’s not what we are going into today.

Now this reader didn’t give me a budget so I did my best to find both really affordable pieces and moderately affordable pieces. The truth of the matter is that prices have just gone up (I’m sure everyone reading this knows) so searching on sites like Craigslist or hunting in person is never a bad idea to help save some money and of course, create less waste in the future. But since that’s now really helping to any of you, here we are! Let’s dig in shall we?

Combo on the Left: Large Framed Art | Framed Art Set | Candelabra | Vase | Tray | Table Lamp | Credenza | Accent Chair | Shoe Basket | Combo on the Right: Battery-Operated Sconce | Extra Large Art Print | Vase | Bowl | Candelabra | Credenza | Runner (x2) | Accent Chair | Shoe Basket

So while this was a feat, I am pretty proud of these combos and hope this reader loves them too! The first combo is where I played off more of what I saw in the photos – very light woods and neutrals. That credenza not only has a ton of storage for all things pets and life, it’s also a whopping 120″! That’s pretty huge for one piece of furniture…but still is only half of the total length of the hallway. That’s why I added a chair that could sit on either side of it (a potted plant could work too). I imagine someone putting on or taking off their shoes while sitting in it, making the shoe basket a perfect side companion. But going back to the credenza, it’s long which means it will need some more decor to make it look not totally empty. I love how the black in the lamp talks to the chair and shoe basket. Then a vase is always a great decor piece with or without flowers and I think this tray is so cute! I didn’t realize that they already have a wicker bowl which would also be perfect. And siiiince there’s space, you know I love a good candelabra🙂 The art for this was the hardest and these three pieces are more of a jumping-off point. The reader definitely needs to measure it all out and probably add since the wall is so huge. But they also don’t have to fill up the whole wall. Oh, and since there is soooo much happening on the credenza side, I think the 4 photos they have should be moved to the opposite wall in a grid and maybe stick that little bench under them as long as there’s enough walking space. Now, I left the existing rug in this combo to make it more affordable but the other rug would also look awesome. The only thing is that they will need to get 2 since it doesn’t come in that long of a size.

OK, combo #2! I’m a sucker for that medium-toned wood so this credenza is magic to me. Plus, the brass hardware is so so pretty. Overall this is a still neutral but a warmer option. That print from Juniper Shop can be printed up to 55″x79″ (which is the size I tried to measure out in the graphic)! Can you believe it? What I also love is that you have the option for them to print it on paper or canvas OR you can get a very affordable digital download (but then you have to get it printed and framed which is something to consider if you want to go big). But I love this specific piece because it’s colorful but soft and has so much movement. It’s not going to overwhelm the space. Let this be a lesson in scale. When things are more or less the same size or too small, it almost never looks right or properly designed. So when in doubt say no to itsy bitsy and go bigger. Oh, and aren’t those sconces great? It’s amazing how many cute battery-operated options there are out there now. I just thought these linen shades felt a little softer which I wanted. The accessories each have a fun detail about them whether that’s pattern, material, and/or shape! Actually, pattern is an important element to this, including the easy-to-clean, shed-resistant, water-resistant runner (which again, they’ll need two and potentially a rug pad or some rug tape so their sweet pup doesn’t slip). It will help make the space feel more alive. But to not have too much pattern I love love the shape of that leather chair which I paired with a simple shoe basket.

Now, all this of course is going to add up so I also looked at more affordable credenza options like this wall-mounted IKEA cabinet that they could get a couple of but I worry about the mesh getting dusty or full of dog hair. I also loved this affordable extra-long cabinet (under $650) but the wood tone looked a little too yellow and the wood grain looked too similar. The last idea I had was if they were handy that they could build something like this at their desired length. That way they could fill it with books, bins, or whatever they’d like. Oh, and something I didn’t mention above is that they could also add some hooks by the front door if they wanted their pet leases more accessible 🙂

Well, that’s it for me! I truly hope that these 4 readers find this helpful and for the rest of you, that you are a least a little inspired.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Sarah Zachary | Styled by Emily Bowser | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: A Historic Mid-Century Modern Home That Was Completely Brought Back To Life (Hope You’re Ready For Some COOL Original Details)

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Erin Dae
3 months ago

Great post! So much bite-sized inspiration.

Donna J
3 months ago

This is a GREAT post! Very stylish and I really appreciate all the great high/ low options! Just FYI the link to the second credenza in the last hallway is missing, I’d love to see it.

3 months ago
Reply to  Donna J

It’s fixed now.

Lauren Patrick
3 months ago

Loving fix it Friday! Not sure if you are looking or are open to ideas for it, but a post on mantel decor would be so helpful! I very much have the holiday decor on lock, but what about for the inbetween? I like to play with decor throughout the year and get stumped on what to do during January or over the summer. Just a thought!

3 months ago

I’m trying to wrap my head around shoe baskets… you all put your shoes, with dirty and sometimes wet soles, on top of your other shoes? Don’t they get dirty, and get used up more quickly? Maybe it’s cultural (I’m French Canadian), but I’ve never seen shoe baskets in other people homes and could not see myself doing that in my own home.

3 months ago
Reply to  Marichelle

I can see how it his wouldn’t work in a wet, muddy environment but baskets are common in California where light wear is more the norm. I can see why soles touching tops would bother some people but it’s in the “pick your battles” category I guess.

3 months ago
Reply to  Marichelle

My family and I live in a state with four seasons and we use boot trays for winter, spring and rainy days. Then we swap the boot trays for baskets in the summer. If you’re worried about germs on the bottom of your shoes, you could place the shoes soles together and wrap a large rubber band around them before you place them in the basket. Here’s a link for some:

Amanda Luhn
3 months ago

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy the new fix-it Fridays. Super helpful and lots of fun to read. Keep ’em coming!

3 months ago

Home run, Jess. So much design insight here. Please more solving problems with doable budgets and sourcing.

Rachel Morris
3 months ago

I love this! Thanks so much. Very helpful and inspiring!

3 months ago

I love the Fix it Friday feature and hope it will keep going. It’s great, practical advice and I love seeing homes with real-world challenges. Your mood boards are amazing, Jess! I’m off to take a fresh look at my entryway.

3 months ago

Oh I love tjis format! Briliant suggestions, well done Jess!!! So fun to think about 😀

Roberta Davis
3 months ago

Lots of good ideas and help! We moved into a new (to us) house 3 years ago and I was able to use an existing hall table and a 4×6 oriental rug with a couple of pieces of art and a nice cache pot for an orchid. All stuff we had. Somehow it just came together perfectly. And it makes a huge difference in the feel of our place.

3 months ago

This was a very inspiring and informative post! Thank you!
I would also love some ideas on covering up a radiator in the hallway.

3 months ago
Reply to  Violeta

What I see most commonly is a DIY covering that creates a shelf on top with some sort of wood framing, often slats, sometimes cane or fancy pegboard, both to let heat escape.

3 months ago

Love the fix-it Friday posts! So relatable.

3 months ago

Love these posts! This one was so helpful as I redo my own entryway. Thank you so much!

Jessica P
3 months ago

Love Fix it Friday and the practical advice and illustrations! It’s easy to get lost in the instagram world of designer staged homes – feeling empowered to make changes to my home. Thanks!

3 months ago

I love this series – so fun!

I had a thought for the first example. I know you suggested a new console table. But I think if you could also buy a second Target credenza that is already there and simply double-up. It may be slightly less expensive than buying a larger credenza? Just a thought!

Jen A
3 months ago

Even though my entry does not look like any of these, I definitely got some ideas for how to elevate ours. I love all of the links, so helpful. Thanks for this post!

3 months ago

I saw this call for entries then forgot to enter! I now wish I had, but there’s some inspiration here anyway. I def need a runner and longer drawers/credenza. A question: I have a shoe each and a vertical/standing coat rack. Currently they are opposite each other but should I smoosh them together? Also I’d love to know what the architectural ideas are for breaking up a long hallway!

3 months ago

LOVE this post! Can we do a Fix It Friday for every room in the house please? 🙂

3 months ago

As the owner of example 1, I have suspected the cabinet was too small. Thank you for confirming and giving suggestions. I wish I had included more pictures of the space, but the dark wood is definitely the way to go. The light wood cabinet never felt right.

3 months ago

Holy crap! Battery. Powered. Sconces. I want all the options, round ups and honest opinions/experiences. My 1960s bungalow has an alarming lack of outlets and they would be a game changer.

3 months ago

Lots of good ideas as always. I thought consensus was mirrors across from entry doors was bad feng shui (they bounce the energy back outside I think), but they are suggested in the formula designs. Or is the assumption that they would not be directly across from the entry. Also, and I know they are hard to catch, but several typos in this post.

3 months ago

This was really inspiring and I have to say, I really enjoy this type of content where the end result feels doable and easy on the wallet. Would you consider doing food storage when you don’t have a lot of kitchen space and/or a pantry? Thank you for the inspiration and I’m looking forward to the next Fix It Friday!

3 months ago

More of this please! If I turn my head to the right, I can see my entry hall. It’s not bad, just could be better. I do have a lot of storage in a narrow space. it’s confined and dim and then opens up to a very large sunny living room … I actually love that aspect.

3 months ago

Love these types of posts, keep em coming!

3 months ago

These are beautiful. I appreciate all the ideas. Oh and the sconces. Love. But I feel like these entryway ideas/make-overs are always only for people that live in California with no kids. I would love to see some examples or ideas of families managing the entry in the context of multiple kids, pets, backpacks, in a place with season and 10 coats/person, boots, etc.