DIY Entryway Makeover

After moving into this home in September of 2018, I have continually been decorating and redoing spaces one at a time. Our entryway has continuously been a challenge for me, but I finally got a vision for it this year. I was determined to make this space inviting, homey, and beautiful. After redoing our Fireplace before Christmas last year, I knew I wanted a similar look and feel for the entryway. Blue seemed to be the most fitting color. In this post, I’ll be sharing all the details of how this project came together. 

The final before photo.

Below is the after photo of our dark blue fireplace, it’s a lot darker in person. You can find the tutorial for the painted brick and mantel makeover here

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase, which allows me to provide all of this content to you for free.

My inspiration for this project came from a photo I saw on Pinterest. I fell in love with this entryway by Mindfully Gray. She painted the upper half of her wall instead of using wallpaper. The photo stopped me in my scroll, and I immediately knew this project would be the perfect thing to do in our entry. I did make changes to make it functional for our space.

Our front door is more of a formal entryway, and we hardly ever use the front door except when people visit. So, we didn’t need the wall hooks. I also wanted it to be more decorative than functional because of how we utilize our entryway. I decided to do a photo ledge, which ended up being perfect for us, as you’ll see in this post. Below is the pin that inspired this whole project.

One of the things I wanted to keep in mind when choosing a color for the entryway was the color of the fireplace. When you walk in our front door, you can see the fireplace, like the photo below. I wanted the colors to go well together but be different at the same time.

Here’s my attempt at a vision board for the wall. Seeing things side-by-side helps me visualize. The picture below shows the wallpaper, shelf stain, and three wall color possibilities.

Why blue? I’m not sure when my love for blue paint began, but I am enjoying it in our home. With a background in psychology, I also find color psychology interesting. According to some research, colors can affect a person’s mood. Supposedly, blue is a calming and peaceful color, which I can agree with personally. I want people to walk in and feel welcome and calm, so we chose Blustery Sky by Sherwin Williams (SW 9140).

Step 1: Fresh Paint in a Gorgeous Color

Let’s talk about the paint. Painting is the easiest and quickest way to transform a space, in my opinion. Depending on the area, it’s usually cost-effective too. Make sure you get good paint. We like paint with primer included because it saves a step.

Before painting this project, I added painters tape around the corners and at the top edge for a guide. I didn’t bother painting up to the ceiling because of the wallpaper.

I kept my paint can, stick, and other stuff in a box. It was easy to drag around or pick up everything at once. I am usually a clean painter, so I don’t use drop cloths or plastic, but you may want to put that down before you get started. 

I kept the paint tray on a piece of packing paper from an Amazon shipment.

Brush the edges with a paintbrush then roll the rest of the wall. Doing it in this order helps blend out your brush strokes. Do this same sequence for the second coat if you need one. Since I was going so dark, I did add a second coat. 

I finished both coats of paint in one night. It goes faster than you think once you have everything set up. To store your paintbrushes and roller without washing them, keep them in a zipper bag. I kept this one for over a week in the bag for touch-ups.

Step 2: Add Wallpaper or Upper Design

If you don’t want to add wallpaper, you can leave the top part the same color as the rest of the walls or change it up with patterns and stencils. I chose to do wallpaper, and I wish I had a tutorial to share with you for putting it up. However, it was not my favorite thing to do, and it was my first time.

The wallpaper is peel and stick and easily removed, thankfully, because I had to remove it several times to get it right on the wall. Below is the first wallpaper I ordered. The color was too light for the paint and stain, so I ordered a different color in the same paper that looks a million times better.

The wallpaper I used is a darker color and pulls colors in from the stain. It brings the colors in the space together.

I followed the directions on the wallpaper for installing, and I also used a scraper made for wallpaper, which is essential. You buy that here.

Instead of hanging the paper with the lines horizontal, I decided to hang it will the lines vertical. Doing this allowed me to use the width of the roll for the upper portion of the wall. I didn’t have to do any cutting or piecing together. The seams were very noticeable with this print if we would have gone with horizontal lines and piecing each section together.

Step 3: Build and Hang Photo Ledge

If you’d rather have hooks versus a ledge, this step would be easier, but I love the photo ledge in our space.

Here’s a supply list for the shelf.

  • 1×4 the length of your wall
  • 1×3 the same length (You can use a wider board here, but 1×3 was as big as our space would hold)
  • 1×2 the same length
  • screws (star drive!)
  • stud finder makes life much easier
  • level
  • finishing nails
  • stain or paint (I used dark walnut)

We didn’t make the 1×2 flush with the ledge because it covered a lot of the shelf, so we put the finishing nails in the middle of the 1×2 to secure it.

Our wall was super long, and I wanted the shelf to go the full length. We had to fit the pieces together to get them to fit correctly. Such a pain, but our store didn’t carry 1x3x12 or 1x2x12 in the pine we wanted to use. I used wood filler to patch the spaces, then sanded and stained the filler. This extra work can be avoided depending on your project.

Step 4: Decorate the Space

It’s time for my absolute favorite part. I love once a vision comes together, and I finally get to put on the finishing touches. Yippee! Let’s talk about arranging a photo ledge. It took me too long to decide on an arrangement for everything, but it’s worth it.

Canvas art and ceramic house from Target.

Here are a couple of questions to consider for your project. What do I want people to see when they walk in my home? What do I want people to know about me from my entryway?

Our little family lives here, and I want to show off our favorite photos. I also wanted my space to be fresh, relaxed, and peaceful. Hopefully, that comes across in the things I added here. You also don’t have to buy all new stuff. I used lots that I already had in my home.

For the new items, I shopped around a lot mostly because the photo ledge is narrow and cannot hold large decor items. I also returned several purchases because I was super picky, which isn’t a bad thing. You can love what you decide to keep. When I finally had the items I wanted, I needed to arrange them. 

Arranging the items took me forever. I wanted the flow to be organic. Lots to ask of a photo ledge, but after moving and moving and moving, I finally settled on an arrangement. 

Now, let’s talk about the rug. This rug was made for me! Not really, I found it at Target, but I feel like it is perfect for this space. The floor area is an odd arrangement, and I had a difficult time deciding on what size to put in here. I finally went with a 5×7, and it completes the space. Amazing what a rug can add. I also cannot believe that it has almost identical wall color and fireplace color in the fibers. It’s perfect here, and it was affordable. You can purchase one here; it’s also available in other colors.

To finish out the area, I wanted to add live greenery because it continues the theme of serenity, and plants make a space better. I purchased the plantstand from Goodwill for $5 and gave it a quick makeover. Then, I added some poly to the top to seal out water, and it was ready to go. I also felt like the wall needed the addition of something at a different height, so the plantstand solved this problem as well.

Entryway Makeover Final Look

It’s complete! When I walk by, I still cannot believe the change. WOW! I told my husband that it looks like someone lives here now. Here are the final photos, and I hope this inspires a project in your home. If it does, let me know! I’d love to see what you create. Please tag me on social media @annakateturnerdiy.

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