before & after: entryway + old door display

I must admit that I’m a little jealous of this project; I’d love to have an entryway for storing shoes, coats and all the random objects that otherwise pile up in our living room, especially one as pleasant and lovely as this. The darker, larger tiles are much more appropriate for the space and complement the earthy color palette that Jennifer has chosen. I also love the robin’s egg blue door (!) and the sunny graphic pillow on the bench— wonderful little details that make the space. Great work, Jennifer! — Kate

Time: We worked on this project with a couple friends each Saturday for eight weeks. This project — including board and batten, tile and painting — easily could have been done in two to three weekends.

Cost: For everything — tile, plywood, wood, paint, etc.: $350

Basic Steps: We started with a basic idea, a mood board I had created and a couple pictures I’d see around the Internet. Our house is quite old, and this room was incredibly dingy and dark. It’s not our main entrance, but it opens up to our kitchen, so everyone who comes in the house sees it. Once we had a solid plan, my husband tackled reinforcing the stairs, tiling and the board and batten. Board and batten is relatively straightforward, but this was our longest step. Not only are there a lot of angles in the room, but we also quickly discovered that the room wasn’t exactly square. Once that was up, I tackled the remainder of the walls. It’s always amazing to me what a little scrubbing, filler and paint will do for a room. The blue door was a last minute addition that ended up being our favorite part!

My advice, especially for people who own older homes, is that there are many solutions to home-improvement problems. Using a little creativity and breaking the projects into easy-to-accomplish tasks makes a project seem less big and daunting. I hope seeing this renovation encourages others to tackle projects that might seem too huge and impossible, because there really are budget-friendly and beautiful solutions everywhere. — Jennifer

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE to see Alisha’s door display after the jump!

As a former display artist, I have a soft spot in my heart for projects that are purely for decorative or artistic purposes, like this beautiful houndstooth door backdrop by Alisha. Functional? Perhaps not, unless you consider “being fun to look at” a function (which I do). She brilliantly chose to taper off the pattern at the top, and the result is a unique display that turns an old door in a corner into a lovely art installation. Great work, Alisha!

Time: The whole project took about a week.

  • 1 day (8 hrs) to scrape, clean, transport and prime
  • 1 day (8 hrs) to paint white (3 coats)
  • 1 day (8 hrs) to draw the stencil pattern
  • 3 days (24 hrs) to paint the stencil pattern

Cost: $20 (door was free from a friend’s remodel; $20 for paint from Home Depot; all other supplies on hand)

Basic Steps: To prep the door for painting, I used a scraper to remove any excessively peeling paint. Since I wanted to keep the door’s aged look, I avoided areas of only slightly peeling paint that I thought might add to the texture of the door. Using a soft, damp cloth, I cleaned the door and then applied 2 to 3 coats of primer.

Decorator’s White is my favorite white and the perfect backdrop for a more intricate pattern (or anything really . . .). After 2 to 3 coats of clean white paint and letting it set for a couple days, I started on the stencil. Using a pencil, I lightly traced the stencil pattern onto the door, omitting only the uneven planes around the door’s inset panels.

Using several different-sized paintbrushes, I painted in the pattern starting from the bottom. I knew I wanted the pattern to break apart toward the top, so at about half way, I stopped and marked which units would be filled in and which wouldn’t. After completing my pattern, I went back in with white paint to correct some stray gray paint and go over the pattern units I had not used.

My advice to others trying to tackle a similar project would be to always keep your eyes open! Items considered garbage to others could take on a second life given the right home (this door was a day away from the spring cleaning dumpster when I rescued it). In fact, the opportunity for a project like this may already exist in your home! Take a moment to walk around your living space and notice any areas or items that, while serving a necessary function, could use a face-lift. — Alisha

  1. Lizzie says:

    Wow, incredible. I’ve been looking for more entryway makeovers/inspiration, and this is it!

  2. love the way you utilized the small space! makes me want to redo the laundry room, but i live in an apartment and moving out soon!

  3. Kristan says:

    Love the entryway! The colors and the plan really warm it up.

  4. What a transformation – especially the entryway. I like the idea of a mood board to help plan. While I love the original entryway tiles, I have to admit that the ‘after’ flooring and wall colors actually make the room seem much brighter than the original white.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


  5. Emily M says:

    The READ MORE link isn’t working. I had to get here by clicking on the comments link.

    1. amya says:

      Thanks, Emily! Fixed now. :)

  6. Suzy says:

    I’m so jealous! Wish I had such a lovely entryway!

  7. MKL says:

    Sad you had to remove the former tiles

  8. Marlene says:

    Love the entry way, so simple, so beautiful!

  9. whistplerpotpie says:

    The mudroom is fantastic. I love the robins egg door…makes me want to paint the inside of our door to the screen porch a fun color that says, come on outside!

    Great inspiration!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Love the entry way! Do you have any idea where that welcome mat is from?

  11. shannon says:

    Where’d you get that yellow and white pillow? I want one!

  12. I love the bright transformation of the entryway! Gorgeous!

  13. Mish says:

    I loooove that door!! What a great idea!!

  14. Renee says:

    That door looks incredible! I’m not sure I would have the patience to do that myself but I would definitely buy one :)

  15. Jenn says:

    THANK YOU for the sweet comments about my back entry! To answer a couple questions:
    @MKL and @Wholesale: the original floor wasn’t tile, but a very badly scratched and torn linoleum. There was really no salvaging it.
    @Elizabeth: The rug is from IKEA!
    @shannon: The pillow is from Pottery Barn, a couple years ago
    @Renee: painting the door was soooo easy and quick. You could definitely do it yourself :)

  16. Ingrid says:

    Such a lovely entryway! I would like to know where to get that bench. Perfect size for a small space.

  17. That blue door! OMG, speechless. Love it, love it, love it. Great work!

  18. avril says:

    I’m painting my kitchen door that Robin’s egg color this weekend – what is it please? And the wall color for that matter? Thanks!

  19. Wow!!! LOVE these so very much!

  20. hena tayeb says:

    Love the entry way.. it looks fantastic

  21. nikki says:

    i love the door idea.
    i’m on the look out now.

  22. ash says:

    I love the door! Great design and I admire your patience!

  23. erin says:

    Where did you get the E.Lake sign? That’s my name!

  24. sue says:

    Cute jacket! Where did you get the jacket from (if you don’t mind my asking).

    And cute entryway! Love the cheerful colors!

  25. jenn says:

    @Ingrid … I found the YEARS ago at a little store in a little town in OR. Sadly, I have no idea where to find another.
    @Avril, paint is Grant Beige by BM, door is Shoreline Blue by Ralph Lauren.
    @erin, REALLY!? Crazy! It’s a street in central Oregon … we picked it up in an antique store in the area :)

  26. Amy says:

    Sorry if this is silly, but did you make the paneling out of plywood and wood for the dividers? Trying to figure out how to do this in my son’s room and was worried about using plywood that the wood would show through the paint.


  27. A.D. says:

    That door = beyond cool!

  28. Neha Drupal says:


    I just liked the way of revamping the entranceway with lovely tiles and idea of re-furnishing the door is simply a terrific thing. Hardwood flooring would have lighten up the doorway from my perspective, I guess :)


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