Many of us would love a large, beautiful, sunlight-filled foyer with sky high ceilings, but are instead stuck with a small entryway coat closet, (or nothing at all). Our 1930's house had a tiny vestibule with a small coat closet. It was so small that if more than one person was walking into the house at the same time, you'd have to walk into the living room in order to have space to close the exterior door and open the closet door (and by that time you've tracked dirt all over the place).

I was so sick of the ugly, non-functional entryway that one day I just picked up a hammer and started breaking down the wall! This was May 2018. I had never taken down any plaster/ lath walls before, and I had such a hard time I hired a handyman to finish it. Great planning on my part...

When he was done, it looked like this.

From there I just cut some pieces of drywall and taped/ mudded/ sanded. After a coat of paint it looked halfway decent.

After spending far too long on Pinterest, I felt that, with such a small space, a bench with hooks above and baskets below would provide necessary storage while maximizing the open feeling. I loved the look of decorative moulding in the entryway, whether that be shiplap, board and batten, or any other traditional wainscoting. Without any background in woodworking, I decided to go with a traditional wainscoting, which turned out to be the most difficult and time consuming choice by far! I bought my first miter saw, and set out to Youtube to learn finish carpentry from this awesome channel.

Eight months (of 1-2 hour naptimes) later, I finally finished the wainscoting, caulked, and painted! By that time I was somewhere in my third trimester with baby #2. I initially wanted to tile the floor myself and was super excited about my first tile project. Unfortunately, my back was killing me, and I didn't want to spend the next 6+ months without a floor. So I hired it out. I also bought a new door from home depot and hired a handyman to install that too, which was so much cheaper than going through a doors/ windows company (but was admittedly a huge pain and as a woman I was not taken seriously as a customer AT ALL). With a little wallpaper and some styling, it turned into an adorable little room.

One day I need to finish some small details like shoe moulding, but I'm a 90% done is good enough type of person... because there's always so many other things to do!

What I learned this project:

  1. Especially if new to finish carpentry, do not try recessed wainscoting offset!

  2. Plan all elements, including flooring, paint color, wallpaper and styling beforehand... I had a hard time pulling this room together (just like the mudroom).

  3. If tiling around a radiator, it is definitely possible to remove the radiator so the tile has a streamlined look, but not totally necessary if using small tile (I didn't) for this project.

Project Details:

Paint color: Thunder by Benjamin Moore

Flooring: The Builder Depot

Wallpaper: Serena & Lily

Cushion fabric: Ballard designs

Baskets: Target

Throw blanket: Serena & Lily