Friday, February 3, 2012

The Frugal Fixer-Upper: Front Entranceway Makeover, Part 3

Yes, this is the post you've all been waiting for - the one where I finally show you the "after" pictures of our front entranceway reno!

After nearly a month of taping, plastering, sanding and painting, I was so anxious to share the final results with you - and then the lighting conditions conspired to make it extremely difficult to get good photos. First it was too overcast to get good pics, then it was too bright and sunny. This is a maddening area of the house to photograph, as not only is the light never quite right, but the angles and narrow hallway make it difficult to do justice to the overall effect. So, I did the best I could, and you can get a good idea of the transformation, but  I don't think the photos do it justice - so you'll just have to stop by for a cup of coffee or tea and check it out in real life :)

If you haven't yet seen the "before" photos, you really need to check them out here and here to get a full appreciation of just how far we've come.

Here we go...


 is now this:

And this:

is now this:

This hideous mess:

 is now this nice clean wall:

This area is awaiting the final step in this makeover process: a built in set of "lockers" and shelves for the four of us to store our coats, shoes, boots, hats, mitts, umbrellas, etc. The storage unit actually got built yesterday by my husband and our carpenter friend (it took the two of them an entire day to build it!) but I'm not going to show it to you until it's all painted up nice and filled with our stuff :)

Here is the best shot I could get of directly inside the front door:

And one of the top of the stairs (which you can see if you're standing just inside the front door):

(the table was a yard sale find that I painted white; the plant and framed poster have been with me since university days, and the cafe curtain on the window was another yard sale find from long ago)

I'm particularly pleased with the little details, as I'm the one who put most of them together.

Part of my plan for redoing this area was to make sure that there was a place for everything that's *supposed* to be by the front door, but to make it difficult to plonk stuff down that's not supposed to be there. The storage table we had here previously (shown in the before photos) was crammed full of junk inside and often had a large pile of miscellaneous books, papers and clothing articles piled on top of it. I had this table tucked away that we had used in our previous house but had not found a place for here. It was a garage sale find quite a few years back (I'm sure I didn't pay more than $5 for it) and was an unappealing scuffed-up dark brown. I gave it a good priming and painted it with 2 coats of high gloss enamel paint. Despite my cursing and swearing that I would never paint anything with that many spindles again, I'm pleased with how it came out.   

The basket on the top is for depositing housekeys when you come through the door so you don't misplace them. The middle shelf is for library materials that need to be returned (it seems that most days someone in our house makes our way over to the neighbourhood branch!). The basket on the bottom shelf is for things like the elastic straps we use to tie up our pantlegs when we're biking, sunglasses, and that sort of thing. Both baskets were yard sale finds, of course!

I love that this gives just enough space for the necessities, but no spare surface to put stuff down that shouldn't be there. I also like how the more delicate table allows you to see more of the sidelight paneling and the funky old air register return - the kind of cool details that make dealing with the challenges of an older home worth it.

 On the wall above and to the side of the table are a mirror which was a yard sale find from last season (it had also been an unappealing dark brown and I decided to paint it with high gloss black enamel) and an antique cheese box (yep, also a yard sale find) which will be perfect for holding outgoing mail, bottles of sunscreen in the summer, and other small random items we like to keep by the front door. The little basket inside the box is holding lip balm, pens and pencils and that sort of thing.

We decided to spray paint the two switchplates in the newly-painted areas (one in the front hallway, and one up on the second floor). I forgot to take "before" shots, but both had unappealing brassy finishes before we painted them. I think this one may have been original to the house, and I just love the detailed texture of it. My hubby replaced all three of the switches, which were either ivory or black and did NOT match our new look!

All told, we spent less than $25 on all of these finishing touches and I think they really add a lot of personality to the space.

I am *so* not in a number-crunching mood right now, so I'm not going to do a total cost breakdown right now (I promise I'll do it when I post the final pics with the storage unit!). I do know we spent over $200 on paint, which was the major expense for this stage of the reno. Oh, and in case you're wondering about the paint colour, it's Weston Flax by Benjamin Moore. I like the way it looks better in real life than in the photos though! 

Overall, I'm really thrilled with what we managed to achieve in this area of the house, although it sure took a lot more work than we bargained for!

With any luck I should have the final pictures of our storage locker by the end of next week, along with the final cost breakdown for this front hall transformation.


  1. so nice! you did a great job, I love your accessorizing on a dime too.

  2. It's gorgeous! Refreshed, yet true to the home's era and very elegant. You need your own HGTV show. ;-)

  3. Love it to bits!! It's bright & inviting! Just perfect! :)

  4. Really, really pretty. Great job!



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