Before and After: A $300 Transformation Gives a “Boring” Entryway a Little Oomph

published Jul 19, 2021
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Before: white entryway interior with white walls, black door, and wood floors
Credit: Alissa Hagan

It can take a while to figure out an entryway that is functional for your family and lifestyle — not to mention stylish enough to make you happy whenever you walk inside. Alissa Hagan (@haganhomestead) wasn’t quite there yet with her home’s original entryway.

“Before we had a boring entryway with little character,” Alissa says. “I had added the wallpaper a few years ago, but it was always missing something to define the space and make it feel complete.”

Credit: Alissa Hagan

Besides the entryway’s looks, function was also an issue. “Our bench was a drop zone for guests and would get cluttered quickly and caused confusion when everyone’s things were stacked on top of each other,” Alissa says. She knew a she needed a better system (and a design that actually inspired her).

Credit: Alissa Hagan

Over the course of about two weeks, Alissa and her husband chipped away at the project in their free time. They decided on a vertical paneled wainscoting, which went mostly smoothly — except for a few spots. “The biggest surprise was our walls were not plumb, so cutting the shiplap in the corners was awkward,” Alissa says. With a bit of extra care, though, they were able to pull it off.

Credit: Alissa Hagan

Over the existing bench, they added a slim shelf outfitted with hooks — which makes it a lot easier for guests to store and find their things. Then, Alissa painted the whole assembly — including the trim around the door — deep black. The dramatic color choice makes an instant impact and helps the wainscoting look like it was always meant to be there.

Looking for the light switches? Alissa swapped the old white ones for new black ones, which blend in seamlessly. A new pendant light overhead is the finishing touch for this warm and welcoming space, which cost just $300 to transform.

“I love that in our open concept living this space feels more defined as an entryway,” Alissa says. “It no longer just blends, but makes a statement as soon as you walk in the door.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.