Before and After: The Ceiling Mural in This New Entryway Might Make You Gasp

updated Sep 20, 2019
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September is Transformation Month at Apartment Therapy! That means every day, we’re sharing a new before & after to show the power of transformations at home. Head over here to see them all!

Andrea Latham‘s entryway had fabulous bones, but it wasn’t living up to its potential, and it wasn’t very functional either.

Because it’s the very first thing you see when you walk into her family’s house, Andrea hoped to create a space that was warm and exciting at the same time. “I wanted [our entryway] to give a bold, jaw-dropping first impression that set the tone for everything else we’ve done,” she writes. “We love to host family and friends, so I knew this space would see many visitors over the years. I wanted every person who entered our home to know immediately they were welcome just as they are, and to leave with some beauty and inspiration to take into the world.”

That’s a big ask, but Andrea was up for it. She and her husband spent about $500 and several months on the project. The biggest tasks: paint the interior door, install a new light fixture, and, of course, paint *that* ceiling mural, which Andrea did freehand! “I never in a million years thought I’d be capable of drawing such a detailed mural (on a ceiling much less!), but that risk paid off and is one of my favorite projects in our whole home,” she writes.

Andrea is so glad that she didn’t accelerate the design process, instead waiting until she felt thrilled with each and every aspect before introducing it. “Military life has caused us to move every one to three years, so I’ve always rushed to decorate and make the temporary walls feel like home,” she writes. “But finally being in the house we plan to settle [in], it’s been my goal to be intentional with every design decision, even if that means moving at a snail’s pace. “

Every aspect of the decor has a story, too. “The shelf brackets come from a salvage store in one of our prior duty stations,” Andrea writes. “The inclusive welcome sign was created by me but inspired by a Knoxville, Tennessee, restaurant (named ‘Nicest Place in America’ by Reader’s Digest) owned by Muslim refugees, the bench was a random IKEA find, the freehand ceiling mural inspired by the Talavera-style pottery I fell in loved with on our honeymoon to Mexico, the teapot wind chime from a recent trip to Japan, and the rug a Facebook score of a lifetime originating from Afghanistan where my husband has deployed twice. Nearly every element has love, intention, and a story interwoven into it.”

Thank you for sharing, Andrea!