Home Projects

Before and After: A Plain White Entryway’s Redo Makes Its 1910s Features Shine

published Oct 13, 2022
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Before: a white entryway with black and white tiled floors
Credit: Nina Watson

PSA: Older homes don’t have to be neutral, color-wise. (And for some ultra-colorful home redo inspiration, check out these 43 home redos in every color of the rainbow.) Nina Watson (@artdecojewel)’s home is one such example.

Credit: Nina Watson

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It was built in 1910 and had some fabulous original features: Anaglypta wallpaper below the dado rail, Edwardian architraving, and a Minton black and white tiled floor.

“However, the space was quite dark as there was no light traveling all the way from the front to the back of the house,” Nina says. “The beige walls were too neutral for our taste. We wanted to bring more color to enhance the beautiful textures.”

Credit: Nina Watson

Nina’s no stranger to color and pattern; you might recognize her bright red front door, her dreamy blue bathroom, or her bold-wallpapered second bathroom. For her entryway redo, she added a botanical wallpaper and glossy blue paint.

Credit: Nina Watson

“We wanted the entrance … to have more ‘wow’ factor than it had before,” Nina says. They took cues from the existing details and chose warm, vintage-inspired furnishings: Little Greene’s Etruria (a blue-gray shade) for the Anaglypta and woodwork, and a bird- and botanical-printed wallpaper for the upper walls.

Credit: Nina Watson

Of course, wallpapering an older apartment or house was not without its difficulties. “Most of the walls aren’t quite straight, so bringing patterned wallpaper around non-perpendicular walls was a headache,” Nina says. She hired professionals to help with the wallpaper and to do the painting. Her advice? “You need a lot more paint and wallpaper than you think for a hallway, so budget accordingly,” she says. “It cost more than we thought.”

They also hired a plumber to drain and remove the old radiator and replace it with a cast-iron one. “It weighs a ton!” Nina says.

Credit: Nina Watson

One of the toughest parts of the project was simply its location, Nina recalls. Because it’s a highly trafficked area, they made sure to schedule the messiest part of the project (the paint) for when they were out of town and (tried) to keep pets out of the area when work was going on. “Our cats swishing their tails at the wrong moments was a regular occurrence,” she says.

Credit: Nina Watson

But the months-long project paid off. “We love the whole vibe of the space and how the golden wallpaper makes the hallway glow when the sun comes in at different times of the day,” Nina says of the after. “We love the truly vintage feel that our home has, and how the colors in the wallpaper work so well going into each of our rooms. It’s a soft palette that introduces the different spaces.”

A tone-setting, statement-making entryway for the win!