Before and After: A Cheery (But Still Classic) Update for This 1880s Entryway

updated Jan 29, 2020
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Living in an old house means knowing that it had a lot of lives before you arrived. That was definitely the case for Raftyn Rignell. In 2014, her family moved into an 1880s farmhouse that had been used as a bed and breakfast for scrapbooking retreats. It was even known by locals as the “scrapbooking house.”

“There are always lots of surprises when dealing with a house as old as ours, but we did a lot of homework before even making an offer on the house,” says Raftyn. “Although we have made lots of changes, we still live in an old farmhouse, and keeping some of the old charm and adding back some character has been really important to us!”

Those changes included updating the side entrance from tired and dim to bright and airy. Throughout the home, Raftyn and her husband had the old laminate flooring professionally replaced with hardwood, and at the side entrance specifically, they ripped out the carpeting on the stairs and painted the original wood they found underneath in a clean white. “The old beadboard on the part under the stairs also helps keep some of that farmhouse character,” Raftyn says.

Her husband painted the stair railing white, too (he owns a painting business!), and built new trim around the door to add even more character. And the couple installed new baseboard trim and a hand-me-down light fixture from a friend, and built a bench from “a slab of walnut” and hairpin legs they found on Amazon. Raftyn’s favorite addition to the side entryway is the biggest-ticket item: the new door, which she says adds “the perfect mix of modern to the space.”

The couple estimates that they spent between $2,800 and $3,000 on the side entryway changes, including the flooring just for this area. More than five years after moving into the house, the family is still making updates. “Renovating is definitely a process for us, as we do a lot of the work ourselves and have to pace and budget for what we do each year,” Raftyn says.

We know it’s not a bed and breakfast anymore, but we’d love to stay over in this space!