Before and After: A Blank Entryway Gets a “Vibrant and Happy” DIY Makeover

published Jan 2, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly

Even in a functional and often-forgotten space like an entryway or hallway, a few creative additions that enhance the color palette or usefulness can add tons of character to a house. 

When Carrie Kline’s (@honeydohoney_home) husband asked her to build something special to store keys by the front door, she had no idea it would turn into an entire entryway-slash-front hallway project. But once she started, she just couldn’t stop.

The initial entryway featured gray walls and a white door. It was well-painted and clean, but Carrie wanted to make the space feel more like home. “I actually appreciated the blank slate,” she says. “It’s a pretty small entryway, so I knew I wanted to add some happy colors so that when you walked in, you would be met with happy and cozy feelings.”

Credit: Carrie Kline
Credit: Carrie Kline

It started with a table. 

The entryway of a home is one of the most commonly used spaces, so Carrie’s goal was for it to be as functional as it was useful. Wanting a place for her family to temporarily set things down and having no luck finding a console table for sale that she liked the dimensions of, she designed and built her own ultra-narrow one.

“I knew I wanted a very simple design that didn’t take up a lot of room but would serve the purpose of storing mail, keys, and even your water bottle when you walked in and needed a place to set it down to take your shoes off,” Carrie says.

Credit: Carrie Kline

Woodworking projects add whimsy.

The wall space behind Carrie’s table is the perfect example of how small additions make a big difference. A simple stripe of neutral brown paint unites the table with the wall and makes them feel like a cohesive unit. 

Carrie also designed line art out of small square dowels that added movement to the environment, and she incorporated function through scrap wood key holders next to the door. “I had been at The Home Depot and saw the tiny square dowels and noticed how cheap they were and thought it would be cool to make some sort of design with those,” Carrie recalls. “I painted them, cut them to different sizes, and then just started nailing them on the wall.”

Credit: Carrie Kline
Credit: Carrie Kline

And the space isn’t short on function.

As you move through the space, Carrie’s colorful creativity comes further into view. Using a single sheet of plywood and Behr’s Cider Spice, she created a board and batten feature in the hallway that features hooks to hang purses, bags, or anything else. The hallway became an extension of the entryway that was not only very visually pleasing, but also extremely functional.

“I thrifted an old storage bench and fixed it up and added that to the hall, which has been great to have a spot to sit to get shoes on and off, especially with kids,” Carrie says. “The hidden storage inside is a great place to store hats and mittens in the colder months.”

Credit: Carrie Kline
Credit: Carrie Kline

The fun continues up the staircase.

You’ll also note that Carrie added color (Sherwin Williams’ Jade Dragon) to her once-plain white front door, and finally, as you exit the entryway and head up to the second floor, you’ll see that Carrie found the perfect space to add a little bit more personality. 

Above the stairway is a bright and quirky gallery wall, featuring art pieces, mirrors, and an eclectic collection of frames. Behind the frames is a “squiggly” wall, with a swirly line (hand-painted by Carrie with two shades of pink, Clare’s Meet Cute and Wing It) drawing guests up the stairs. The project elegantly incorporates the family’s personality into the area and utilizes valuable vertical wall space, too. 

“Overall, it feels really good,” Carrie says. “It’s vibrant and happy. I feel good every time I walk through it.” To see even more of Carrie’s DIYs, check out her living room makeover, her bedroom redo, her bathroom redo, and her house tour.