Before and After: This Plain Entryway’s Whimsical, Colorful Redo Will Delight You

published Aug 7, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: Plain white entryway with pink mirror

The best entryways feel warm, welcoming, and unique to the home they belong to—but sometimes it takes a little work to get them there. The entryway at Claudia Tavares Lopes’s (@ctl_lilasoul) place had potential, with charming period details like arched molding, but the drab white-on-white color scheme didn’t exactly scream “fun”. But, says Claudia, that’s what was appealing about the house in general: “the fact that it was old enough to have all these gorgeous period features, character and quirky bits, but it had remained somewhat of a blank canvas over the years.”

That blank canvas was all the better since Claudia and her partner Tom both work in creative fields, doing illustration and animation. “We knew from the start that the house would reflect those interests and artistic tastes, and would be a blend of old and new, classic and eccentric all at once,” Claudia says.

Both Claudia and Tom had long worked from home, so Claudia wanted to make their home’s entryway into a fun and welcoming space—”almost as if you were entering the lobby of a cool and vibrant animation studio,” she says. One day, she asked Tom if he’d mind having a mural in the entrance and when he said no, Claudia got to work.

Many murals start with lots of planning, but Claudia wanted this one to feel a little more whimsical. She started by buying 10 tester pots of paint in various colors at just £1.25 each (total cost: less than £13!). Then, she says, “I just went with the flow,” drawing shapes in different sizes, colors, and styles to fill the wall.

The first shape she did was the big pink circle on the top left of the mirror. “For some reason, drawing that first shape was really scary, and I immediately thought to myself, what have I done,” Claudia says. “I went on to draw more pink circles of various sizes and shapes, to get used to seeing them.” Then, she began to map out the rest in her head. “Whenever I felt a bit overwhelmed or unsure, I would go back to that one picture I had saved on my phone from Pinterest, which had sparked the desire to create a mural in the first place,” Claudia says.

Because the entryway walls were covered in an embossed wallpaper, some of the shapes proved a little trickier than others to paint. And because the paper was so absorbent, Claudia needed to apply multiple coats of paint in some areas to achieve an even look.

“My main goal was that I wanted something that would cheer us up and brighten the day whenever we laid eyes on it,” Claudia says. “I also wanted something colorful and fun, but something that we wouldn’t grow bored of over time.” For her, the hardest part of the whole piece was knowing when it was done. “I didn’t want something too busy but I also didn’t want something that looked like I was half-committed,” she says.

The project took just a few days from start to finish, and the impact was immediate. “If you have some natural creative flare, I think it’s fun to just dive in and make things up as you go and see where the design, as it takes shapes, leads you,” Claudia says. “My favorite part is when catching a glimpse of the mural from the dining room, you get this explosion of color and happiness that just bursts at you and that never fails to make me smile in pure delight.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.