Before and After: 4 Low-Lift Swaps Make This Entryway Feel More Open and Timeless

published Aug 28, 2023
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Entryways, whether they’re large foyers or tiny drop spots, deserve just as much attention as any other space in your home. “The entry to a home is so important,” interior designer Amy Cortell (@amycortell) says, adding that it welcomes you and your guests in and offers a little “preview of the home.” So what will your preview say? Floral and fun? Moody meets modern? Family-friendly?

Credit: Amy Cortell

Before, this ‘90s entryway felt dark and disjointed from the home.

For Amy’s clients who recently bought a home built in 1994, the entryway before was saying “blah,” but the entryway after is timeless and cozy but not overly complicated. Before, the entryway had vinyl flooring, brick pillars, and dark paint on the walls. Despite its large windows, it felt dim and dated. Plus, it had an overly intricate light fixture that the homeowners weren’t in love with, Amy says. 

The homeowners did love the original brick, the lofty ceilings, and the windows, so the goal was to accentuate the positives while adding seating and replacing the flooring and lighting. “Adding seating and protecting the engineered hardwood from the Ohio weather was very important,” Amy says. 

She selected engineered hardwood to replace both the entryway’s vinyl floors and the carpet in the adjacent living area. Having all one type of flooring helped the entryway feel more connected to the other rooms, and made the whole floor plan flow better. Her clients removed the entryway’s vinyl floors before Amy brought in an outside company that milled, stained, and installed the new engineered hardwoods.

Credit: Amy Cortell
Credit: Amy Cortell

Fresh paint, floors, and lighting create a brighter look that’s still timeless.

Next, Amy and her clients wanted to lighten up the walls to bring an overall sunnier look to the entryway. Amy went with Sherwin-Williams’ Repose Gray, and she says lightening up the walls was one of the smoothest steps of the project. “We sampled a few colors, but it was pretty immediate and mutual agreement on the color,” she says. “We did not want to overcomplicate this area of the home because we loved the original brick, tall ceilings, and windows so we went with a very soft greige color to make the space feel inviting.” 

Amy also swapped out the light fixture for a classic black candelabra-inspired chandelier that pops a bit more against the white and has a more timeless look. 

To finish out the space and make it more welcoming, Amy added an area rug and a bench. In the end, Amy and her clients love the simple swaps they made in the entryway. “It invites you in and makes you want to stay awhile,” Amy says. “There is function and style all in one small space. The bench makes it easy for guests to come in and remove their shoes and get comfy, the rug adds a beautiful pop of color and protects the floor, and the dimmable light really adds warmth to the space and complements the tall ceilings and large windows.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.