Before and After: An Entryway Goes from “Dark and Gloomy” to Joyful and Welcoming

published Apr 22, 2021
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About this before & after
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Before: Dark, cramped entryway with deep red walls
Credit: Aly Heasman

There’s no doubt that your home can affect your mood. The decor and colors of your different spaces might make you feel more relaxed, or more awake; they might help you focus, or help you feel creative. Unfortunately, your home can also affect your mood for the worse, too, as was the case for Aly Heasman (Iekel Road Home). The entryway she and her husband came home to every day wasn’t inviting — in fact, “it was dark and gloomy,” Aly says. With dark walls, poor lighting, and no natural light, “Just walking through this space made me feel claustrophobic,” she says.

Finally, Aly and her husband decided a redo was in order. “We were tired of not loving the first thing we saw when walking through the front door,” she says.

Credit: Aly Heasman

One major issue was, of course, the dark color. A couple cans of paint in a much lighter, more soothing blue for the walls and white for the wainscoting immediately made the space feel brighter and more open. But the couple still had a long coat closet that made the space much more narrow than they wanted. The parquet floor was also in need of an update, and so was the dated tile ceiling.

Credit: Aly Heasman

Tearing out the coat closet did wonders for making the space bigger and more practical for the couple. The old tiled ceiling and parquet floors also got the boot so that Aly could create a brighter, more welcoming entryway.

New wood-look laminate floors have a classic look but are durable and easy to clean, making them ideal for a high-traffic area. After removing the drop tiles, Aly and her husband refinished the ceiling with wood salvaged from an earlier porch redo — a smart money-saver that’s also environmentally friendly. “I love the new height of our ceiling,” Aly says . “The 10-foot ceilings really helped to open up the entryway and make it feel larger.”

Credit: Aly Heasman

As for the walls, Aly and her husband went for bright white with taller beadboard wainscoting that’s capped with a peg rail and a slim shelf. The peg rail makes up for the lost coat space from the closet, offering up an easy-to-reach spot for jackets and bags. Now, the entryway inspires joy, not dread.

“When it comes to your own home, renovate it so that when you walk in the front door you’re are happy to be home,” Aly says. “Your home should be a representation of the people within it and a place you long to return to.”

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