Elsie’s Entryway (BEFORE)

Elsie's Entryway BEFORE Hey, there! Today I'm here to share our before photos and plans for the entryway. I am really excited about this space!

The first time we looked at this home we didn't notice how large it was because it was packed with a ton of furniture (a giant clock, a large record player/side table and several chairs). So the first time we walked into the empty house (on closing day), we were kind of blown away by how spacious the entryway was. As we've begun to plan the decorations and furnishings, Jeremy and I both agree that we want to keep it pretty minimal (UGH—I used the word minimal. I promise this is just a one time thing!) because it just feels so GREAT with less furniture stuffed in there. We're searching for solutions and pieces that are simple, useful AND beautiful. 

Here's ze plan! 

Elsie's Entryway BEFOREI struggled long and hard over the chandelier. It was my favorite fixture that came with the house, so I considered keeping it and tried to work my plans around it. But ultimately I just kind of had to admit to myself that even though I liked it, it didn't really match the overall style I was going for. And I really want the entryway to set the tone for our space and make a statement. 

As soon as I decided to replace it, one of my friends asked if we were keeping it (hint, hint, hint). So I felt like it was meant to be. 

Wow—long story about a chandelier, Elsie. 

Moving on… 

The wallpaper isn't my jam. But it's also not the worst. And somehow that DOES make it the worst because I feel more guilty hating it than I would if it had ballerina teddy bears or something…even though to me, they're kind of equally incompatible with my vibes. 

And even though I know it's not the worst, it's definitely not growing on me. You know how I know? Every time a new person comes into the house (friend, Craigslist stranger, contractor—ANYONE) they ALWAYS compliment the wallpaper and assume that we're definitely keeping it, or even that we had it installed! And even after all those compliments (and the subsequent soul searching), I still know there is zero percent chance this wallpaper is going to grow on me. 

It's not you, wallpaper. It's me

Obviously dying to paint that door pink. It's all I can think about. My husband has agreed to it and then taken it back several times already. UGH. It's OK. I'm very patient and very determined. Time will tell. 

We are keeping the marble flooring. It's about forty years old and needs some TLC. We're looking into options for freshening it up! 

Last big consideration—the entryway opens up into the living room (which now has bright turquoise floors). For that reason, I'm planning to keep it pretty neutral in the entryway, but I haven't committed to a wallpaper (still!) or alternative wall treatment. #sendhelp

Elsie's Entryway BEFORE    Elsie's Entryway BEFORE    Elsie's Entryway BEFORE    The doorway had a ton of damage from a larger dog (I guess he really wanted to go outside???), but I love the door and I will make it work no matter what. Everything is fixable if you have enough time and turn on the problem-solving side of your brain. That's one thing that this renovation has taught me. When one contractor says, "It can't be done," the next one will come along and say, "Oh, that's super easy," ESPECIALLY if you say that another contractor said it couldn't be done. Haha! 

Problem solving, you guys. Never underestimate the power of an optimistic attitude. 

Elsie's Entryway BEFORE    Elsie's Entryway BEFORE   More before pics. (More wallpaper. More yellow. More carpet.) We've already come a long way since these photos were taken in May.

Elsie's Entryway BEFORE       One last look at what we started with. 

I've often heard that the entryway is a good place to "go crazy" with the design. Since it's not a room you actually spend that much time in, it's harder to get tired of bold color or pattern. But since it's the first impression that guests have when they come in, it's a good opportunity to show your personality and make a statement. 

Ugh–no pressure or anything!

Maybe that's why I'm a little stuck. You only get one first impression, right? xx- Elsie 

Author and photography: Elsie Larson. 

  • How fun to have such a large entry to play with! Can’t wait to see what you do! Pink door?? LOVE! I’m wish you with the wallpaper only I really wouldn’t have even tried to like it, I think it’s kinda awful. Might as well be ballerina bears!!

  • So, I grew up with wallpaper EXACTLY like this in my parents first home! Every room in the house was wallpapered with a vastly different, super strange 70s vibe. The entryway was brocaded damask, the small hallway up to our rooms was mirrored, my brothers nursery had a velour American flag statement wall. The list goes on! The best part was that the house was a small, spilt level ranch in suburban Cleveland (not, as it appeared, Vegas). I remember as a kid swearing I would never wallpaper anything. The only wallpaper that ever got replaced was in my room because it scared me- it was electric green and purple Haight-Ashbury themed, and it looked like faux gig posters. As a teenager I did kind of want that one back…

  • So funny that you mentioned other people loving the wallpaper. A lot of times with big decisions I don’t realize I have a strong preference until someone else tells me theirs and I realize I couldn’t live with that choice. It’s gotten to the point that my boyfriend jokes I’m asking him then choosing the opposite just to harass him 😛

  • I convinced my husband to paint our front door “pink panther” pink by General Paint (Canada). WE LOVE IT. Whether other people like it or not, it sure is unique!! Now I just need a brass pineapple door knocker to finish off the look!! (Saw your Etsy finds blog with it…..and it was sold already!!!!)

  • Dear Elsie,

    What an interesting space, I’m very curious to see it revamped. This is such a wonderful hallway, in France, it’s rare to have such a large space to welcome guests, and the bonus is that you can play with the views from it to reveal a bit more of your home and create surprise. Will you keep a white scheme?

  • Maybe you can something kind of crazy but in the same color family as the turquoise-stained floor in the living room. Kind of like how pattern mixing looks more subtle when it’s all in similar colors… Just throwing it out there. I have lived in my house for 4 years and there are still so many parts that are untouched. You transformation journey is definitely inspiring me to get working on some stuff!

  • I can definitely see what you mean about the wallpaper. It’s not the worst, but it’s definitely not something I can see having in my own home.

  • Can’t wait to see the after. Especially how you’ll work in that gorgeous blue carpeting.

  • Plus, those are high ceilings aren’t they? I mean really. What an entry! Go ahead and breakup with the wallpaper, though. It’s okay. If you love something it will come back to you, haha!
    I wonder if the pink door idea should be last? Once you know what’s doing inside? And yah, I kinda liked the chandelier too. It’s scale, and reference … as long as the rest of the room was fresh.
    … any who – I’m rambling. Excited to see what all you do here! I’m sure you’ll nail it ☆

  • I’m dyyyyiiiinnnngggg to see the after of every room in this amazing house! I completely understand why you would feel sort of guilty about getting rid of that wallpaper. You’re right- it’s not the worse, and it does look intentional. But your style is amazing and I’m sure what you come up with for the first impression is going to be blow-my-socks-off!

    ♥Heather

  • I totally get what you mean about the wallpaper. It looks good when you look at it closely. But, for me, there’s no way I could have it in such a big space like this entryway. Maybe in a focal wall framing something nice, or in a tiny entry, it would look cute, though I think it’s not your style anyway. So trust your gut and don’t worry anymore!

    I’m looking forward to see what you’re doing here!

  • I like the wallpaper, go figure 🙂 I think it would look much better though without the yellow…………………… Have fun decorating your space, and I can’t wait to see the pink door 🙂

  • This is a really nice space. I’m more of a traditionalist when it comes to wall colours and such and I’m not a huge fan of wallpaper because, well, all the wallpaper I’ve had in my life has been icky and I’ve done a tone of scraping wallpaper off walls and I never want to go through the process again. Plus it’s more expensive than paint and really, to me it’s just a long list of cons and only 1 or 2 pros. But, your house, your elbow greace and desires right? As for the door, definitely keep and repaint (love the “pannels” on it). And the chadelier has to go for sure. It’s so dated you won’t even remember it when it’s gone. I think a sputnik fixture would be gorgeous in there (nice and modern with a touch of whimsy). Considering your usual love of funky colours, I feel this would be the right kind of mix (a better mix than what a classical chandelier would bring to the look no?). Anyway can’t wait to see what you come up with. It’s always lovely.

  • Totally with you on the wallpaper! I JUST freed myself yesterday from the “cool, but not me” 70’s wallpaper I’ve lived with for 2 years while trying to make it work. Feels SO GOOD to be rid of that baggage, should have done it sooner! Good for you! That is a great entry space and front door!

  • What if you choose a very subtle wallpaper for the top, and make gallery walls running down the entry way? With some really fun frames, maybe even painted to match the new blue flooring?

  • I absolutely love that entryway! If it were mine, I would totally paint the walls with a matte paint and then stencil a pattern around in the same color but in a gloss finish. Good Luck!

  • Wow this space! I totally get what you mean. I would be so in love with that space…but in the end if I left it, it would never feel like my home. If you go no wallpaper, what about light grained wood paneling? Kind of like in your old dining room before you painted it. But do you intend to keep the front door open or closed most of the time? Looks like that’s going to affect how much like you get A LOT. Also, in the even that the dog-damage on the door is driving you insane before you paint, magic erasers do wonders for that stuff. Obviously won’t help the chipped paint, but will likely help the big brown circle looming under the door knob.

  • Haha! No- it’s nice that you like it. Everyone likes it! I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just can’t.
    My mom was trying to convince me to keep it yesterday….
    xx- Elsie

  • thats hilarious about the wallpaper, because when I saw it in your dining room too, I thought,,, ummm,,,, nah. But then I thought you had put it there, and i thought maybe it looks better in real life, maybe it could look ok….trying to convince myself too!

  • I saw on Snapchat yesterday a few of the wallpapers you were considering for this space … where did you say you got those at? I know you mentioned it but I can’t remember!

  • It’s funny to me that “minimal” is a negative word in your mind, that’s about where our styles differ! but I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for all your home renovations, because I know you’ll make it beautiful.

    This new house of yours reminds me of my grandparents’ house for some reason. My grandfather was a doctor and had 8 kids and their house was much like yours in that it had a very well-loved, family-oriented vibe and is a bit of a time capsule since it never changed much from when it was built, although his was built in the ’50s not the ’70s. My grandparents passed 5 yrs ago and we had to sell the house last year, but your recent posts have me daydreaming about what it could look like if someone as stylish and driven as you modernized my family’s home!

  • SO much fun! There’s no way my husband would let me paint the front door pink, so good luck with that one. 🙂 Any time I have a crazy idea I blame it on it being a good idea for the blog, and he all of a sudden is totally OK with it …

    Good luck with that wallpaper! Removing it is the worst, but I totally know what you mean about it not flowing with the style for the rest of the house. Can’t wait to see it once it’s done!

    Chelcey | http://www.chelceytate.com

  • Hehe! I don’t think it’s negative, just WAY opposite of my style. And I do LOVE it when Jonathan Adler says, “minimalism is a bummer”. haha!

    Yes- it reminded me of my grandparents too (when we first looked at it and it was still fully furnished with their things, especially) and I found that really comforting and nice.

    xx- Elsie

  • I am so jealous of your entryway! I’m sitting here imagining what I’d do to it if it were mine… I’d keep the chandelier, paint everything white, including the front door, get rid of the wallpaper and hang up some really lovely large scale artwork and bring in color with a really nice colorful rug. And I’d put an entryway table with a nice mirror over it. Also I would definitely keep the marble floors. You are so lucky to have such good bones to work with. My home doesn’t even have an entry at all.
    http://designthriftmag.com

  • What a great space! I too really don’t like that wallpaper, it was so popular last decade in Denmark where I’m from, so the quota for that kind of wallpaper has been spend for the next many decades ahead. I imagine the hallway with either just a white or a brass/copper paint where the yellow paint is now, and a pastel color on the wall, that would suit the pink and turquois, maybe with a simple painted pattern or a potato like print (and maybe I just gave you another idea of what you really don’t want, no thanks needed). I’m exited to see what you come up with, it’s always inspirational.

  • Girl, repaint that yellow with some bold black and white stripes. I feel like that might pump up the modern fun vibe and make it feel a little less old school. Other then that, I really like that space, it’s got a Versailles sort of feeling going on. Loving watching all your changes!

  • Can you create stencils to cover yellow portions on the wallpaper in your color of choice?

  • ELS! If anyone can do something awesome with that wallpaper, it’s you. I think you should accept the challenge.
    I kinda like it. I can see you doing something super cute with it.

  • I have to say, I feel like you picked the perfect house. Such a well lit, character-filled place. I’m sure you will make the right call with which character pieces to keep and which to pass on. Don’t worry you’re not the only one who’d fuss over that chandelier and try to make it work like you did, but sometimes, things have just got to go to go with your vision for the big picture.

    Can’t wait to see the end result!

  • Maybe you could tint the wallpaper instead of replace it? I don’t know if that’s even a posibility, and I don’t know if that would make you feel better about it, but it would definitely jazz up the space while keeping the wallpaper (which is pretty cool, I’m not gonna lie).

  • I love the chandelier and I actually like the wallpaper, below I would paint a medium blue gray, the interior doors facing the hallway black and the outside of the front door a nice lemon yellow, can’t wait to see what you do.

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