Wednesday, February 10, 2010

blank walls

The other week I spruced up (a little bit) the buffet in my entryway.

Now the rest of the room is really starting to get on my nerves.

I think I have a plan for it, but I'd love some input. And I want that input to be totally unrelated to what I've been thinking, so I'm not going to share any parts of my plan until tomorrow - sounds like fun to me!

Here's the space from left to right - it's (very roughly) 6' x 8' with recessed lighting and a skylight.

left side
I like this for right now

front door
so boring

right side
hello ugly boot tray and preschool art project

What would you do to the right wall and door to add function and life? We don't use the front door very much (we generally enter from the garage), but it's nice to have a place for guests to place wet boots. How about my ugly white door; boring, isn't it? (and did you notice the green hinges? they confuse me) I like the mailbox basket, but the random plastic greenery that was leftover from an old arrangement? Totally not attached to that - I need some fun ideas.

I would love to put a rug in here, but the problem is the door has zero clearance over the floor. I've brought home more rugs than I care to think of, hoping that they will be thin enough to stay put and not curl up when I open the door - nothing has worked. What would you do if a rug wasn't an option?

I'm so excited to see your ideas! I promise to share mine tomorrow!

Want to join in the Decorating Dilemma fun? Head over to Serenity Now and meet our super-cute hostess Amanda. She's so fun!


Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

What a great space...LOVE that buffet, it's beautiful! Here is my two cents, for what it's worth. What about making the empty wall a picture gallery? You could use all frames of the same color, but different sizes and shapes, with black and white photos to unify. I just posted some really fun and cheap wall plaques I made that would be perfect above the frames... you could spell "Family" or something like that. Then on your buffet you could accessorize it with your favorite stuff, like maybe some of those pretty urns on the floor? the basket on the door, I might hang from a pretty hook to the left of the door, and add another one if you have it, for ingoing and outgoing mail. Good luck with your space. I'd love to see it when you're done.


Richella said...

Hi! I'm stopping by from Amanda's party.

If I were you, I'd put a little table on that blank wall--one that has open space, so that you don't block the vent. Over the table would be a great place for a large piece of artwork or a mirror. On the table, it would be good to have something with a bit of height. Is there an electrical outlet so that you could put a lamp there? That would be so nice right inside your front door. If not, perhaps you could find a decorative piece with a little height. Or take those finials from the floor over on the other side.

If you don't need a boot tray for your own boots, I'd leave that out. Guests can always just park their boots by the front door. The basket is cute; I might keep that, but lose the greenery.

As for the floor, I wouldn't worry about not having a rug. Make sure you have a very good mat on the outside of the door. But if you want some color on the floor, you could always paint a "rug" right onto the floor!

Good luck!

Xazmin said...

What if you put some sort of a little cabinet there to the side of the door, and you could just have it empty inside, with doors that open on the front, and that's where people could stick their boots?

I like Amanda's idea of the picture gallery on the wall also.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

If you want to add a little pop to the area, you could try a floor cloth. They are SUPER thin b/c you make it out of a linoleum remnant. The ones I've seen are done sort of country-ish, but that could easily be remedied using the right paint colors and design. Here's a link with instructions:

Is the basket special or collectible? If not, maybe you could paint it black, lower it, and put some stuff in it to really fill it out. OR make a new monogram wreath! :)

I like the idea of doing a console type table on the other wall, maybe with a shelf on bottom that has baskets for guests' purses or something. And I love the idea of doing a picture wall above that and mixing it up with some decorative pieces. LOVE the one Amanda linked to with the Ballard knock-off. :)

So glad you linked up. Thank you!! :)

Holly said...

A bench would be nice along that wall with the boot tray underneath it and maybe a basket for mittens or whatever.
Then how about making a gallery of your son's artwork? Collect some frames at thrift stores, paint them all the same color (I'd probably pick black, and frame all that art he makes. You'll be surprised how good it looks, and you can change it out as new pieces come home.
Here's a post I did on this idea, just to give you a visual.

Kristy said...

I, too, love that buffet - its beautiful!

I'm a big fan of color, so for the front door basket, I'd add color and something to make it feel a lot fuller. Just to help break up the expanse of white that is the front door. As for the hinges, I paint them. And maybe paint the door handle to match.

For the right side wall, I love the idea of an ever-changing art gallery. With something like this, you could add photos, preschool artwork, whatever! And you could definitely customize the colors (with or without the circles) to match your house.

About the boot tray - I say, if you only need it for guests, store it somewhere when you don't have guests! Or, add a small table there, and place the boot tray under it - it won't stand out nearly as much that way.

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

Holly just read my mind. Maybe it's just that my entry is currently a mess of boots and snowpants (we now have more than 4 feet of snow outside!!), but I actually kinda like the boot tray! I think a bench would look awesome and be a great place to take off/put on boots. I wish I had room for a bench in my entry- I think it would be a great way to have a smoother transition when I'm trying to get out the door with little ones. It would allow me to say "put your coat on and sit on the bench until we're all ready to go". Anyway, this is about your dilemma, not mine!

Do you get southern living? In the Feb. issue they showed a cool way to do a photo wall by suspending the frames from a picture rail. I thought it looked really cool. I think that would look awesome over a bench on the empty wall.

Kendall@ Finesse Your Nest said...

Hey there! Thanks for giving me some great advice on my patio!

Okay, I would create a cute mudroom-type unit to hold the shoes.

Inspired by this one at PB -

but it's too expensive for my blood at $299 for JUST the bench, no cushion!

Do you have IKEA? They have a coffee table that would fit the bill for $119 and you could add a little cushion on top. It's called the Leksvik Coffee Table. Sorry I couldn't link to that page, but if you go on their website,, go to living rooms and then coffee tables, you'll see it. You may even be able to find that exact one on Craig's list. I see Ikea stuff on there all the time for cheap! I like the Ikea piece better I think, because it has cubbies. With heavy use, baskets may get ratty pretty quickly.

Up above you could do several things:

Hooks for jackets & coats, or a mirror that has hooks

A piece of art or just a mirror

A corkboard or chalkboard that could be a "message center" for the family. You could even put little hooks for keys!

Good luck. BTW, I wouldn't worry about a rug. As long as you get some color going over there in the form of cushion fabric for a bench or art, I think it will look great.

Paula said...

Your buffet is really pretty.

I agree with some of the others that a small table would look good on the opposite wall. If you get the free woodworking magazine from Lowes, this month's edition has plans for making a table that would be perfect for your space.

Jessi said...

That looks like the perfect place for a mini-mudroom! A bench, some hooks over it. And I wouldn't worry about a rug.

Kat said...

I'd make your blank wall into a "gallery" for your preschooler's art. Get a 1/2 dozen thicker frames, hang them at the center 60" off the floor and showcase the art. Change it out with your new favorites even weekly! Make it a special time with your child.

The basket on the door does need something. How about spray painting the basket a fun accent color? The floral department of your local craft store will have lots of natural options to put into the basket. I like bunches of eucalyptus. It smells great and stays nice and green.

Love the buffet. What a great antique piece to have. I'd put something tall on the buffet to help relate it to the shelf above it. Think a skinny lamp, really tall candle sticks, vase with branches in it. It will also help break up the the sameness of all the beautiful pictures.

All Things Cherish said...

I'm right there with you sister! Thank you for your suggestions, I think I've found a solution. Lucky for you, you have more space to work with, which I guess can be a good or bad thing. Anyways, what about a rug placed far enough back from the door so that it doesn't get caught and center it? Also, you could do a cute little storage bench that either opens or has baskets to store shoes in so they're not visible. Kohl's has a really cute one for like $75 right now and I know that Decorators Collection has a ton online. Good luck!

Danielle and Clint said...

What if you did a wall mirror with hooks for people to hang coats on or purses? We have one near our front door and it is used often. Then it would also distract from the shoe holder, instead of it standing out right now.

Meg said...

Kendall read my mind! I love the idea of a mini mudroom by the door. I had the similar thought of a place to house your boots and shoes with a cute coat rack and maybe a photo or piece of art to set it all off.

You know what else would be cute? Did you ever see Little Green Notebook's monogram umbrella holder tutorial?

That would be awfully cute by your door also. Good luck and thanks for the fabulous advice yesterday!

Laura said...

That Amanada is a sharp cookie! I think a floor cloth is the perfect solution to your rug needs. Nice and thin, no prob.

You've had some great suggestions for your blank wall. I like 'em all. I especially like the idea of making a gallery for the pre-school art. I saw one once that was a bunch of empty frames, all shapes and sizes, but painted the same color. They were on the wall empty, and the artwork was just taped right to the wall within the frame. When artwork is short, the frames were interesting on their own.

Comfort Joy Designs said...

For your rug dilema, you might try Flor:

Amanda @ Little House on the Corner said...

(Stopped by from the Newlywed's Paradise)

We have a VERY similar dilemma in our entryway! I posted about it awhile back, but still haven't done anything with it. I think a console table would be good for the wall to the right of the door, maybe something with some storage in it. Hanging a mirror or some artwork above it would make it look more welcoming, too.

I've also seen some really cute storage benches with little baskets underneath. Just saw one at Hobby Lobby today.