Before and After: Entry Final Reveal!

M Pettipoole Entryway

Yay! Today is the day! I love reveal days. Of course, if you follow me on social media you may already be familiar with the current status of my entry. I entered the Apartment Therapy Energize your Entryway Contest, and as a result, like a slimy politician, have been shamelessly (but really, head in hands, full of shame) filling your feeds with images and links and pleas for your vote.

If you're unfamiliar with the contest, hosted by reputable and highly trafficked interior decor blog, Apartment Therapy, it's a chance for folks across the country, in both big and small, rented or owned residences, to showcase their entryways. And the winner walks away with up to $2,000! Eeek. The contest rather fortuitously began just as I was in the middle of overhauling our oh, so basic and bland entry. So, in a flurry of frenzy, I finished up several of the remaining projects, then styled and photographed it to meet the contest deadline. You can read the previous posts about my budget entryway makeover here, here, and here. And if you haven't voted, would you consider clicking here to do so? Thank you! Your support and encouragement means everything.

While there are probably a few more project posts I could write on this space, I figured it was best to do the final reveal now to coincide with the contest momentum. And because before and afters are satisfying, let's take a look at what the entry looked like when we moved-in. Please don't berate me for these nighttime photos! I didn't have a blog yet, and was just a girl with an iphone 4 who'd spent all day hands and knees cleaning our new rental.      

If you've been following along, you know this entire makeover has been the product of DIY prowess and the most strict budgetary constraints. Basically, this is a rental and we don't have much discretionary income so I wanted to transform the space as inexpensively as possible. In an earlier post I wrote about how dim our entry really is and how painting it (mostly) white helped combat the lack of light. But the other major game-changer was removing the hanging string-art curtain I'd previously made for the window.

Don't worry, I found a new and better home for it in Luke's studio, but dethroning it immediately enabled a rushing flood of sunlight back into the room.  


With the newly opened up window I knew some tall and stately curtains were in order, and like the rest of the internet design community I was smitten with the blush/green color combo. Having tall ceilings means purchasing ready-made curtains isn't an option, at least not an affordable one, so I set out in search for the perfect pale blush fabric. Because I was after such a specific color, and we're not blessed with an abundance of fine fabric purveyors in Omaha, I ended up with some heavily discounted shirting fabric (seriously, it feels like what you'd make a smart button-down out of) from Hancock Fabrics. Total: $30. I didn't line them, which I'll probably regret when the fabric inevitably fades, but I didn't want to spend more on lining. Plus, making 10' curtain panels just seriously blows. I needed this to be fast and easy.

The shell chair, generously donated to the cause by my friend Cheryl, got several fresh coats of Rustoleum Enamel spray paint. Then I also made a complimentary chair pad out of some neutral basket weave printed cotton I had on hand. I didn't have any foam, but had been hoarding tons of batting from a previous winter wonderland display at my old job. I quickly made a pattern of the chair seat, used it to create a simple pillow cover, and filled it with several thicknesses of batting.

Still, it felt like this little section of the entry could use an injection of some pattern. So, like a Penny Pinching Extreme Couponer, I used a 20% off coupon to purchase 1/2 a yard of the most perfect 50% off Nate Berkus fabric to make this tiny pillow. Total: $6      


Painting the inside of the front door was actually a last minute decision. Ok, really, I'd wanted to do it all along, but worried Luke might think it too extreme – the official crossing of the proverbial "the landlord is not going to be ok with this" line. Strange, because it is just paint, but something about it being a door made it seem a more serious offense. Still, I just couldn't shake the idea. I knew it was the right decision. 


That little print I picked up at work. Is it weird I work in the hippest furniture store with the most beautiful modern sofas and vintage accessories and this Idlewild Co. print is the one thing I couldn't stop thinking about for weeks? IDK, but it's just perfect, here, isn't it?

And then there's my favorite addition to the space, this heart eyes inducing runner complements of the best vintage picker I know, Tiffani, of Hank's Fuzzy Guitars and Furniture.  

It's no secret the floors in my entry are awful. Despite the many beautiful and original details in our duplex, it seems the landlord spared no second thought cutting corners in many ways – i.e. the painted over transom window above the front door (that now has EXTERIOR SIDING covering the outside), acoustic ceiling tiles overhead, reframed doorways where original transom windows and intricate molding once existed, and, of course, two colors of the most bland, generic vinyl floor tiles you ever did see, that someone intentionally used to form a dejected pattern (go ahead, take another look at those before photos above). 

I desperately needed a rug. And 12' runners are expensive. Luckily Tiffani had one, and I had some credit with her.

Then I just loaded up my handmade wall hook/picture ledge with art shuffled around from other places in the house, and casually slipped out of my gold 70s sandals after a v. glamorous day. 

Ultimately, I'm super happy with how everything came together! Sometimes you don't need a big budget, just some ingenuity, time, and a few gifts from friends with good taste.