Remember that “I just can’t take it anymore” moment I had with my entryway last week?
If you’re just tuning in, I laid my designer soul bare to the world in the form of an ill-advised bench. I refuse to post the “before” picture again. You’ll just have to go back and look at it in all of its cluttered glory.
BUT TO RECAP: I bought a bench, it really didn’t work in my entryway, and so I ignored it for a while (um, years). But after staring at that cluttered bench day in and day out, I decided to take matters into my own hands and refresh that sorry-looking corner in a fit of energy I’ve taken to calling #NeglectedCorrected. Also known as, “How I Gave A Forgotten Corner Of My Home New Life—AND YOU CAN TOO!” (That would make for a particularly apt quarantine self-help book, wouldn’t it?)
It’s a movement, people!
Now I’m back with a few simple steps on how to recreate that same look, even if you’re in the midst of Stay-At-Home like we are in the Bay Area.
I often see home design ‘formulas’ for creating a specific look, but I’m a little weary of those because they feel overly prescriptive. And good design is always about bending the rules a bit :) Instead, I view this as more of a recipe. Right now, restyling a space feels a bit like cooking in quarantine. The key is working with what you already have.
Step One: Figure out your vibe, then seek out inspiration
This is where Pinterest really shines. For this particular project, I searched for “grand rustic entry” or “reclaimed entry console” to kickstart the design process.
Shameless plug time: If you don’t already follow me on Pinterest, you can find me here!
Collecting inspiration photos make it easier to hone in on what I like about a particular scene. And having them all in one place—in this case, a Pinterest board—makes it especially easy to break the project down into smaller pieces.
I also like to go through my favorite designer instagram accounts to see if they’ve shared any entryways that speak to me.
The Manila Villa Project had a few excellent landing zone moments that I kept coming back to as well.
In this case, it was clear that my past and present inspiration had a few things in common: a console, a light source, a catch-all vessel, a mirror for those last-minute-walking-out-the-door hair adjustments. And of course, a couple accessories to give it personality and balance everything out.
I love a good mudroom as much as the next mom, but most homes in California don’t have mudrooms since our weather is pretty mild year round. So most of my inspiration photos centered around entryway designs that could co-exist within a larger living space. It’s all about those blended entrance areas that are functional and pretty (mostly because you’ll be staring at them all day long!)
Step Two: Bring together your foundational pieces
I recommend starting with one large functional piece, be it a bench or console table. A side table could even work here—it just needs to be a good horizontal surface for you to drop things as you come in the door.
Then, consider what will pair well with that base piece. A big mirror is an easy and entirely functional choice. There’s also something to be said for the quiet simplicity of an oversized piece of art.
Step Three: Light it up!
There’s a design rule of thumb that every room should have at least four lighting sources. This is no exception.Tabletop lamps, floor lamps… I recommend raiding your home to find a light that could use a new lease on life. Sconces are a great option because they lift the eye and balance out a large-scale furniture piece, but they may require assistance to install.
I always love a good sculptural table lamp as the chunky vertical element in a vignette.
Step Four: Consider storage or seating
As you’ll notice in a lot of the inspiration photos above, open console tables are often accompanied by a large basket to collect knick-knacks or shoes. It’s also nice to have some sort of seating option for the whole taking the shoes off / on thing. We’re lucky enough to have our couch ottoman extend opposite this whole scene, so I didn’t focus too heavily on seating here.
I also firmly believe in the power of a good blanket ladder, à la this moment from the Manila Project.
Step five: Layer some personality in that ‘ish
This is the part where you run around your home and gather objects that will fill in the gaps–honestly, my favorite part! I recommend a healthy mix of your favorite coffee table books, a found object from your travels, a favorite candle… anything that will make you give you that “Ahhh, I’m finally home!” energy.
You can never go wrong with a vase with some found branches in it. (I clipped these ones from our front yard!) I’ve always found that adding some greenery always gives new life to a space.
Lastly, add in a catch-all vessel to minimize clutter. I love using a small bowl or shallow tray for those wayward pocket objects, whether it be your house keys or loose change.
So there you have it, folks. A dash of inspiration, a big ole cup of #IsolationMotivation, and a pinch of insanity. (Am I taking this recipe metaphor too far or…?)
I have a few more ideas kicking around in my quarantined design brain that are just waaaaiting to spill out. Any requests? Nightstand? Bed making? Reading nooks?
I’m all ears! And clearly looking for an excuse to refresh all the spaces.