Sprucing up the Entry

So… our entryway / frontdoor has gotten a bit of a facelift.  
Actually, if we want to be more accurate in comparing hallway updates to plastic surgery, it’s more like our entryway got some botox.  Nothing radical.  Nothing over the top.  No nips and tucks… just a bit of an enhancement.  
Wait… would this update be more of a boob job then?  Ugh, whatever.  It’s looking better.  Let’s just say that.  
Here’s how the hallway looks now as you walk through the front door. 

Pretty wreath.  Some nice color in the runner.  My pretty bar cart.

And here is the hallway, staring back at the front door from the other end.  New mirror, new plant, and yes… a freshly painted door.

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I mean LOOK at that thing!  A work of art, pretty much.
I am so thrilled with how it came out – the grey is perfect, and it brings some much needed contrast to the entry.  It’s looking pretty good in here… not that it looked bad before.  It was just sort of blah beforehand… kind of empty and unfinished.  

Now that you’ve seen it’s current (aka gorgeous) state, let’s look at how it started.  Per usual, I took one before picture, and called it a day.  When will I learn?!

Here’s how the hallway / entrance looked beforehand:
It wasn’t BAD… it just was very white, and very empty.  The mirror had actually just been hung – literally MOMENTS before I took this picture.  It actually looked MUCH emptier in there beforehand, so this “before” is actually an improvement on the real “before”.  That wall to the left of the door has been completely empty since we moved in back in January.  
Really, this space started as just a blank slate – white walls, white door.  Plain, and calling out for some color.
Via Pinterest, I’d seen a few interior doors painted dark colors, and so decided to tackle our plain hollow core door.  The hardware on it is pretty ugly, with the exception of the peep hole.  The pretty brass peephole probably cost more than the entire door, knob, hinges, and lock, so I wanted to feature it prominently.  What color looks good with brass?  Grey.  And black… but grey is where it’s at.  I didn’t want to go too dark on the inside of this door, and honestly black looks better with a glossy finish, which on a lumpy, bumpy door equals bad paint job.
I wanted a quick and easy project, and feeling too lazy to head to the hardware store for a fresh can of grey paint, I improvised.  What I really did was mix a bunch of leftover paint together to make a color that suited my needs, but let’s just say I created a “custom paint for the door”.  

**Note: do not try to mix custom colors if you need a lot of paint otherwise you’ll run out, and never be able to match the color you started with**
I keep all the extra paint that is leftover from projects in a cabinet in the kitchen for easy access. I knew I wanted to paint the door a dark color since the rest of the hallway was all white.  I also knew that I didn’t want a glossy paint since it would show every. single. imperfection (which our front door has plenty of).  I also knew I didn’t want it to be completely black.  I was looking for a dark grey with blue undertones, so I brought out the remainders of my can of eggshell finish “Grey Owl” (a very light grey) from our dining room in our last apartment, along with some satin finish black paint that I used on our dresser and nightstands, and a can of blue outdoor paint I’d used on the deck chairs.  
Yes, all the paints had different finishes, and all of them are meant for different kinds of projects, but I knew that mixed together they’d be ok.  The outdoor paint is very matte and kind of rough, so the texture this added to the mixture meant no priming needed!  Score for me!  
It’s possible that the door would end up being hideous… streaky… peeling… or just a wierd splotchy color, but IT’S JUST PAINT.  This is the mantra I repeat to Kris whenever he think’s I’m having a bad idea… and it’s true!  It really is just paint.  If you mess up, you can re-do it. It’s not a huge commitment (coming from the girl who had to paint the living room twice), so when you want to tackle a project but feel like it’s a big change, or you’re worried you might mess it up… trust me when I say, paint is so easy to change, so don’t over-analyze it.  It works out 99% of the time.
Anyway, back to my “custom paint mixture”… I didn’t have a fancy bucket for mixing, but I did have an empty jar of tomato sauce from dinner the night before.  I cleaned it out REALLY well and made sure it was thoroughly dried before pouring paint in.
It turned out to be the perfect vessel for mixing paints, because you could screw the lid on and just shake it up.  Could not have been easier.  I mixed, and tested a few swatches on the door until I found a color I liked, and then I got to work.  I used a short handle brush for cutting in around the door knob, deadbolt, and peephole, and I rolled the rest with a flat foam roller.

 It took about 3 coats to really get an even color on the door, and while you can see the brush strokes of previous paint jobs, it doesn’t bother me.  This is the exact reason I wanted a more matte paint… glossy paint magnifies every single imperfection x1000, so can you imagine how prominent the imperfections would look with a glossy paint?

Isn’t that peephole just amazing?  I love it! It was hard to cut in on those little details, but what paint got on the brass, I just wiped off with a wet paper towel immediately and all was good.

See those little holes below the peep hole??  What ARE those?

The paint was still wet when I snapped these close-up pictures, so you can really see the brushstrokes of paint-jobs past.  Also… notice the hinges?  They now match the peephole thanks to a quick once over with my gold leaf pen.

Another really minor change that I appreciate every day when I head out the door??

The speaker.

See how old, and gross the old speaker was?  This is for the intercom system so that we don’t accidentally buzz and ax-murderer into the building, and it’s “harvest gold” as my mom calls it.  A super popular household appliance color of the 70’s and 80’s.  Why?????

 
I’m not sure this is harvest gold as much as it is “faded baby poop” – either way, it was ugly.
But not anymore!!  It got a coat of white paint to match the walls, and all is right with the world again…

Look how it blends in and just dissapears!  Such a small change, but I swear it makes a WORLD of difference.

This wreath on the door came from Smith and Hawkins for Target, and is made of live moss.  I’m not entirely sure how to care for it, but I’ve spritzed it a few times with water, and it seems happy so far.  I realize now that I need to fix the hanging mechanism, since you can see the hook very clearly in these pictures, but that’s an easy change.

Our bar cart got a few additions to glam it up… striped straws, a new, BEAUTIFUL live orchid with the largest, thickest petals you’ve ever seen, and a new (to me) ice bucket.

The ice bucket is actually of the Mad Men era, and belonged to Kris’ grandmother who passed away earlier this year.  She made it to 100 years old my friends!

I never did get to meet her, but love that we have something that was hers.  There are little nicks and scratches here and there, but when we use it, and see those imperfections, I’ll think of all the parties (and cocktails) they probably had over the years.

Come to think of it, with all the nicks, it seems they used it a lot… I think her and I would have had quite a bit in common 🙂

On the wall opposite the bar cart hangs one of my FAVORITE flea market finds from a few weeks back.  I am SO in love with this mirror.  Last week I posted about the mirror at the flea market that got away… it just seemed silly to get both this one and the octagonal mirror in the same day, but I am so glad that I came away with at least one of them. It’s one of my favorite things that I own.
There was no hesitation in purchasing this one, and thank god, because it is PERFECT for this space.  It’s the perfect size for this wall (narrow, but not too narrow), and it’s just so nice to have a spot to check your hair before running out the door.

The mirror is nice and light – physically, and visually… it doesn’t weigh that much, and the light wood is so pretty!  I just LOVE the carved details, and the little feet on the bottom kill me!  Mini pineapples!!

The final addition to this space was some fresh greenery – my newest fiddle leaf fig that I haven’t killed (yet).  It doesn’t stick out or block traffic flow between rooms (which I was worried about when I first moved it here), and it is just so fresh and lovely.

The rug was the first thing that went down in this hallway, and about 5 months later, we’re still in love (me and the rug).  The blue packs a punch… it’s navy, but still very vibrant, and it’s holding up SO WELL.  Very little shedding, which I’ve been happy about, although it is a magnet for lint like you wouldn’t believe.

So that’s it – a little paint, and some well placed accessories and we’re in business!  Very very happy that the hallway isn’t all bare, and empty and sad anymore.  One more side by side before and after??
Oh okkkkkk, since you asked!

Don’t you just love quick and easy fixes?  I think a coat of paint, and some well placed accessories really brought this space from plain, to pretty.

Happy Monday!!

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