In this post: Looking for inspiration for your entryway decor? Here’s how I transformed our tiny back entry foyer, adding elegance and functionality.⇒
I’m not a mudroom girl.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate a great mudroom, with all those neat cubbies and hooks and such. In fact, I rather like them.
But when the back entry is the primary entrance that you use and you’re an empty nester with no book bags to store in those darling cubbies, it’s nice to be greeted by an elegant foyer, even if it’s pretty compact.
Such is the case in our townhome and so when it came to decorating our back entry foyer, I decided to approach it like it was the front entrance to our home.
I wanted our entryway decor to reflect the same French inspired treatment as the rest of our home.
However, the one complication was that the space is tiny, and it needed to serve a variety of needs, from storing items like hats and gloves, to providing seating or a place to rest packages on their way in, and offering a mirror to check before heading out the door.
There are also no windows or natural light, so it would always have a cave-like aspect to it.
We started with the empty space you see above. It was about as bland as bland could be, with builder grade molding, ordinary sliding closet doors, and floor tile I hated for its institutional quality.
Yes, it was neutral.
But that’s about all it had going for it.
And the look I wanted?
The essential character of our home is centered on pale neutral tones, a pretty French Country influence, a bit of gilded bling and a healthy dose of vintage. This is the look I set about capturing, while accommodating those requirements mentioned above, and all within the confines of this miniature unlit space.
This meant furnishing the space with intention and precision. There was no room for frivolous extras. Everything had to serve a specific purpose and to somehow be squeezed along the sole free wall.
I could just fit a small chest of drawers and two side chairs.
These would offer storage and a place to sit down, satisfying the bulk of our entryway needs. A mirror above the chest would take care of the final condition.
The one place I could indulge my taste in decorative objects was on the top surface of the rustic white chest.
I chose a reproduction garden statue with chippy patina cherubs and a gilded crown. A trio of mercury glass candlesticks balances their height, while a trinket box sits between them used to corral our keys.
I wanted to enhance the timeworn look with some additional pieces in the same feel. I found these wonderful vintage plaques at a local antique market and their oval shape works nicely with the curves of the gilded mirror.
I was limited in my selection when buying the chest of drawers, as I had very little width to work with. The piece I found is the right size and has lovely curves, but the faux painting was quite forced. I have since painted it and I love the new look, which you can see HERE.
I switch the chairs around from time to time, alternating between charming French cane back chairs with ruffled linen covers, and a simple slipcovered parsons chair.
Another key addition was the inclusion of grain sack pillows. I felt the room was lacking in authentic vintage pieces and so I bought the burlap sack from a European online shop and when I received it I cut it in half and made two pillows from the cloth.
I enjoy the casual tone the pillows add to the room. Our front entry is much more formal and serious, and I wanted the back to be more relaxed, albeit French and pretty.
Opposite the chest is a large double closet, offering plenty of storage for our coats and jackets, but leaving no room to place anything along that wall.
There is one tiny corner on an adjacent wall, which is the only other usable space. I opted for a ladder bookshelf which is styled with vintage pieces in my favorite categories, including leather books, silver frames, marmalade jars and a few Grecian busts. The palette is white and neutral with an accent of very pale pink.
To give you a sense of where this space fits into the layout of our home, this view shows you a peek into the dining room. You can also glimpse the adjoining wall where the bookcase is situated.
I covered the ugly tile with a tasteful rug until I have a chance to re-do the floor. The final piece is the crystal chandy that presides over the entire room.
A quick check of the room confirms that most of my essential defining design elements (outlined in this post) are present and accounted for. I love the mix of patina with shimmer and I’ve got it well covered here.
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
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