Category Archives: Entryway

Attention bargain shoppers…!

One of my favorite websites,, is having a “Secret Sale”. I had to take a look and came across 2 great home items I thought I would share.

I thought that this great magnetic organizer would be a wonderful catch-all!

And these wonderful melamine tile pattern plates are just too cute and only $24.99.


Design Dissection: My more organized and usable small kitchen (Part 2)

I’m so excited! I finally received all of my purchases and had some time to put everything into place last night. I love love love the result.

I already walked you through how I completed steps 1 thru 4 of my process. Here is what I did to complete the 5th and final step:

Step 5: Implement

In Part 1 of this Design Dissection, I mentioned to you my acquisition decisions and now you will get to see how I was able to utilize them to improve my very small kitchen space.

Starting with my entryway/kitchen closet and pantry:

  • I did not make any big purchases for the first half of this closet even though it looks completely different and is much more organized.
  • I had previously had a plastic drawer that I used for cleaning storage. Under the side table in my living room, I had two more plastic drawers that stacked together. By cleaning  out the two drawers under my side table, I not only got rid of many things I simply didn’t need or know I had, but I also created two more drawers to be used in my closet. I stacked all three next to the coat bag in the closet. The bottom drawer contained candles and air freshener in its old location, and since I kept some of these I simply kept them in the drawer when I moved it to the closet. The middle drawer was already in my closet and didn’t need any cleaning out. The top drawer I was now empty to use as needed! This turned into part of the storage for my plastic containers and serving dishes. While these drawers had been purchased years ago – you can still buy them at The Container Store and they are currently on sale for $16.99 each.
  • Remember all of those large containers and pans on top of my cabinets? They are no longer there. I have now stored them on top of the three stacked drawers so they are out of sight!
  • Being the frugalista that I am, I needed to find a way to use that three-tier hanging basket I purchased. One of my biggest storage frustrations is my plastic container storage. No matter how many times I have reorganized them they inevitably end up in a mess a few weeks later. I figured that the solution to this problem was more accessible and visible storage which was perfectly solved by the hanging baskets! The containers are easily visible to me when I need to find one, but still out of sight in the closet.
  • The top shelf of the left half of this closet didn’t need any real organizing this time around. A few months ago I had reorganized this shelf by using an expanding shelf that I already owned to make the space more functional. Using this shelf allowed me to better see and access the sandwich bags, garbage bags and what-not I had stored there. This shelf is also not factored into my budget, but you can still purchase it at The Container Store.
  • The other half of my closet is more for food storage. Here I already owner an ELFA organizer from The Container Store. This has been great addition storage for my pantry. As part of this project, I cleaned out the drawers and reorganized the space with my new storage purchases.
  • My favorite purchase for this project is the hanging shelf I bought for my pantry. This has allowed me to finally make use of the empty space above my ELFA unit and utilize the closet pole.
  • For the top shelf, I purchased a can dispenser. I also used many of the plastic storage containers I purchased to store my bulk items (ie. flour, pasta, sugar, etc.).
  • Lastly, I was stuck on how to best organize the many bottles on this shelf. My struggle has been finding a way to see and access all of them easily. My aha! moment (thanks to my best friend) was using the lazy suzan I had on my dining table for these bottles. I couldn’t have imagined a better solution!

Moving to the other half of my kitchen, I also reorganized my cabinets. I was thrilled at the amount of space I opened up through this project. Much of the space was not so much from discarding old or unwanted items but from simply better utilizing the space I had.

  • I have three cabinets above my stove and sink, as well as, two hard to reach cabinets above my refrigerator. The only item I purchased for this part of the project was an expandable tiered shelf for my spices.
  • For the cabinets below my counter-top, I had done much of this reorganizing earlier. One great idea to help contain the cleaning supplies under my sink was to use a plastic container. This not only contains them but also allows me to take the whole container out with everything I need for cleaning.

There you have it! My newly reorganized and much more usable small kitchen!

Design Dissection: Entryway Vintage Makeover

Looking at the changes I made to my entryway/kitchen this weekend, I think I’m quite pleased.

What I love from the Entryway Vintage Makeover:

  • The price tag! I was able to do everything for under $50. My only new acquisition for this makeover was the poster order. The plates were already owned (along with the plate hangers), and for the door mat I simply switched the larger mat I had been using under the cat food dishes with the small door mat.
  • I was finally able to use something I had purchased for my “big girl home”. The Oneida Vintage Label plates have been moved from my bedroom at my parents’ house to storage in my apartment. It is wonderful to see them up on the walls.

To go back to the design elements that should be considered in an entryway:

  • Function. From the pictures I have posted thus far, the design elements addressing the functionality and organization of the entryway are not visible. The sliding closet to the left as you enter my apartment, serves two purposes – coat closet and pantry. I am a firm believer that everything needs a place and that like things should be kept together. Working in my limited space, I am able to keep item divided by function with some work. For the coat closet/pantry, I purchased a clothing storage bag from IKEA (I would share the link but I can’t seem to find it on their site). This keeps coats protected and in their own space. I use a hanger to keep umbrellas in one place and off the floor.
  • Style/Personality. I clearly went BIG with my theme/style for the entryway – Vintage. Since I am unable to paint the vintage posters and decorative plates served well to add color to the space. While the rest of my apartment is not nearly as overloaded with vintage items, I like that the entryway has such a strong and defined personality.
  • Lighting. This element is, in my opinion, one of the most important in any room. At the start of my apartment redecoration, I purchased an under-cabinet light. As a renter, I am unable to install nicer looking (and more effective) under-cabinet lighting. Wireless lighting options are the perfect solution to this.
  • Mirrors. There aren’t any mirrors in the space (as you can see). Being such a small and multi-functional space, I’m not sure if a mirror could work here. The only place I am considering is to mount a mirror on the back of the door. This would be a great last look-over before I leave the apartment, I’m just not sure if it will be too much….To Be Determined.
  • Artwork. There is clearly plenty of artwork in the space. The artwork is pulled together to appear better matched as a collection by its common vintage theme.
  • Door Mat. Not much to say here – I have one. It is nothing very colorful or fancy, but I think with all of the color in the art it is unnecessary.
  • Furniture. No room.
  • Organizers (an “In Box”). My “In Box” happens to be just outside of this space. I typically place my keys on top of the refrigerator, but as you can see in the photos above, all I had to do was add a serving bowl I had lying around to take away the cluttered look of keys and what-not lying on top of the refrigerator.

And there you have it. One entryway redecorated and ready to go…kind of. Being that in my apartment the entryway is also the kitchen there is still work to be done. Now we will move onto looking at organizing and decorating your kitchen.

Entryway Vintage Makeover

My vintage posters arrived yesterday and I went straight to work.

  1. As I had mentioned earlier, I covered each poster in clear contact paper. This gives them a bit more of a finished look. I also prefer it to the option of having them laminated because the matte finish of the clear contact paper preserves the vintage feeling as opposed to shiny laminate.
  2. I first lady out the posters on my closet door using “Blu-Tack”. [Blu-Tack is a reusable adhesive. It has a consistency similar to clay or play-dough.] This helped me to see how to best position the posters before finally adhering them to the closet doors.
  3. Once I had a lay-out that I liked, I used 3M to adhere the posters to the doors. As a renter, I chose 3M because it will not leave any adhesive residue on the surface and shouldn’t damage the posters when they are eventually removed. If you aren’t a renter you may decide to use something else.

Viola! My vintage poster project was complete in a matter of hours and it looks great.

Vintage Posters on Entryway/Kitchen Closet Doors

Being the weekend warrior that I often am, I didn’t stop there.

Despite skepticism from some friends, I have saved various mementos from my travels. What may seem like odd to many people are part of a future project for me. For example, while in Europe and around the States as well, I have collected numerous cardboard pub coasters. I tried to use these in addition to the posters, however, I think it the end it was too much – too much variety, too much of the ‘alcohol-theme’, just too much.

Continuing in my decorating groove, I was happy to realize that I had some decorative plates that I have simply had in storage that I could now use! Several years ago I bought to sets of 4 Oneida Vintage Label Collection plates and plate hangers. I used these plates to add color and style to smaller places such as the back-splash, above the entry way door, and on a small wall that faces the doorway.

Decorative plates on back-splash and wall facing the entryway door.

Decorative plates on back-splash.

Decorative plates on side wall facing entryway door.

Decorative plates above entryway door.

Decorative plates above entryway door - close-up.

Great Item for Your Entryway!

I was looking for a birthday gift for my brother and I ran across this great item that happens to be on sale:

On SALE for $19.99 @

You only get one chance to make a good first impression…

…so why not do all you can to make it a good one!? As I’ve mentioned, your entryway is the first impression visitors have of your home and so its the perfect place to start decorating or redecorating. Two things that I think are most important when planning your entryway are its function and your style or the personality you want to give the space.

  • Function: While decorating is all well and good, it becomes impractical when the decor impedes on the function of a space. This is a particular challenge in approaching entryway decorating. In addition to being the first impression of your home, entryways, or at least my entryway, serve as a catch-all. The decor of this space will need to provide organizational elements in order to ensure that clutter doesn’t pile up and take away from your great first impression.
  • Style/Personality: This is your first chance to show your visitors your great style so why not go big! I think that you should have at least one powerful, perhaps even over-the-top, piece in this space. Give your visitors a taste of what is to come. Additionally find other items that will personalize the space and improve the function of your entryway.

As with every project, the first step is to find inspiration. I may not be able to afford a high-end interior decorator but I sure can work to implement their ideas on a budget. Here are some great entryways I’ve found:

From My Simpler Life Blog

This entryway seems to have a great way to store everything you could possibly need and has a defined style. The shoe mat under the table serves the practical purpose of keeping your home a bit cleaner and the umbrella bin keeps umbrellas from dripping on the floor. There are “inbox” organizers on the tables and a great message board above. These are all great ideas for stylishly organizing when designing your entryway.

From Simple Eye Design Blog

What a perfect piece of furniture for the entryway and great for a smaller space! The colorful pillows, bench cushion, and wicker baskets add some character and style to the space.

From Remodelista Blog

This space does a great job of providing organized storage and style. That is a lot of storage in a small space!

Now its your turn to look for inspiration. I find it helpful to print the images and add them to my decorating binder; I then add sticky notes on the print-outs to remind myself what it was I liked or wanted to replicate. Some design elements to look for inspiration and consider in your own home are:

  • Lighting
  • Mirrors
  • Artwork
  • Door Mat
  • Furniture (if space allows)
  • Organizers/an “In Box”

Birra, Bier, Bière

There is nothing quite like a good lunch time acquisition to get my creative juices flowing. I happened to be near a World Market yesterday and found, and purchased, my inspiration for the first step in my entryway redecoration. Sadly the item is not on the World Market website so I will take a photo of it later today for your viewing pleasure. In brief, it’s a metal sign in a vintage style of wine bottles. This inexpensive purchase (only about $13.00) sparked a great idea!

Thanks to, I was able to purchase 10 vintage advertising posters. The posters are varying sizes but they are all advertising various alcoholic drinks. I figured I would keep with my very small start at a theme (bottle cap magnets and Yuengling sign). Being the budget savvy person I am, I saved by not having the posters laminated (it was about $10 extra each poster) and plan to cover them with the extra clear contact paper I have from my bookshelf project. This will help them to resist wear and tear a bit. Also, the matte finish of the clear contact paper will stay with the vintage feel of the theme rather than the high gloss look laminating would’ve given them. My plan for these posters and metal sign is to put them on the large sliding closet doors.

Here are the posters that I’ve purchased:

I’m very excited for these posters to be delivered!

My next step is to find some sort of rug to complement the colors of the various posters and to add color and warmth to the space.

Welcoming the World to Your Unique Style

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

Your home is a great place to make others feel welcome, wanted and warm. As such, I think that the best place to first display your design style is in the entryway – set the tone for the rest of your home.

Having realized this I’ve been thinking about how I might give my own entryway a splash of my style. My entryway, however, poses a particularly challenging situation; the entryway is also my kitchen. With limited wall space, and a need to maintain functionality I’m having a difficult time coming up with ideas to add style and color to my kitchen/entryway.

Here’s what I’m working with:

Not much space to work with. This is to the right as you enter my apartment.

This is the "above cabinet storage". Really its just space above the cabinets that I've used to store larger items.

As you can see, there is a closet to the left of the front door. I use this closet for coats and as a pantry.

That's all there is to it. Very small.

So there you have it. There is a lot going on in a very little space.

When first looking at redecorating this space I got very overwhelmed and so I stopped. My beginning efforts were to give it a theme of beer/wine (real classy, I know). Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • The wine rack has been there for a while
  • I made the “cork” board
  • I purchased the tin Yuengling advertisement replica
  • I made magnets from various beer bottle tops for the refrigerator

Not much but it’s a start. What I think is missing is some color and character. Some ideas that I have:

  • I like the ‘vintage’ feel of the tin advertisement and want to do something more with that. I have collected some interesting beer bottle labels from around the world and am thinking of framing them in small square frames to put on the wall above the cat food.
  • Color: I can’t paint (yay for renting) so I need to look for some other ways to add color. Artwork is one way – which I hope to do with the project above. Another way is with a rug. While my entryway mat is functional for keeping dirt from the rest of my apartment, it is also dull and very small (the cat food mat is bigger – pretty pathetic). I’m thinking I can pick up the blue in the Yuengling sign in a rug and/or maybe the colors from the labels I will be framing.
  • That big closet door takes up a lot of the space in the entryway/kitchen and I’d love to do something with it. I think this could be a good place for storage and/or more artwork.

So that is what I have thus far. A much better start than before, and when I’ve broken it down it is much less overwhelming. I think that by the end of this weekend I will be able to make a big change in this small space and on a small budget.

I’m still trying to think of more ideas and options so what are your thoughts….