It’s All About The First Impression

So my 14th post on this blog is about making a good first impression. Nice timing, don’t you think? I like entryways to make a good first impression for your home. Ours is very small–when you walk in the front door there is a small wall facing you, a hallway to the kitchen, stairs to the right, and dining room to the left. Not a whole lot of room to do something dramatic, but still enough to do something interesting.


The first thing I did was paint the space a light green color (Ralph Lauren’s Homespun). Next, I tossed around the idea of using some Wonderful Graffiti wall words for the entry facing wall–the first impression wall–but couldn’t find anything I really wanted to commit to, or that defined us. “Welcome to Our Home” felt a little too Bree Hodge with her basket of baked goods. Another option–“Love Lives Here”–was accurate, but we didn’t want guests gagging on the stoop. “Home is Where the Memories Begin” set the bar a little high for dinner parties. “You only live once–but if you work it right, once is enough” was loved for its dash, but a little too Psych 101. And then there was the Robert Frost quote “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” However, I wasn’t sure good ol’ Bob would be too keen on me putting the necessary disclaimers at the end. And last but not least, “Come on in! Hope you brought wine!” was in the running for longer than I care to admit, only to get axed when I decided–hey, if you have to spell it out, these people don’t know you.

So the wall words idea was a bust. Once again inspiration came in the form of a catalog (the mailman must be my muse). This time it was an IKEA catalog, where I saw these cute little mirrors for $2 each. Having never been to an IKEA before, my friend Jill and I promptly planned a day trip down to Chicago. Once there I couldn’t decide how many mirrors to buy so I just threw a bunch in the cart. I didn’t have a plan in mind yet–I only knew I wanted to do a grouping of some kind. When I returned home my initial thought was to do 2 rows of mirrors starting on the facing wall and running down the length of the hallway, but that didn’t quite have the effect I was going for. I tossed around a few more ideas before deciding on this one–floor-to-ceiling mirror grouping, just on the facing wall. It took lots of measuring and lots of leveling, but I’m really happy with the end result. To keep the mirrors from getting crooked once hung, I placed a little bit of adhesive Velcro on the back–one side stuck to the mirror and one side stuck to the wall.


My next entryway project was storage. The garage entrance is at the end of the hallway near the kitchen and I knew I wanted a storage piece there for mail and other miscellaneous items. By now you’re familiar with my aversion to open shelving, so I was on the lookout for storage that could be all closed up with no sign of things inside. I couldn’t find an existing piece that worked so I ended up getting this secretary desk from an unfinished furniture store in town. It started out in lots of pieces but 2 coats of stain, followed by 2 coats of paint (because I decided the stain wasn’t dark enough), followed by 2 coats of polyurethane, followed by G begging for the garage back, followed by an evening of wine and power tools, and it was done. And it certainly fits the bill…and the bills. (The fourth picture below is taken from the kitchen, looking down the hallway toward the front door.)




I managed to make it nearly two years before repainting the entryway. For months prior to repainting, I’d been obsessing about painting a room orange. Orange is my favorite color and the house was feeling a little too beige and brown for me. I decided orange in the entryway would be neat and dramatic when you open the front door, and bring some color to the main level. The trouble is–I was a little hesitant on really going for it. So I tossed the idea around for a few months, asking friends, posting on The Nest, and running it past G waiting for him to veto. G never vetoed and friends and perfect strangers all loved the idea (my friend Allison even paint-shopped my existing entryway pictures orange so I could get a sense of how it would look–love her!) so I went for it.

Here’s a sampling of conversations in our house weeks–even days–leading up to our new orange entryway:

D: Baby, what do you think of the idea of me painting the entryway orange?
G: What’s wrong with the color it is now?
D: Nothing…I just want something a little more dramatic.
G: Well if that’s what you want, go for it.
D: I really want to paint the entryway orange.
G: Okay.
D: I think I’m going to paint the entryway orange.
G: Okay.

The night before I started painting I had all sorts of orange paint chips taped to the wall. G came home and I showed him what I’d narrowed it down to (Caramelized Orange by Behr):

D: I think this is the one I’m going with. What do you think?
G: Looks good to me.

The next day I painted while G worked on the basement. Then he came up to check on things:

D (grinning): What do you think?
G (looking puzzled): It looks orange to me.
D (confused): Um…it is orange.
G(even more puzzled): Is that the color you wanted?
D (wide-eyed): Seriously?
G: What?

Luckily the orange has grown on him because I love it and it’s here to stay!


Related Posts:
Time Sure Does Fly!
Entryway Organization–Shoe Storage
I’ve Never Met a Stripe I Didn’t Like

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  1. 1

    G&D! I just discovered your blog (nestie flowersandhiro here) via joi’s blog. Loves it =)

  2. 2

    I love the orange, it’s a beautiful color. And thanks for your comment on my blog, you are so sweet.

  3. 3

    G&D, I too just discovered your blog! Fellow nestie here, j&sclark320! Great blog and I LOVE the new wall color with the mirrors!

  4. 4

    loooove the mirrors! you did a fabulous job!

  5. 5

    I know this is a really late reply, but I had painted my entire upstairs orange and loved it! It was so warm and inviting and looked great at Halloween! :) Just discovered your blog and bookmarked it. We’re in the mdist of renos and I’m always on the lookout for easy, fun and fabulous ideas. Thanks for combining all that with the suggestion of wine and a kicker of a sense of humour.

  6. 6

    @thirtysomething–Thanks for the comment! It’s always nice to hear from a fellow orange-lover. 😉

  7. 7

    Dusty, I just saw this post via a link from one of your Haven posts. Since I’m somewhat of a Madison ‘local’, where can I find that unfinished furniture store? That sounds like it could be a fun place to check out!

    On another note, I’m sad that American doesn’t seem to sell your bedroom set anymore. It’s almost exactly what I had dreamed up in my mind for our PERFECT new set! The search continues!


  1. […] third one ivory so it wouldn’t feel too closed in.  Plus that third wall meets up with the dark orange paint color in our entry and hallway.  I knew the gray and orange would look great in the same space, but I didn’t want them […]

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