The Garden Level Entry

Before we lived here, I didn’t realize just how much we would end up using the garden level entry. I thought we would just leave from the main front door all the time. But down on the garden level, there’s more a little more space and a full-size coat closet. Which means plenty of room…

Before we lived here, I didn’t realize just how much we would end up using the garden level entry. I thought we would just leave from the main front door all the time. But down on the garden level, there’s more a little more space and a full-size coat closet. Which means plenty of room for backpacks, scooters, helmets, ballet and soccer gear – all the stuff that accumulates around here easily. We’re finding it’s actually nice that we can have a more casual entrance for the family and a more formal entry for guests.

Now that I’m revisiting old photos from before we moved in, I can see why I assumed we would never use this entrance. It was literally blocked off from junk the bachelors kept in the hall. And somehow they had broken the closet doors and just sort of propped them up at an angle. :)

So now that this entrace has become basically our mudroom, I bumped it up on the decorating priority list. Just like with my office, I mostly wanted to use things that I had around the house already. And because it’s a more casual space that guests won’t often see, I thought it would be fun to just go a little crazy here – full on, uninhibited decorating. I’m not done yet, but we’re making some headway, I think.

The wallpaper was purchased at a B&F sample sale a couple years ago (we used the larger scale pattern in my mom’s kitchen) for just a few dollars a roll.

The blue enamel paint on the door was left over from the interior of Joanna’s bedroom armoire. I’m so crazy about the color!

I recycled the hooks from the loft entry. After living a month or two without these, I realized how much the hooks help us keep clutter off the floors. As soon as we walk in, everything gets put up and away. No more searching for backpacks first thing in the morning!

I picked up the antique burlwood mirror at the flea market last year. It’s a favorite of mine. It’s sort of weird I guess to hang a mirror on the back side of a door, but I kinda like it. I hung it on the door using a screw, and then added picture hanging strips to the corners to give the frame extra stability when the door slams, etc. It’s fun to have a little place to check your hair before you run out
the door. I want to hang an art series on the left-hand wall, so this
was a way to get a mirror without losing wall space.

There was this really bad, commercial grade red carpet in most of the garden level rooms. We pulled it all out right away (it was super gross). The floors underneath need a little love, but they’re not that beat up.

I was so, so glad my new persian rug fit the hall space. I love the way the coral in the rug works with the green of the wallpaper.  It was 50% off(!) at eSaleRugs. They are having sales all the time so I make it a habit to pop over to the site every other week or two to see what’s new, so I have a lot of rugs from them now. :) (remember my old kitchen runner?).

The benefit to the use-what-you-have decorating approach is it’s really instant gratification. I love how fast I was able to throw this all together. After just a few hours of work, it feels like a somewhat-finished space. And I’ll take finished-and-good-now over perfect-maybe-someday, any day of the week!

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48 thoughts on “The Garden Level Entry

  1. Seriously loving the space. I like the mirror in the state that it is in, I always love a natural wood piece in a room when a lot of the elements are painted, I also think putting the mirror on the back of the door is brilliant, I always like to check myself in the mirror before heading out and this is a great space saving idea. Beautiful job Jenny!!!

  2. Gorgeous as usual! Would love a wallpapering tutorial. It amazes me that you can just throw wallpaper on the walls like it's nobody's business! You're amazing! Hope you're feeling well!

  3. Also, using what you have sometimes gives you limitations so you are forced to be more creative when you know that you can't (in your case, didn't want to) buy something new. I love it when it works out that way. This just happened with my daughter's room…it was all totally free and is my favorite room in the house!

    I love that you just "went for it" with the blue door. That is awesome.

  4. I adore your bold choices. I wish I had more guts! Any one of the three colorful elements here – walls, door, rug – would be a stretch for me, but it looks so good when you do it. Maybe one day you could tell us how to go bold the way you do?

  5. Lovely job, any chance your landlord would spring for taller skirting boards and crown moldings? would send this space over the top

  6. I love the mix of wood, wallpaper, rug and high-gloss paint–especially with the black and white hooks. I love a black and white stripe in any room–it gives it that edge but is still a great neutral.

  7. LOVE this space!! Your deisgn styl is so fun, elegant, modern, quirky- its so faulous- it especially works well with kids stuff in the mix:)

  8. What a fun color scheme in here, Jenny! I just got a similar Persian for my cottage- also in crazy bright colors. I like the idea of mixing it with blue and green.
    Also planning on bedazzling my front door in an equally fun shade.

  9. This looks great! I wouldn't have thought a classic Persian rug could look so cute and hip. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. What a happy entrance. I want that rug!!! I'll keep searching. Also want to figure out where I could use that blue paint. I have a can of the white and gloss some gray…for something.

  11. What a difference from the before photos! It went from drab and depressing to cheery and organized so quickly with your decorating approach. Growing up, we never used the front door either and opted instead for our mudroom too!

  12. Three levels of hooks is pure genius. I love the way all of this works, and I love the way you just get things done. Brilliant.

  13. I'm always amazed at what I already have when I "shop" my house. I think I learned that phrase on the Nate berkus show and it's one of many great concepts I learned from him. I wish I had the DIY skills that you have Jenny because they really make it possible to get things done! Great job.

  14. I love all the color! Now might I suggest a faux copper boot tray from the Smith and Hawken line at Target? Your home is an inspiration!

  15. The wall paper is beautiful! Such a great choice to go with the door color- sophisticated but not stuffy. Thanks for posting!

  16. There's something very Wes Anderson about those striped hooks on the wallpaper. Love that you made this a fun and lively entry into your home – the perfect welcome!

  17. Love the door color! Thanks for the opportunity to win shoes! My fav are flats…all types.
    Thanks! Anne P.

  18. Wow, the transformation of this space is phenomenal! I love, love, love the bright blue door. You are so talented and mixing various colors. The hooks are the perfect amount of whimsy.

  19. I swear my mom has that exact same mirror. She's also an interior designer. I should find a pic and see if it's really the same.

  20. This entry is jaw dropping good, but then to throw in the before pictures – amazing! I would love a post on rugs. I know you posted something about not preferring rugs with white for your main living spaces. But I kind of don't "get" them. I'm not a matchy matchy person, but with rugs I am always trying to find ones that match, but I truly love the rooms that use something unexpected, as in this space. I just don't how to do it.

  21. Jenny, where did you get those lower red coat hooks? They go so great with the anthro ones! You've inspired me to make some impulse decorating decisions tonight :)

  22. Awesome rug! I love flat weave persians, so classic, so bold, so fun to mix with things. Oh and that mirror would be so hot lightly gilded, just a thought. Beautiful Job!!

  23. As always, I'm amazed by your ability to make something out of nothing. I love how the rustic nature of the mirror looks against the door, and oh-my-goodness that rug!!!

  24. "I'll take finished-and-good-now over perfect-maybe-someday, any day of the week!"

    I love that sentiment. I too often forget and want to redecorate a space or do a major tweak when I should focus on just getting all the rooms "done".

  25. This looks amazing. I would also love a wallpaper tutorial! I tried it my powder room once with help from a person who had done it before and it was such a pain in the butt. Took forever and we had such a hard time lining things up. I don't know how you do it as if it is just slapping on some paint.

  26. I love this! The wall and door colors and finishes with that great rug. Do you worry about getting mud ground into your good rug? I'm not sure I would be able to place something that nice right inside a busy doorway.

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