An Entry With A Little Pizzaz

This is a good news, bad news dilemma.  The good news was that we have an actual entry in our little house, something that has always been important to me.  I suppose it is because my father always wanted one in our 1950s house, but by then entries were given up in favor of more living space elsewhere in the home.  We had a covered front stoop; and eventually, my father enclosed it and made a formal entry to our little home.  

The bad news regarding our entry was that it was tiny and dull.  It was painted the same color as the living room— a color that I love; but since the entry was so small, I felt it needed to have a little pizzaz.  In truth, as you enter the house, you never see the only wall that does not have a door in it or an opening to the living room.  

As I sit in my office and look out across the living room, I can see into our dining area with windows that give me a view of our mountains, and into the living room, as well as the one wall in the entry where the only interest on the wall— the three brass pipes that give tone to the door bell, but they are not very interesting.

What to do?  I pondered this question for a short time, thinking paint is the quickest solution to my problem; but I was not certain that paint would be enough.  I remember, when we first saw the house, I was thinking I could put a gatelegged table in that space.  Then I realized there was no space for any furniture, paint would have to be enough.

This thought left me so unsatisfied that, I began thinking around my depth problem and decided I would find an image of an entry table and tape it on the wall to trace it with a chalk pen.  After finding the perfect table for my aesthetic, I took it to a photocopy store and had the staff enlarge the image.  This proved not so simple, since the aspect was not quite right.  I ended up taking the image the photo shop provided, and cut the legs crosswise and extended them to table height—voila!  Since I did not expect the table to be taken seriously, its rangy legs were not an issue.

I used chalkboard paint on the wall and a chalk crayon to get the image onto the wall.  Actually, I had an artist friend come over and draw the outline, thinking that if I did not like it, she could draw something that would be suitable.  It turned out that I liked it, as it was, not perfect, and a bit whimsical.  

Entries are important in homes, and I have spent quite a few hours creating them in my client’s homes, when there is not a designated entry with traditional walls.  Entries can be “imagined” into rooms that open directly into a living space, by placing a large table to stop guests from simply walking all the way into a room upon entering.  A decorative screen can also be used to stop the eye from roaming about the family living space, and sometimes a bold paint color will serve to delineate an entry space.

An entry gives a homeowner a sense of privacy to anyone coming to your door, either invited or not.  Sometimes, a homeowner may not want to have a visitor actually enter personal living space, so an entry is a way to hold them to a more confined area, even from looking in from the outside.

I am so happy to have my little entry, and now I love it even more that it offers some interest to me and my guests, once they come into the house.  More likely, visitors will not see my little table until they leave; nevertheless it is more interesting than bland walls.

Message Boards

There are message boards of every size, shape, color and material, but here are a few ideas you can make yourself— probably out of materials you have around the house.

Several years ago, my husband and I did a modest remodel of our kitchen. We took down the over-the-island cabinets and found another home for them; I love recycling! Next was the kitchen island itself; made of solid oak, it was hard for me to simply put its parts into the dumpster. I did have to retrieve some as my handy hubby was quick to toss them. I made a message board from one of the doors by simply painting the inside panel with chalkboard paint— that was the simplest thing ever. As a postscript, we have used nearly every piece of that oak island for a variety of projects, including a sample door for paint colors to my clients what painted oak might look like; it has been a huge success.

You could use this idea on a cabinet door that is currently in your kitchen, as long as it is within easy reach and convenient to change as needed. Another idea would be to paint a window pane or two on a window that is facing a less than attractive view, with chalkboard paint, again as long as it was within easy reach.

My next idea is to use an old picture frame with glass. I gave one away recently, then I had this idea; it figures! I went to Goodwill and spent $4.99 on a frame measuring 16X20 inches. Next I painted the frame, I used black as it is the easiest to use in my kitchen. I put the glass on a piece of grid paper and wrote out Santa’s List, Naughty and Nice and then some names (fictitious of course). I used dry erase pens, but you could use any kind of marker that will stick to glass and easily wipe off. Rubbing alcohol works well to remove markers.  

This message board is further made interesting by placing some left over Anagluypta or embossed wallpaper, to give the board some texture. You could use any type of wallpaper, wrapping paper, or rice paper that you might have on hand. Of course, you could find a backing paper that suite the room in which you wish to use your message board, e.g., children’s bedroom, playroom, or home office. My suggestion would be to use a pale-colored design to avoid competing with your messages. Any color will work as long as it is pale. You can find great paper choices at stationary stores, art stores and of course on line.

Once you have completed your board, find an appropriate place to hang or lean it up against a wall. The nice thing about using a glass surface is that it is easily changed with the season, or just a fun place to doodle for small children while you are busy in your kitchen or office.

Santa's List

Santa's List

Chalk Painted Cabinet Door

Chalk Painted Cabinet Door