Our Entry & Stairway

The walls of our front entry and stairway were clad in knotty pine when we moved in. We weren’t fans, to say the least. I wrote about priming the wood back in August of 2007, but I realized recently that I neglected to follow up with the finished look. Our baby gates went up this weekend, but I took photos before I installed them.

Before & After: Our Front Entry & Stairway

Our Front Entry & Stairway

The paint color is Campground by Behr, and the fabric on the door and window was from IKEA, as was the little pink rug. I love the beautiful doorknob on the door to the living room, and I’m pretty fond of the vintage paper punch we use as a doorstop.

Our Front Entry & Stairway

Our Front Entry & Stairway

I hung a small painting that I made and put up a cute switchplate from Anthropologie. Above the railing that we installed, I hung four Syroco panels scored on eBay.

Our Front Entry & Stairway

And here, a lovely shot of just how crowded this little area gets when you actually open the front door. Now imagine a baby gate on the bottom stair that swings out into the space. Nice.

Our Front Entry & Stairway

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  • Allison
    January 12, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Love the paper punch as a doorstop! Looks like it was made for that purpose, clever!

  • Kristy
    January 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for sharing the staircase, many people forgot about that part of the home. It looks great. You got to love the old hardware. I’ve been collecting pieces here and there over the past few years so when I replace the cheap hollow-core doors with old solid wood ones found at salvage yards, I can give them life with old hardware.

  • Tami
    January 12, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Love it!! When are you going to start offering design services? I have been anxiously searching your sites. Not that you don’t have enough to do already =)

    • Making it Lovely
      January 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      You have no idea how badly I want to! Alas, I’m finding it difficult to fit it in so far. Soon though… I hope!

  • Alana
    January 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    The doorstop is a fabulous feature. I love how you worked with the wood instead of fighting against it. Very cute area, a nice welcome to your home.


  • Reba
    January 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    This is so pretty! And well timed too –this weekend’s project is painting our foyer/entryway. I’m curious, did you paint the hallway ceiling the same color as the walls?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      Yes. I usually paint the ceiling the same color, unless the wall color is very dark (like in the library).

  • micaela @ hishouse;herhelp.
    January 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    i really love how you are always combining red and pink in every space! here w/ the window fabric and floor mat. that doorstop is such a great idea! you know i’ll be on the lookout for something similar!

  • Nuit
    January 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I love the door screen, it’s pretty perfect =D

  • Nancy
    January 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Love your painting!

  • Danielle
    January 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Much better painted! Now it doesn’t look like an old hunting lodge. :-P Also, love the vintage details!

  • Emily
    January 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Did you make your door screen/window covering? I have a similar door (3/4 lite) on order and will need a similar covering. If you bought it can you share where? If you made it can you share how?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      The fabric panel from IKEA was the perfect width, so I just hemmed the top and bottom with a pole pocket and hung it on little café curtain rods from Target.

  • Mary
    January 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Ditto on the door screen. Love it! Is the print on both sides or is there a solid that faces out? I need to make a few of these!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      The print is sheer and shows up on both sides.

  • Enhanced Tobi
    January 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I LOVE the the colors of your wall and stairs next to each other. You really know your designing stuff. :)

  • Catherine
    January 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    About the babygate: I have one that is retractable and I *believe* is rated for the bottom of stairs. It’s been years but I think it came from one step ahead. It’s a total space saver. And nearly unclimbable since it’s mesh (my then 3 year old gave it his best try repeatedly).

  • Laura
    January 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I have a 1955 ranch and one of the bedrooms is knotty pine walls and ceiling with wood shutter double door closets. I couldn’t take it so I painted it too! Hard, hard work and very time consuming to sand, prim and paint due to the groves but so worth it at the end. I’m still working on it but when it’s done it will be great. Thank you for supporting painting wood!! Wonderful!

  • laura trevey
    January 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    love the yellow…
    so bright and cheerful ~~

  • Kim @ Yellow Brick Home
    January 12, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Cheery yellow! Must make you smile on your way to bed.

  • Natalie
    January 12, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Love the painted pine! Would you mind sharing how you managed to hang that Ikea fabric? I have some that is similar and have NO IDEA how to hang it on our patio door! :/

  • Gabie
    January 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    What Emily said please! I need someting for my kitchen window and door and have no idea what to do, but your idea seems perfect. Please share how you made your coverings!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm

      I hung the panels with café curtain rods, similar to these (which are lovely, but I picked mine up at Target for much less).

  • Stephanie Fizer
    January 12, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Wow, thanks so much for posting this! We just bought our first house 6 months ago and the lower half of our bedroom and my studio is knotty pine. I hate it and have wanted to paint it, but everyone acts like I am a crazy person when I talk about it! I’m so glad to see yours came out so well and am now off to make my own painting plans!

  • jules @the diversion project
    January 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    What a huge difference – looks fab!

    jules :)

  • here be dragons
    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    How fun! Great shapes.

  • Victoria Rosas
    January 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Oh that is a lovely change, congrats!

  • adrianne
    January 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    What kind of baby gates are you getting? We are at the same stage (little boy is the same age as your little lady) and I hoping I can find something not too ugly. Maybe I just need to suck it up, since we’ll only need them for a little while. But I figure that you are design-conscious, so you {maybe?} agonized over this, too. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      January 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Oh, ours are nothing beautiful. Function over form in this case. We bought this one.

  • Melissa
    January 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    That color looks great with the wood on the doors – what’s the color name?

    My kitchen has knotty pine cabinets and I like them, but the wall below has this strange wallboard with brick faces on it – it looks like a brick wall but the bricks are about 1/4″ thick. I think it would be a hassle to remove the brickboard from the plaster behind it, so I’d like to paint it in a color that will go well with the cabinets. They are the traditional aged knotty pine color, clear lacquer over amber varnish.

  • young c-m
    January 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Hi, I’m curious about the painting in the 2nd pic. Is that an etsy find?

  • cindi
    January 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Great colors! I love that doorstop.

  • A Jill of All Trades
    January 12, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    You inspire me to redo my house….again. :)
    First I am going to finish up what I have started and take photos.
    I still have a lot of work today. I know once I get the bathroom done, I will be the happiest girl!

  • Lesley @ TheDesignFile
    January 12, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Love the color on the walls. It looks great!

  • Christie
    January 13, 2010 at 12:33 am

    So bright and sunny! Nice work. I was wondering, did you have to peel back the carpet when you painted the edges? Or did blue tape do the job? (Or were you just crazy careful?)

    • Making it Lovely
      January 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

      I used a tool for painting baseboard against carpet. I don’t know what it’s called, but I picked it up at the paint store. It’s just a slightly curved (to hold the carpet back away from the wall) metal shield kind of thing with a handle.

  • Erika@BluLabel Bungalow
    January 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Wow, this makes your staircase much more fresh and lively! You home is beautiful. Little Eleanor has lots of eye candy surrounding her.

  • Jennifer
    January 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Ah, I adore those dark panels against that buttery color. Beautiful!

  • liz
    January 13, 2010 at 9:12 am

    OK – I’m usually not a fan of yellow in any part of a house, but it TOTALLY works there and looks great!

    Thanks for sharing your redos on your house. It’s awesome inspiration for those of us about to embark on the same process. :)

  • Chasity
    January 13, 2010 at 9:29 am


    We have a ceiling like that in the bedroom of our house. It is awful and I want to paint over it so badly but my boyfriend thinks that the knots in the wood will bleed through.

    Did you use a special primer or paint to cover up the wood? This hallway looks great and I think I can show this to my boyfriend to prove that painting over the wood isn’t a bad thing!


    • Making it Lovely
      January 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

      Zinsser primer to the rescue! One coat of primer plus two coats of paint, and none of the knots have bled through.

  • Ana
    January 13, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I looks gorgeous!!!


  • In Honor Of Design
    January 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I don’t know how you do it…you make every nook and cranny of your house cute!

  • adhocmom
    January 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Yellow is the best.

  • Erika-2bydesign
    January 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    What a transformation! Not only does it brighten up the stairway, but really opens up the space by beautifully reflecting the light. Great color choice, especially next to the bright Ikea textile!

  • Kristen
    January 13, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Looks so good! I love the color and love the hole punch. It lloks exactly like the ones that were used in pharmacies. Many pharmacies used a two hole punch on the side of the prescription and then file the script on a wire rack. I have had my eyes on the lookout for one of those. Great repurposing!

  • Design Mom
    January 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    So many fun details. I love it!

  • Desiree Fawn
    January 13, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    What a transformation — I’m always wearing about the whole painting wood thing — but this is fantastic :)

  • Franziska
    January 14, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I like the idea using the fabric. This could be something for us (especially for a shelf), too.

  • Wendy D
    January 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Wow. What a difference paint makes. Even if you had solely done that, it still would’ve been a major difference. I also like when people salvage outdated stuff and make it new. Some people would have considered ripping that paneling out. Now your walls are pretty and have texture. Double bonus!

  • Kristi
    January 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Love your entryway…glad you painted the knotty pine…looks so much better! Oh, and I love your creativity too.

  • Heather
    January 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    gorgeous! any chance you’ll come style my house too?

  • becca @ birthday girl
    January 17, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    oh it’s only about a thousand times better! the yellow color alone makes everything so much more cheery and bright. sure wish i had your eye for home design.

  • Molly
    January 19, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Love it!

  • peggy
    January 20, 2010 at 3:34 am

    I love your painting!

  • Leanne
    January 20, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Wow it looks wonderful!

    I love the bird/nest canvas you have on the wall in your living room and would love to know where you got it from? Like another person commented, was it an etsy find? Its just what I have been after!!

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  • Kristie Barnett
    January 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Very well done! And the doorstop is brilliant – kudos!

  • Kristie Barnett
    January 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    great job – the doorstop is brilliant – kudos!!!!

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  • Amber Evans
    January 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I absolutely love your transformation. I did a little “Spotlight On” piece for my blog with it featured. I love the fabric on the door and window from IKEA. It’s so fresh and fun!

  • Natalie
    January 23, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve never hung cafe rods before…do you screw them right into your door? We rent, so that really isn’t an option…any other ideas?

  • sunny
    February 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    lovely fabric in the window…the whole entryway is great!

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