How Mister Rogers Inspired My Entryway Makeover

I can thank Mister Rogers and middle age for my minimalist approach to my updated entryway. His routine of walking through his front door after work, removing his jacket and reaching for that yellow cardigan sweater faithfully waiting for him inside his coat closet, along with his sneakers, and then sitting in the same chair, slowly taking off one shoe at time, sort of put me in a trance as a kid. That smile and keen ability to turn off the day’s work the second he opens the door is so fantastic. Truly a role model, still.

Today, I want to share the transformation of my entryway. Maybe I’ll inspire a few of you to look your space and ask yourself if it is keeping up with your lifestyle. Mine is the busiest area of my home between me, the dogs, kids, and all their friends in and out all day long. It has to function without compromising the style and mood of a space that always reminds everyone they are home now. Time to kick off the shoes and get comfy.

My Entryway: Before and After

A dramatic change for sure. It’s functional, and there is no doubt I am home the second I open the front door. When you walk into a beautiful place, it feels good. Why not create that feeling in the very space you enter and exit everyday?

My entryway is typical for a townhome. As soon as you open the door, you have about 7′ x 7′ before the first stair. On the left of the stairs, there is a hallway that extends 19′ in length, but it’s skinny. It’s about 3.5′ wide. I’ve created a 3D view on Magic-Plan for your viewing pleasure.

Lots of doors, right? Five, to be exact. At 19′ x 3.5′ wide, there is not much room for furnishings. So where do I start?

The first question to ask yourself: What do I need from this space? Function is always first.

The List

  1. A place to hang coats, keys, and dog leashes.
  2. A place for everyone to hang their own stuff out of sight. Shoes, backpacks, etc. My lockers will have to work.
  3. A place to sit and put on shoes. Just like Mister Rogers! I take a lot of walks with my dogs. It makes sense to have simple, strong bench opposite the lockers.
  4. Warmer, updated lighting. Something to set the mood as soon I step inside.
  5. Two rugs. An indoor/outdoor to manage all the foot traffic at the entrance and a more sophisticated run down the hallway. Good rugs and create that homey mood of home.
  6. Artwork that inspires me, and one good mirror. And a plant. Always a plant.

The second question is no less important: What mood do you want to create? What brings you joy?

Joy comes appreciating your favorite drawing to greet you at the front door. Like this one I found in an old shop in Hallowell, Maine.

I love happy creatures.

I’ve always loved the feeling I get from the color blue. I started swimming at age 4 in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and remember walking to practice along Shoreline Park, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. That deep blue won me over then and maybe led to appreciation of blue skies, etc.

I also knew I wanted to feel like I was stepping into a warm English pub. Or an old library. Since my hallway had no natural light other than the window from the front door, I decided to bathe the whole space in deep dark blue.

I painted everything but the ceiling navy blue. And instead of having a bright contrasting white ceiling, which would kill the pub mood, I went with a peel and stick, metallic wallpaper. Both are from Target!

That leads to my final question: Now that you know the function and mood of the space, how are you going to make the selections?

In other words: Everything has to be in harmony. That makes the selection process kind of easy. You simply look at something and ask yourself: Is this item in harmony with the mood, style, color, etc. If it’s not, don’t get it. It could be lovely, but it has to fit the criteria for your space. Don’t get swayed by something just because you love it. It might be great for another part of your home, but stay focused on bringing in that mood.

Use what you have…First!

Sometimes you have to work with what’s available. Don’t let that stop you. I’m always on a budget with three kids. Hopefully, no alternations are needed, but if they are, there’s always a way to make it work. For example, I had cool, green school lockers, an old red and black bench, and rugs. I wasn’t going to paint those lockers, but I could pick the right shade of blue help them connect.

Shop for the Rest

I set about looking for something affordable that would harmonize and create that mood. Sure enough, I scored a drum shade and brass light fixture from Habitat for Humanity. Brass against navy…yes please!! Gives me that nautical connection I’m seeking, and warms up those walls so nicely. Pub feel kind of nice.

Want to see it all put together in a video? I did a brief walkthrough so you can see all the ways I made it happen. Check it out!

Thanks, Mister Rogers. You still guide me!