Our Farmhouse Front Entrance

It's tough to find 'before' photos of the front entryway to our farmhouse, because there wasn't really a front entrance.  It was basically a hallway with a staircase coming down.

Here's what it looked like, in those very first early days, from the top of the stairs looking down:

Because the ceilings on our main floor are so high, this staircase was incredibly steep and dangerous.  We decided to tear it out and build a new one that wrapped around.

Here's a picture of the entryway from the view of the kitchen.

Ugh I do not miss those days.  Not yet, at least....

Here's the view from the den.  This is actually how the house looked like when we moved in last January.  The upstairs was finished, but the downstairs was still completely gutted.

 We re-built the staircase, put up some walls, and moved the center wall (dividing the hallway and bedroom) over by 3 feet.  This gave us a nice 5 foot wide front entryway with a double closet.  (The closet is to the left of the door).

Our front entryway looked like this for months.  Our taper went on vacation so that front wall was left unfinished for a while.  And because it was a room we really didn't use much, we didn't have a lot of motivation to finish it.  Finally, after the taper was done, I finished painting that last wall, the trim, doors, crown moulding and ceilings.

Mark found this buffet and I loved it because it's 6' long and quite high.  I feel like it's very proportional to the space.

I posted a picture on my facebook and asked opinions for which colour to paint it.  The most popular responses were: white, navy, green and red.  I opted for white, which is also the easiest resell colour (in case one day I find a giant church pew to place along this wall instead!)

I am so proud of my photo frames.  These are made from old windows I found in my barn.  I cleaned up the panes, and printed off 8x10 prints of all our family and loved ones.  This is what it looked like before.

And after.

These frames make me happy.  Just to look at all the beautiful faces in each photo upon coming home warms my soul.

Okay so I've been hooked on the show 'Fixer Upper'.  Joanna Gains has started to influence my decor taste.  I found this beautiful galvanized bucket at Ikea the other day and just couldn't resist.  The hydrangea blooms were a gift from my sister-in-law's neighbour in Toronto.  I dried them so that they can last forever.  They are so fun!

I so enjoy making our house lovely.

The giant lantern, the frames, the buffet, the lamp and chandelier - all were found on the side of the road.  Yay for junk!

So for the ceiling, we found these old original tin tiles on the kitchen ceiling.  Many were rusted out, and some were even burnt (we suspect there was probably a fire in this house at one point).  I took them all down, one by one, scraped off the paint, and repainted them with a heavy oil-based rust blocking paint.  Then we re-installed them on the front entryway ceiling.  I snapped a picture of how they looked when we first discovered them.

And here is what they look like now.

We added crown molding to finish off the edges.  Decorating this room is a bit of a challenge because of the height of the ceilings.

One last photo of this lovely buffet.  I guilded all the hardware and trim in a gold wax, and refinished the top in a dark walnut stain.

"When I paint furniture, I keep imperfections.  I want a refreshed piece - not a brand-new one."  
~Marian Parsons (aka Miss Mustard Seed).


  1. Amazing transformation! You get your inspiration from fancy designers and bloggers and I get mine from a local fancy furniture redesign artist: you!!!

  2. I love it. I think I see a picture of me in there with the nieces and nephews. Beautiful job.

  3. Wow, Jen! You've done it again - it looks so beautiful in there. It's come a long ways since I saw it :)

  4. Everything you do is so beautiful and inspiring! Looking for advice as I start my own project. Wanting to paint a large oak hutch with a pretty solid cover of paint, do you have paint recommendations? Where to buy? How much paint might be needed? Do you have a tutorial blog post? Thanks!