before and after: our entry

This is the story of how I transformed my sad, dark little foyer into a cheery and practical spot suitable for busy day-to-day departures and arrivals in our home.  When we bought our home in 2007, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this grey space!


Super tight quarters with doors opening at practically every angle.  Combine that with a busy household of six and plenty of “stuff” and it’s a doozie.




When we first moved in, we added horizontal boarding on most of our downstairs walls to give our house a little more character.  In the foyer we also budgeted for a cabinet unit so I designed this light blue piece and had it built during our kitchen redo.  I had them make it in two pieces so we had the option of taking it apart and putting a desk under the shelves later on.

Cabinet Color: Benjamin Moore HC-143 Wythe Blue [with heavy distressing]

After this cabinet unit was made, the purse strings tightened so I had to work with our existing accessories. So basically I ended up stealing a good bit of stuff from my old office. My goal was to style it up and also add aditional storage for paperwork, bills, pocket change, extra art supplies, etc.

Note: I did the styling with a friend and it made it feel less intimidating and way more fun.  This is something I highly recommend if you’re ever doing a creative project of your own.  It helps keep you focused and adds another set of eyes for making decisions on what looks best where.

Since I have a completely ridiculous magazine collection, I thought magazine holders would be a great solution lined up on top of the cabinet.  I printed labels on paper then cut to size. Whenever I label and sort, I feel instantly organized.  Mmmm.  Mmmm.

Sources in shelves:

  1. GLASS JARS – from Target.  You’ve seen me use these a kazillion times – I obviously need a new bag of tricks.
  2. WHITE VASE – Homegoods.
  3. WHITE HORSE – oldie from Target years ago.
  4. MAGAZINE HOLDERS – from See Jane Work and can be found right here. The Thomas Paul pattern magazine holder has been discontinued on their site but I found the exact ones over here.
  5. BINDERS + CLIPBOARD – all from Target.
  6. HOUNDSTOOTH + LEOPARD CONTAINERS – from the MacBeth Collection.
  7. LETTER “H” PLATE – oldie from Anthro.

Aside from the three drawers and hooks in the light blue cabinet unit, I loved adding this wall pocket unit below.  It’s affordable and made by Ballard.  Check it out right here.  It’s actually two units – we hung one on top of the other to nicely fit in the narrow space.  These wall pockets are SO helpful and practical for school papers and all kinds of things that manage to come home with kidlets.

Added Bonus: I was lucky enough to find them at the Ballard outlet ON SALE for less than $20 each.  If you are near a Ballard Outlet, be sure and visit regularly for serious deals!  Almost every day they have a section of their inventory on sale for 40% off the already clearance prices.  Click right here for a list of their outlet stores.

Next is what I call the Mommy Station …which is complete with a leopard mirror I bought on clearance at Marshall’s ten years ago. I kid you not, it’s been sitting in the cardboard case until I recently hung it in this very nook.  Been waiting on the perfect spot!

These flower hooks from Anthro help me stay fairly organized…otherwise I would lose my purse daily. I’m usually carrying about 14 things in my hands when walking in the door, so having a reliable place to hang my purse and scarf is great. And as crazy as it sounds, the hooks make me feel happy every time I see them.


That wraps up our foyer tour.  Hoping it inspired some storage ideas for you.

One final thought: if you’re a busy mom like me, you could easily leave this post thinking “does her foyer always look this neat and tidy, where am I going wrong in my house?!?” Please, please do not think that, because it couldn’t be farther from the truth!  The bench is usually stacked with things like overdue library books, dirty mismatched socks, multiple purses from my girls and many other completely random items…which are occasionally alive. Someday I’ll have to do a post about the surprising creatures I find in my house that my four year old brings me…like lizards or grasshoppers in my sink.

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  1. elizabeth says:

    i’m friggin’ jealous!! i wish i had an entry like that……i love the color palette and the way everything is labeled. i think the horizontal boarding adds so much to the space. have you shared pics of this in your other rooms? it’s awesome!

  2. karlene says:

    that is a beautiful piece of furniture!

  3. Julie says:

    How inspiring! So full of character and details to admire and study… The color scheme is absolutely dreamy! :)

  4. Mary says:

    Love this! Everything looks great…and I am all about the glass jars, too! I figure if it works…what the heck, right?
    Oh, and love, love, love that blue cabinet, too!

  5. Cute, cute cute my dear! I’m in love with your foyer, especially the horizontal boarding. Lovely job.

  6. Lizziefitz says:

    You never cease to amaze me! And the keepin real part just makes you even more of a treasure . Thanks for sharing.

  7. Eddie Ross says:

    LOVE IT!!!!! xoxo

  8. danielle says:

    looks great. love the bright welcoming color scheme.

  9. Leila says:

    This is SO GOSH DARN CUTE! I love everything about it! What a happy and organized space.

  10. Karena says:

    You work miracles with your ideas Seleta, wonderful!
    Art by Karena

  11. CC says:

    Seleta, what a fabulous space! I absolutely LOVE the shelving unit you designed. It all welcomes you as soon as you step inside your door!

  12. What a wonderful use of space!! You did a fabulous job.

  13. Lauren says:

    Love your blog. It is a daily read. Your design is amazing…. wish that foyer was in my house!

  14. Michele says:

    so fresh and pretty!

  15. rachel says:

    Wow! You did a fantastic job. I love the colors, what a welcoming spot to come home to every day.

  16. Sara Jane says:

    So pretty!! This makes me want to start from scratch and redecorate all my rooms!

  17. S, Shaw says:

    It looks AH-MAZING! Great job. Love the attention to detail.

  18. pve says:

    I always love when your ocd side springs into action. Wow what a difference! Great foyer to come home to! (even at it’s worst, I would love it!) Super de dooper!!!

  19. MEG DUERKSEN says:

    i love the colors.
    this is just so pretty.
    my entry is a disaster! flip flops EVERYWHERE!!!

  20. Heather says:

    Very pretty!

  21. Laura says:

    Beautiful! Love the cabinet. Love the color. Love the organization. My sis has 3 little ones and she so needs something like this!

  22. Gorgeous! Everything looks awesome! And I’m thinking I need a few of those magazine holders…

  23. Nicole says:

    Beautiful transition! I love the cabinet unit.

  24. Erin says:

    This is fantastic!! Super-duper cute and totally functional! LOVE it!

  25. Archana says:

    Oh my goodness…FABULOUS. I ordered the magazine holders immediately. Loved the color palate. I am now inspired to organize the zillion magazines that I have and cannot seem to let go of. Great Job!!

  26. paula says:

    so organized and pretty? perfection.

  27. Love the white boarding! Great job!

  28. Rebecca says:

    Simply fabulous for Simply Seleta! =)
    I love everything about it and you are so right, styling is SO intimidating!

  29. You make organizing pretty. I love the color blue and the distressing on the bench and top.
    Oh, and I want a Ballard Designs Outlet within driving distance. Can you make that happen? ;)

  30. Kelly says:

    Lovely. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen your children’s names before- I love them!

  31. This is beautiful! Love the painted boards and of course, the cabinet. (I just added you to my blogroll.)

  32. MB says:

    Well done! Your entryway is lovely. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring space:)

  33. Michelle H. says:

    Some of my favorite posts are when you reveal your home decor and we get to see your personal creations. I absolutely LOVE this post. I was thrilled to see the green cane-ish folders/notebook in this post because I also bought them from Target a while back. I kid you not..when I saw them I thought “Oh, this is so simply Seleta!”.
    Again, I enjoy your before and afters so much. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Amber D says:

    I think I’m going to steal your wall pockets for a mail divider in our kitchen! Thanks for the idea!

  35. Stephanie says:

    i LOVE all your befores and afters, seleta. Keep them coming!! It’s so inspiring!

  36. stephanie says:

    i have foyer jealousy! and i always wondered what those adorable kids were named – what great names you chose!!!

  37. Tiffanie says:

    i’m drooling! seriously. love, love, love this space.

  38. Kim says:

    LOVE it! I need those wall pockets from Ballard for my mudroom. I cannot believe all the paper that follows my peanuts home from school!

  39. Pru says:

    Seleta, I meant to leave a comment yesterday but then life took over! I am amazed that your foyer looks this good (no hurt intended). Its like something from a magazine. I will be taking inspiration from you on my trip to Ikea tomorrow in the hope that I can make some changes to my bedroom.
    Beautiful and practical = perfect!

  40. Elphie says:


  41. Jennifer says:

    Oh my goodness! That piece is beautiful! That blue is heavenly!
    Love the distressed. Love the pretty organization. Love the boarding. Love love love the open class door and love the rug!
    Looks beautiful! It’s so beachy! I love it.

  42. sloan says:

    Hi Seleta – boy, I left for a week and have soooo many posts to catch up on here, this one is FABULOUS … I am crazy crazy crazy for your beautiful and functional foyer … LOVE LOVE LOVE everything you did – gorgeous!

  43. Annie says:

    Love, love, love this b&a! That cabinet is to die for, and I’m a sucker for anything organized. Such a great look, and so practical for a family!

  44. Chrissa says:

    This is one of the best foyers in the history of ever and now I’m absolutely smitten with you.
    Oh, and your blog too!

  45. Oh, Seleta, it is soooo fabulous … and functional! I have a lot of that super cute greenroom paper (binders, folders, notebooks) from Target. It’s just so great … recycled and adorable! I’m off to look at the magazine holders …

  46. Rene says:

    Love, love, love. I’m a huge fan of Whythe Blue and your new storage is just gorge!

  47. great job on this space….it is tooo cute!!
    looking fwd to more posts on your precious house!

  48. Melissa says:

    I just noticed your little girl’s name is Sterling, that’s one of my favorite names! I listen to KLOVE on the radio & one of the radio host is named Sterling, the first time I ever heard the name! I also love your entryway! I want to thank you for introducing me to Burt’s Bees lip shimmer, I am addicted to it! =) Blessings!

  49. Tami says:

    Super cute! I am laughing at #52 post because I was just going to tell you that we almost named our son Sterling! We also had Blake as a boy name. We ended up with Graham and Vaughn, but I love your names. The entryway is adorable too.

  50. What a beautiful job you did! So many great details. We’re in the process of planning a (hopefully very organized) new mud room and I’m always looking for storage and decorating ideas. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  51. I absolutely LOVE what you have done with this space! Great inspiration for our future entry space. Thanks for sharing. Your post was featured on Tip Junkie and I’m looking forward to exploring your blog further. Wow, you’ve really done it here.

  52. Annette says:

    I’m gaga for your your foyer and blog!! Could you share the paint color on the horizontal planking and how you did it, if you did it yourself? My house desperately needs some character like that!

  53. Alicia says:

    Hi. I’m a new follower and wanted you to know I wrote a post about Pinterest and featured your foyer on my blog. It’s such a beautiful piece! Hope you stop by for a visit. – Alicia

  54. Alicia says:

    Hi. I’m a new follower and wanted you to know I wrote a post about Pinterest and featured your foyer on my blog. It’s such a beautiful piece! Hope you stop by for a visit. – Alicia

  55. Alicia says:

    Here’s my blog address –
    Thanks for contacting about this. – Alicia

  56. Your foyer is just gorgeous and so organized! I linked this to my mudrooms and entryways post too today, well done!

  57. april says:

    I absolutley love this!!! The horizontal plank walls are exactly the look I am going for throughout my whole house. Do you mind telling me what type of wood, etc. you used to get the plank look? I feel like I am going crazy trying to come up with the right choice. Thanks

  58. […] darn you Simply Seleta, now I’m not sure I like my entry make over […]

  59. […] just one piece of furniture could totally get the job done as shown at Simply Seleta, and this is a great idea for anyone that’s in a temporary housing situation.  When you […]

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3 Trackbacks

  1. […] darn you Simply Seleta, now I’m not sure I like my entry make over […]

  2. By The Chic Site on Feb 28 2014 at 8:01 am

    […] just one piece of furniture could totally get the job done as shown at Simply Seleta, and this is a great idea for anyone that’s in a temporary housing situation.  When you […]

  3. […] Turquoise Mud Bench […]

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    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my family. A former TV personality turned designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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