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. Posted June 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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. Posted June 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink | Edit

    It looks great!!

  3. Posted June 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink | Edit

    that is a beautiful piece of furniture!

  4. Julie
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  5. Posted June 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  6. Posted June 22, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  7. Posted June 22, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Permalink | Edit

    It is just fab!!!

  8. Lizziefitz
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  9. Posted June 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink | Edit

    LOVE IT!!!!! xoxo

  10. Posted June 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink | Edit

    looks great. love the bright welcoming color scheme.

  11. Posted June 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  12. Posted June 22, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  13. Posted June 23, 2010 at 3:45 am | Permalink | Edit


  14. CC
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 5:04 am | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  15. Posted June 23, 2010 at 5:04 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  16. Posted June 23, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  17. Posted June 23, 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink | Edit

    so fresh and pretty!

  18. rachel
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 6:43 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  19. Posted June 23, 2010 at 6:54 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  20. S, Shaw
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:35 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  21. Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink | Edit

    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!!!

  22. Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:21 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  23. Heather
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:41 am | Permalink | Edit

    Very pretty!

  24. Laura
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  25. Posted June 23, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  26. Posted June 23, 2010 at 9:40 am | Permalink | Edit

    Beautiful transition! I love the cabinet unit.

  27. Posted June 23, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  28. Posted June 23, 2010 at 10:10 am | Permalink | Edit

    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!!

  29. Posted June 23, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Edit

    so organized and pretty? perfection.

  30. Posted June 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Edit

    Love the white boarding! Great job!

  31. Posted June 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Edit

    i love the cabinet!!! beautiful!

  32. Posted June 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  33. Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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? ;)

  34. Kelly
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  35. Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  36. Posted June 24, 2010 at 3:15 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  37. Michelle H.
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 7:33 am | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  38. Posted June 24, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  39. Posted June 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  40. stephanie
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  41. Posted June 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  42. Posted June 24, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  43. Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:33 am | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  44. Elphie
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:42 am | Permalink | Edit


  45. Posted June 25, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink | Edit

    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.

  46. Posted June 28, 2010 at 5:06 am | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  47. Posted June 28, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  48. Posted June 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  49. Posted July 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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 …

  50. Posted July 8, 2010 at 4:52 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  51. Posted July 8, 2010 at 7:18 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  52. Posted October 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  53. Posted February 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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.

  54. Posted February 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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! :)

  55. Posted May 10, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink | Edit

    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.

  56. Annette
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink | Edit

    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!

  57. Posted May 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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

  58. Posted May 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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

  59. Posted May 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink | Edit

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

  60. Posted July 12, 2011 at 6:22 am | Permalink | Edit

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

  61. april
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink | Edit

    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

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  • Simply Me

    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my husband, fabulous four offspring, happy horses and frisky fur babies. A former TV personality turned Designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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