Entryway Planning Update

entryway progress

Being able to fix up this house over the past year and a half has been a dream come true! But it’s a bit of a letdown when people enter through the front door and see this lackluster first impression of our home. Needless to say, I’m so excited to finally be moving forward with finishing up this space! It will be the last major project we work on for a while, because Phil and I need a break… like yesterday.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been working on making final decisions with flooring, stair finishes, and front door options. There is so much to consider, so I’ve been making a concerted effort not to rush the design process! Check out the before pictures below, and read on to see the finalists for each finish option.

entryway before


When we moved in, there was thin wood flooring in the entryway— all various widths with fake nail holes. The flooring was nowhere to be found in the rest of the home, so while I actually liked the look of it, we decided to rip it out. I had planned to install the same maple flooring here that I have done throughout most of the first floor, but the more I thought about it, the more I worried about excess moisture at our front door because of rainy and snowy Ohio weather.

In addition to the moisture issue, I began to get excited about the prospect of doing a fun patterned floor in here. It would be a great opportunity to do something interesting, especially since this floor would only be seen from behind the island of the kitchen as well as the study. I wouldn’t have to worry about a pattern in here visually affecting any other major areas of the house.

entryway progress


One thing I knew for sure about the stairway was that the shag carpet had to go! Phil ripped it out last weekend, and we’ll be working on those staples next.

At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have the stairs carpeted at all, but we talked about it as a family and decided it would be cozier and safer to go for carpet. So then I was left with two choices: What kind of finish to do on the stairs, and what kind of carpet.

flooring inspo

I love the idea of a natural wood tread, and white risers. The combination of wood and white adds interest and warmth. But the more I thought about doing a fun patterned tile on the floor, the more I thought a simple and low-contrast situation on the stairs would be best. So I decided to paint the treads, risers, and spindles white, and choose a berber carpet for the runner. The handrail will stay its original stained wood finish.

Bedrosians Tile Options


As far as the tile goes, I narrowed it down to either this tumbling block tile using the Costa Allegra diamond tiles from Bedrosians, or doing a tone-on-tone checkered tile using 6″ square tiles from Bedrosians. While it is indeed having a moment right now, the tumbling block pattern is a classic look and something I’ve loved for over a decade. I don’t think I need to worry about its longevity. But if I wanted something a little less busy, and perhaps more classic and easy to work with, a checker pattern on a diagonal is a great choice too. Decisions, decisions!

Stainmaster carpet options


I love the look of natural jute rugs, but let’s be real— jute doesn’t feel so good underfoot. In addition to finding something comfortable for bare feet, I also need a carpet that will be very durable. That excludes using a vintage runner, which had previously appealed to me. I have children and dogs, and I worry about staining and snagging. Because of their great reputation in the field, I began looking into Stainmaster carpet options. I was really happy to see some styles and textures that mimic the look of natural jute, but with the durability expected from Stainmaster.

After looking at carpet options at the National Design Mart showroom in Medina, Ohio, I narrowed down my choices to three Stainmaster Active Family options from the Anderson Tuftex line: “Only Natural;” “Abbey’s Road;” and “St. Lucia.” After a week with the samples, I decided to go with the St. Lucia carpet (seen below) because the texture reminds me most of a natural jute rug.

Originally I thought I’d choose the Wheat color (on the bottom left of the sample board below), but after considering how it would look on a stark white stairway, I decided to go for Macadamia (on the top left of the sample board). I have a steam cleaner for carpets, and since the Stainmaster carpet is stain resistant, I feel pretty good about choosing a light color, even on our stairs. I’m also considering taking this carpet into our hallway and bedrooms upstairs, and I like the idea of a lighter carpet in there, rather than the darker options.

Stainmaster carpet options

front door before


I’ve been dreaming of replacing our front door ever since we first moved in! For one thing, the door that’s currently in place is your basic run-of-the-mill door that most people buy straight from the hardware store. I thought about fixing it up by applying moulding details and paint, but when it came down to it, our entryway feels like a cave. A little more light would be so nice! (I had to do a lot of brightening on the photos that I took of the entryway!)

front door inspo

After looking over my inspiration images, I realized that I love a bold, contrasting door with sidelites that match the surrounding wall color. The question is, what color or finish do I choose for the door? And how much glass do I want in here?

ThermaTru Door Options


I decided to go with Therma-Tru for our front door set because I loved all of the options for the door and sidelite combinations, as well as the ease of designing a set online using their Design Your Door tool. I went to check out the doors in person at the showroom at Hartville Hardware (my favorite local hardware store!), and was able to see the beautiful the wood-look finish of Therma-Tru fiberglass doors.

I love the look of a natural wood door, but a wood exterior door is simply not practical for the climate in Ohio. Wood expands across the grain during more humid times of year, and contracts in the winter, not only causing doors to stick, but also causing warping over time. Fiberglass is the best option for the look of wood, with superior insulation and durability.

Therma-Tru has a several collections, but I personally settled on two favorites.

The Classic-Craft Collection offers a wide variety of panel styles, configurations, glass options and five different wood grains to choose from. If I decided to go for a painted finish rather than the grained wood-look, Therma-Tru has some appealing pre-finish color options, or I could always choose to paint the doors myself with the color of my choice. The idea of doing a muted pink door really appeals to me!

The other collection I love is the Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection. These doors look like real wood doors, but with all of the weather-resistant benefits of fiberglass construction. The Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection also has several stain options aside from the traditional reddish mahogany look. As with all of the Therma-Tru collections, the Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection offers lots of paneling styles, configurations and glass options, including decorative and privacy glass.

ThermaTru Door Options

I used the Therma-Tru Design Your Door Tool to create eight door configurations I really love. I think I’d be happy with a solid color door, but my heart is telling me to go for the wood-look. It will tie in with the stair rail that I plan to leave its stained color, the wood shelving wall in the kitchen, plus the other wood glass-paneled doors I have elsewhere in my home (like in my nearby office as well as the sunroom doors pictured here.)

In the end I decided to definitely go with a wood-look door from the Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection. I figure, if one day I wish for a solid-color door, I can always strip the finish and paint it!

Which configuration do you like best from the set above? I’m leaning towards #4.

black front door

I’d love to hear all of your opinions of my finish options! If you want to check out my first round of entryway planning, read this post here! I have changed a few things since then, but the paint, door knob, and other accessories have stayed the same. So excited to begin work on this space!

My Top Five Tips for Shopping on eBay

pink master bedroom

Whenever I’m searching for inspiration for a new room makeover, I’m always drawn to spaces that have an eclectic mix of furnishings. I love seeing homes with a mix of new and old pieces from a variety of eras with lots of great textures and finishes. The look of a home that feels collected is so much more special to me than a home that looks like it jumped straight from the pages of a catalogue. Of course, it can be difficult to achieve that kind of mix when you’re starting from scratch! I’ve been known to spend hours online searching for the perfect new pieces for my home, plus a great mix of vintage items to go alongside what I already have. My favorite place to find that perfect mix? Ebay!

I’ve partnered with eBay on this post to talk about my five best tips for creating a great mix in your home, plus how to find and take advantage of deals. At any point in time, eBay has over 1.1 billion listings available to shop, so it really is an unrivaled source for a wide variety of home goods and vintage treasures. I actually have over a decade of experience shopping for my home on eBay— fond memories of the thrill that comes in the last minutes of an auction where I hope to snag the perfect mid century floor lamp or lounge chair. These days, though, 81% of items on eBay have a Buy-It-Now feature so you can skip the adrenaline rush and cut to the chase.

pink master bedroom

Tip #1: Use Specific Search Terms to Narrow Down Your Search

If you’re searching for a mid century coffee table, searching for a broad term like, “Mid Century Coffee Table,” will bring up so many items to sift through. Try narrowing down your search by using specific materials or shapes such as “Pedestal Coffee Table,” “Chrome Coffee Table,” “Rattan Coffee Table,” or use designer names like “Karl Springer Coffee Table” or”Baughman Coffee Table.”

When using a designer name in your search criteria, you may find more expensive items, but you may also find items that are similar to the style of the designer, though not as expensive as an actual designer piece. I find that you’ll stumble on less expensive pieces if you search using material and shape in your criteria, rather than designer names. Though sometimes, if you find a listing that you love, but the price is too high, you can borrow words from the listing’s title in order to search for similar listings. Ebay is also great because within the listing’s page, they’ll show you similar items from other sellers, increasing your odds of finding the perfect piece.

Sometimes I’ll use specific search terms when I’m just browsing eBay and not really looking for a specific piece. My favorite terms are: “Studio Pottery Vase”; “Bargello Pillow”; “70s Modern”; “Ikebana Vase”; “Bentwood Chair,” and “Vintage Chrome.”

Tip #2: Use Generic Search Terms to Find Diamonds in the Rough

If you’re searching for a specific style or item, such as a burl wood coffee table, not every seller will actually include this detail in the listing’s title. Often you’ll only stumble on an affordable version of what you want after searching through pages of and pages of listings brought up by a broad search term. For instance, I found this really cool burl veneer coffee table as a related item featured in the listing for a pedestal table I was looking at. The title “MCM LOW RISE COFFEE TABLE,” isn’t very descriptive if you’re looking for a 1970s modern burl veneer coffee table. This is why searching more generic terms like “low coffee table,” or even just “coffee table” within the “mid century modernism” category of the antiques page on eBay may help you find the diamonds in the rough.

The idea of searching using broad terms sort of goes against the previous tip of using specific terms, but it’s great for those of you who have the time and inclination to sift through lots of listings. In any case, searching through listings on eBay takes much less time that traveling around to antique shops and resale stores to find the perfect piece.

pink master bedroom

Tip #3. Utilize Specific Category Searches

When I was looking for nightstands for my bedroom makeover, I knew I wanted a pair of elegant tables with a bit of a rough patina. I didn’t know exactly what style would strike my fancy, so rather than searching by specific search terms, I searched using specific style categories on eBay’s antiques section.

In the antiques section on eBay, you can search by antique period, style, and material. I searched the term “nightstand” and selected the Art Deco style as a category. From there, I was able to find a pair of simple two-toned Italian nightstands with burl wood doors and a curved shape that felt incredibly elegant. These nightstands also had the perfect touch of patina I had been looking for! The set ended up costing me $500 for the pair, including shipping to my front door from Italy.

Specific search terms didn’t help me out in this instance, but looking through pages of art deco nightstands turned up the perfect set right away! Sometimes it does take a few weeks of searching in the category of choice, or broadening the category a bit, but persistence always pays off when searching for treasures on eBay.

Tip#4 Take Advantage of Recommended Items

I always head to eBay first when I’m looking for a specific kind of item, or just browsing around my favorite search terms that I mentioned at the end of tip #1. Because I’m looking around on eBay relatively often, the recommended items on eBay’s homepage are so well tailored to my tastes! I often scroll through the recommendations and find something I really love, and probably never would’ve searched for. That’s how I’ve accumulated a beautiful and personal collection of home goods that work together to give my home that perfect eclectic mix I love.

Tip #5 Look Out For Special Deals

Did you know you can head to a specific eBay deals page to look for savings on items you already need to buy? I’ll occasionally look on the deals page when I’m ready to check an item off my house shopping list, like a carpet cleaner to keep up with pet messes, a veggie spiralizer for low carb meals, and a cool air humidifier for cold and flu season. I also head to the deals page when I need to buy new power tools for a project I’m working on. You never know what you’ll find!

pink master bedroom

My bedroom project was a labor of love— a mix of old and new. I brought some items from our old home, combined them with new elements like lighting and bedding, then added in a mix of vintage furnishings and accessories. Together, everything I used in here creates the warm feeling of a collected home, but it didn’t take years of collecting to make it happen!

If you’re interested in a similar mix of items, check out these pieces I found on eBay that can recreate the same look!

shop my roomshop my room


  1. Double Cone Sconces
  2. Linen Sheets
  3. Basket Globe Light
  4. Art Deco Nightstands
  5. White Pottery Vase
  6. Bruno Alarm Clock
  7. Rattan Serving Tray
  8. Pink Jute Shag Rug
  9. Campaign Dresser

pink master bedroom
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Powder Room Makeover

powder room makeover

I’m so excited to share the final images of our powder room makeover with you! I had a lot of fun planning this space, a mild amount of fun tiling this space (okay, so not really that much fun— though I did listen to a lot of podcasts!), and even more fun reveling in the “after!” Check out the “before” of this space below.

I know the design of this space is not for everyone, and that’s okay! Because most of you won’t be actually using this space on the daily. :) We’re really happy with how it turned out, and I feel like it’s exactly that I was going for. A little mid century desert design in a tucked away corner of our home. I brought in elements from elsewhere, like the fieldstone fireplace, yellow accents I always love, and mostly neutrals. with handmade and textural finishes.

powder room makeover

Since we did away with a cabinet-style vanity, I added a ledge to this wall to store necessary items, such as tissues, soap, candles, and a little box for feminine products that my guests may need. Since this bathroom is across the hall from our laundry room, and major storage isn’t necessary. (Oh, and I added a chrome TP stacking unit in the corner near the toilet.)

This project was sponsored by Delta Faucets for A Beautiful Mess, so we were provided with some of the material needed, including this sleek chrome faucet that I selected for its simplicity and air of graceful and modern design. Plus— I’m all about that chrome! We also worked with J&J Plumbing to move our existing plumbing to new spots, and to hook everything up. If you’re in need of reliable and knowledgable plumbers in the Northeast Ohio region, be sure to give them a call!

powder room makeover

If you would like to check out the planning posts for my powder room makeover, check them out here and here. The full reveal, details of building, and info on working with a plumber is here at A Beautiful Mess. There are links to everything I used here at the bottom of this post too!

As most rooms in my home, I’m sure this one is bound to evolve over time, but for now it feels almost perfect. There are some things I’d like to add, like a rug that’s better for here (this one will be moving out to our garage entry), a wall-mount magazine caddy, and moving the sink and light situation to the right about three inches. I’ll be sure to share with you if I make any major changed in here!

powder room makeover

Thanks as always for following along with me! It’s a lot of fun for me to invite you all into my home and share projects with you. In case you’re curious— next up is the entryway! I’m super excited for the changes that will be happening in there. Spoiler alert: I’m have my tiling work cut out for me!


faucet: Delta
toilet: Delta
tile: Home Depot
grout: Haystack from Home Depot
towel ring: Delta
toilet paper holder: Delta
wall hooks: Delta
mirror: West Elm
sconces: Etsy
tissue box: Amazon
soap holder: Etsy
ceramic box: Etsy
sink: vintage via Craigslist