Our Entryway & Staircase Plan

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comWe’re moving right along with my home office renovation, but during the downtime (while waiting on materials)– I jumped head first into our entryway design plan. Our entryway footprint actually works pretty well for our home. Rather than reinventing the wheel, our plan is to make cosmetic updates, switch out finishes, add millwork, and focus on functionality. We’ll be installing tile, reworking our staircase, revamping the millwork, and of course I’ll style everything once we’re finished renovating. Click through to read about my plan for the space and to see how it has already evolved since we moved in. I’m excited this one!

First things first- let’s revisit what our entryway looked like when we moved in. The stairs haven’t changed at all. We haven’t touched this area, and I’m looking forward to updating it! While the style of the staircase isn’t bothersome to me, the cherry wood isn’t my favorite.

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comOn the opposite site of the stairs is our front door. Who remembers our existing 90’s front door with the transom window and sidelights? This is what it looked like from the inside of our entry… we moved during the holidays, hence the Christmas wreath.

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comA year after moving in, we replaced the front door. We swapped the sidelights and transom for a beautiful set of French entry doors. Thanks to that update, our entry looks so much brighter! We get more natural light and the space feels larger thanks to the double doors. This is what it currently looks like (see below). I’ve been patiently waiting for our entry renovation to swap the door casing, and it’s nearly time!

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comWe’ve waited awhile to renovate the entryway as other projects took precedence, but it seems like a natural progression to tackle this space next. We should be able to get started on it soon- hopefully simultaneously with the office, or shortly after- depending on when materials arrive. It’s nice that we’ve already got a jump start on it… with the front door and chandelier replacements.

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comWe swapped the chandelier for something that better fit our aesthetic, a year or so after moving in. Not having a vision for the entryway at that point in time, I selected something neutral and basic that could easily blend with any style, so we’re definitely keeping that as is!

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comI get a lot of floor plan questions about this space, and it’s tricky to explain. The entry is located at the front of our home (obviously), adjacent to my home office and there is a small hall off the entry that leads to a basement staircase and the formal living room. The opposing side of our entry opens into another room… where I’m currently setup with my temporary home office- while mine is being renovated. This room will eventually become our future laundry room, and because of that- we’ll be closing in the wall next to the staircase (represented by the red squiggly line). Here’s a very fast rudimentary visual for you… not to scale, but hopefully gives you an idea.

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comBy closing in that wall, we’ll gain space for future laundry room cabinetry, and I like that it will make the entry feel more intimate and intentional. The open concept floor plan at the front of our home isn’t my favorite. It definitely has a 90’s tract home / race track type of vibe and I’m looking forward to creating functionality in designated rooms. As is it now, this extra room at the front of our house is useless. We’ve never used it until now (for my temp office). It has basically been empty since we moved in- or even worse… it becomes a catchall, which looks really messy and is visible when you walk through the front door. Closing in that wall is definitely something I’ve been looking forward to for awhile now.

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comSo, what exactly is on our to-do list for this space? I’ll break it down into two lists… one for the overall entryway, and one for the staircase. It kind of feels like a project within a project.

Entry To-Do List:

  • Close in the wall that leads to the future laundry room.
  • Square off the chamfered doorway that leads to our formal living room.
  • Remove the old doorbell & security wiring and tech.
  • Replace the existing hardwood with limestone & marble cabochon tile.
  • Remove and replace the millwork.
  • Paint (a BIG job because the ceilings are 30+ feet tall).
  • Style and decorate (the fun part)!

Staircase To-Do List:

  • Remove the carpet on the stairs, and replace with a solid wood tread.
  • Replace the railing, newels, balusters, and add new finials.
  • Finish the replaced staircase (with both paint and stain).
  • Install a centered stair runner.

I don’t have all of the finishes picked out quite yet, but our tile is en route to us. I love these timeless French cabochon limestone tiles paired with the honed nero marble.

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comI think the tile feels traditional, classic, and has a nice aged look to it. Want to see an example of it installed? I’m hoping the overall look will create a space that feels old world mixed with modern, while remaining cohesive with the rest of our home.

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.com
via pierre de bourgogne

Lastly, I’ll leave you with what it looks like right now. It’s looking pretty chaotic and busy because the office renovation is at the messiest stage (drywall sanding), and I still have things halfway setup for when I styled & photographed my pedestal. We have family visiting next week, then I’ll clear things out so we can get started and plan demo in here! What a mashup. Ha!

Our Entryway & Staircase Plan - roomfortuesday.comCan you envision where I’m going with this, yet? I’ll share more once I have it, but it makes sense in my brain. I can promise there will be some fun design moments (I think I’m ready to pull out my taxidermy, too). I’m eager for things to begin, so they can start looking cohesive in this part of our home! I feel like we have project fever right now, and I’m taking full advantage, making plans. See what I mean by this room being a natural choice to renovate next, since it’s right off of my office? Do you feel like you understand the floor plan better now? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. Here’s to crossing things off the to-do list!

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  1. Kelsey Alexander says:

    I can’t wait to see the progress, maybe a how to, and materials list for your staircase project!! We have been wanting to redo our stairs for a few year. The carpet has to go! I’m so ready to tear up the carpet, but I know it will be a lot of work to replace the treads and risers. I look forward to your future post, maybe it will give us the push we need to tackle ours! 😊

    1. Definitely! I’ll be sure to share once we get started. I’m equally as ready to tear up our carpet. Ha! Have a great day, Kelsey! zo

  2. A second vote for a how-to on the staircase project, please! We’re in the same boat with ours, and I always love when we get to follow along on renovations (vs. just a room reveal at the end) with tutorials and updates along the way. The more behind the scenes, the better in my book! You guys always do such a wonderful job with everything, I love to know your thought processes and techniques for accomplishing your end results! 😊

    1. I can do that, Julie! I’ll plan to share all of the behind-the-scenes and notable moments that may be help or entertaining. We’re slow going when it comes to projects since we tackle it ourselves, but that’s half the fun. I so appreciate your kinds words! We certainly have fun designing and renovating our home. I’m glad it has been fun and helpful to follow along. Have an awesome week!

  3. An entire staircase seems like a HUGE project, but I find that type of work so interesting so I am excited to follow along :) I think your choice to close off the doorway by the stairs is the right call, it seems a little tight (though that could just be the perspective of some of the photos) and it looks like closing it off will help the entry to feel more like its own room instead of just a pass-through. I also love your tile choice, I think it’s going to look gorgeous with the black entry door!

    1. It does, doesn’t it? Somehow I don’t feel intimidated or panicked by this one, but maybe I should. Haha! It has been awhile since I’ve designed an entry or staircase. I’ll have to take some shots from other angles so you can get a better visual for the wall that we’ll be closing in. We have quite a bit of room, so I’m not concerned about it being tight, but Emmett is trying to convince me we need a jib door instead of closing it off altogether (for easy access to the future mudroom down the hall). I’m not convinced it would add much convenience, but we’re still TBD on that. I’m excited to get started and figure it out! Thanks for your kind words, Stacy! Hope you have a great day :)

      1. Ha! I assumed the reason you didn’t take any straight-on photos of that wall this time is because the room beyond is where you’re working but probably also staging things for the office while they wait to be installed. So likely (understandably!) a bit messy at the moment :)

        1. Most definitely! Hah! You hit the nail on the head. My makeshift office is looking kind of chaotic right now.

  4. As always the plan looks absolutely stunning, this is my favorite place to find both DIY and a truly designed look. I have one question! Why not turn the door into the future laundry room into a closet? I’m in Pittsburgh and have a (much smaller) entry that’s similar where you walk into the stair case with no coat closet and it drives me nuts to not have the coat storage for all the snow/rain jackets. Do you just have a closet here or do you not use the front for a main entrance etc?

    1. Thank you so much, Sue! I love hearing that. You made my day! Great question- since we’ve moved in, Emmett & I have never used our entry doors to get into our house… not once. Haha! Our driveway swoops around to the back of our house and we always enter through the garage because it’s much closer to where we park. Our existing laundry room will become a mudroom, which will be perfect for kicking off boots, hanging coats, and will be perfect for dropping bags when entering our house- since it’s right off of the garage entrance. The front entrance is only used by guests, and the ones who know us really well, come in through the garage anyway. I’ll probably style an umbrella holder and a coat tree by the entryway anyway (for aesthetics), but that will be a nice functioning vignette for house guests. Hope that helps to explain! Have a great day!

  5. Good morning! I have a much better sense of the entry flow now. It seems reminiscent of a center hall colonial a little, right? Putting the laundry room in front and turning the current laundry into a mudroom seems logical once you see the floor plan! One area I don’t notice is a coat closet. Is it in the little hallway to the dining room? I have certainly lived without one, but it’s not my preference, given a choice! So, not to be too negative, but redoing the door casing (is that architrave comically large?), squaring the other doorway, and banishing the cherry banister will make a huge difference! I’m super curious to see what you do with the stair railings; the materials in your flat lay make me think you might do iron…or brass?! Exciting stuff! You guys will be SO busy, and then BAM two spaces at once will be done. Your energy is enviable.💪🏻 Here’s to a lovely day! I hope your skies are clearer. We haven’t had terrible smoke, but our brief reprieve from 100 degrees is ending.🥵 Oh well, our basil is happy.💜🌿

    1. Good morning, Peggi! My quick floor plan visual isn’t to perfect scale, but I’m so glad it gave you a better idea of our setup. I do like the center hall colonial (good eye!!) plan, since it feels balanced and symmetrical in the front of our house. The laundry room switch and addition of a mudroom is going to be so nice- I’m really looking forward to the day we can tackle those projects. I feel like it makes much better use of our space- plus, I’m dreaming of a dog bath in the laundry that will be super functional for us… and that room has the space for one. We don’t have a coat closet. We had a tiny utility closet in the hall, but we removed it when we renovated the formal living room (to allow for the built-ins). Emmett’s vote is to the create a jib door instead of fully closing in the wall that leads to the laundry (which would allow closer access to the mudroom, but take up space in that room). I don’t love that idea because in the end, the coats are still ending up in the mudroom (rather than the laundry), and the door would take up wall space we could use for cabinetry. We never use our entry doors. I don’t think Emmett or myself have ever entered our house through the front- it’s much more convenient to go through the garage because we park at the end of our driveway, so the mudroom is most convenient for coats, boots, winter gear, etc. I like styling an umbrella stand, hooks, or a coat tree for guests in the entry, so that will probably happen regardless of what we decide about the door! The door casing is hilarious, is it not?! Ha! The architrave is HUGE and done incorrectly. It has been driving me nuts since we moved in. I’m excited to rework the casing properly. I didn’t have all of my materials here for the flat lay (most are still in transit), so I used what I could to mimic finishes… but here’s an idea: round finials, antique brass stair rods over the runner, the railing and newels will be wood, and the runner will be a natural material (jute, sisal, etc). I’m excited for all the upcoming house things we have cooking. Emmett just texted me photos of our custom credenza for the office at his work and it’s so beautiful. Can’t wait to share! I’m so glad it’s cooling off for you. Here’s to another productive day outside. Our air quality is still icky, so I’ll be parked in front of my computer most of the day :(

  6. Your vision is a perfect fit for your home. I adore that type of tile. If we replace the tile in our entryway I wanted to do something similar, but with terracotta where you have Nero marble. I am most excited to see the transformation in the staircase and the millwork changes. Vote three for a staircase tutorial! I’ll be paying attention to every last step of that process; our staircase needs a major transformation. I think watching you and Emmett transform yours will be a major confidence boost to pull the trigger on mine. The finishing touches will of course be the icing on the cake: I’m putting the pieces together in my mind—the skirted table, a gorgeous runner down the staircase, and your styling perfection…pure magic!! I can’t wait to watch this unfold. To think that when this is complete your entire first story will be one room away from the major updates finish line is pretty incredible, inspiring, and invigorating! What is the timeline you’re working with (minus delays for materials)? What considerations need to be taken when tackling a staircase revamp? I need to know all the things, haha! You and Emmett have a solid plan and I am super excited for this one! Happy Wednesday Sarah. Xo

    1. Thanks, Lauren! I’m loving the tile! I really like your idea of terracotta for your house- that would fit the Mediterranean aesthetic perfectly. I’ll definitely capture some staircase tutorials as we work through that. You totally get my vision :) We really don’t have a timeline for either my office or the stairs because we don’t have sponsors (which requires deadlines) for these projects… or anything we’d like to have them finished before. Lately, we’ve been enjoying tackling things on our own timeline (less stress) and squeezing in what we have time for. My goal for both spaces would be to finish up before the holidays, so we’re not in a mess and can enjoy the season. Plus- a new staircase to hang garland on sounds pretty dreamy. Ha! I hope you have an awesome Wednesday and some cooler weather, my friend! xo

  7. I really, really love this, Sarah. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!
    Can I ask how deep your entry is? We have no plans of building a home soon, but I always have ideas flying around in my head so I drew up a floor plan for our dream house last week. The entry is laid out very similar to yours! Your last photo is exactly what I’m imagining and it makes me think I drew it out way deeper than it needs to be. I love the high ceilings but I’m hoping to also have an intimate, cozy, welcoming feel when you walk in. I think yours achieves this!

    1. Thank you so much, Collette! Our entry is 8 feet deep by 15 feet wide. I think once we add millwork and rework things it will definitely feel more intimate and cozy, which I’m excited about!

  8. Julie Marquez says:

    I second everyone in needing a detailed stair rail tutorial with all the pieces you use to revamp it. Are you taking out all the current stair treads and railing parts?
    Also, what’s cabochon? Is that just the pattern of the floor tile?

    1. I can definitely do that! After pricing it out both ways (and estimating our time spent), it’s going to be less expensive and less time for us to replace. The cherry wood doesn’t give us a lot of options and it would require some major stripping. We’ll be swapping everything: the rail, the newels, finials, and the tread. Our current tread is just a dummy piece… it’s 1/4 of the stair and then stops, and there is a carpet pad that butts into it. I want the wood stair to go from edge to the wall, so I can cover it with a proper runner (instead of carpet again). I hoped that helped to clarify! Cabochon is just the type of tile treatment… I think it mostly refers to the finish (tumbled looking). It’s usually an antiqued, hand finished, or tumbled limestone paired with marble- popularly known as “French Limestone Cabochon”

    2. Cabochons are the smaller accent tiles in Sarah’s tile design. Polished black marble with tumbled limestone is a traditional, formal look; turquoise tiles with terracotta or saltillo tile is more playful and casual.

      I think the name comes from gemstone cabochons that are polished smooth and set in a bezel.

      1. Ahhh, I think you’re right Cheryl! Thank you :) That sounds most accurate.

        1. Julie Marquez says:

          Thanks both of you! That was a google search that you guys responded better at than the internet!

  9. Thanks for sharing the floor plan. I was one of those confused by the layout but it makes much more sense now! I’m still confused by your exterior spaces/layout but totally understand why you wouldn’t share more for privacy reasons. So excited for this reno! It’s going to be beautiful and that floor is dreamy.

    1. I’m so glad the floor plan makes more sense with the visual. Our house has a tricky floor plan and it’s so tough to describe (indoors and out). Maybe I’ll do a walkthrough video here soon. Thanks for your encouragement :)

  10. Your plan is so classic and beautiful! I love that you included the floor plan and I see what you mean about getting rid of the “race track” vibe. :) I am excited to see how you style the entryway!

    1. Thanks Brittany! The race track vibe is real. Haha! The dogs like to run circles 100 mph (lol!) and will probably be bummed about the wall we’ll be installing. haha!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi there! Have you thought about extending that same flooring into the future laundry room as you’re already building it out in the entry? It would be so delightful in more of a utility-focused room like that too.

    1. Hello! We considered it, but the tile is quite expensive and given the size of our laundry room, would exceed our budget. Since we’re walling off that space and the tile won’t be connected or in need of a threshold type of separation, we’ll be doing a different floor treatment in the laundry. That tile is so gorgeous though!

  12. Sarah, what a lovely floor. I have my eye on a very similar tile for the Master bath floor. We live in a castle shaped ‘00 colonial (bay windows on all 4 corners). I have loved following along with your updates as they inspire my own. I am looking forward to how you rework the stairs (that is a long way off project for us).

    1. Thank you so much, Erin! Your home sounds absolutely beautiful :)

  13. Hi Sarah, I am replacing the tiles on an exterior balcony of an old house. I’m looking for exactly these octagon and bouchon tiles in limestone. Can you tell me the source of the tiles that you have? I have been desperately looking.