Day Nine: Our New Entry Way

I'm a little behind's not like I'm being graded but seriously, it stresses me out to get too far behind or else I start feeling like I'm drowning!  You know, in the sea of blogging.  In real life, this is really just a minor setback :) BUT I'm getting back on track tonight.  And I'm kicking off the tour of our house with our new entry way.  Not only is it exciting (I'm grinning here) but it's buying me some more time to clean up and photograph the other rooms! I thought I'd give you the dramatic before and after shots, although I'm swallowing my pride to do so.  I've been very strategic to keep our old carpet out of as many photos as possible because it had gotten so bad, but I dug up a few pics to show you so you could see the difference and appreciate why our entry way makes me so happy now!
First of all, this picture...Is she something else or what??  Side note, one month later and she L-O-V-E-S preschool!  Anyway, as you can see we've always had carpet leading up to the front door and for the first few years, it looked ok.  Amazingly, having a Golden Retriever wasn't the demise of the carpet but our two children were!  That and the fact that our carpet was 10 years old and a very cheap builder grade quality.  I faithfully had it professionally cleaned for many years, but eventually there just wasn't much more that could be done.  The last six months or so have been brutal but the last two months have been downright bad!  Once we knew we were replacing it we definitely let it go.  
This is a pic from my painting days this summer...our previous entry leads right into our living room and our kitchen.  Truly we really don't have an entryway.  I've always hated not having one, it's an awkward first step inside with no landing spot for shoes or more importantly, dirt.  But we've made it work.  When I knew we were putting tile in the bathrooms, I told Trav that I'd really, really, really like to do the same here.  Considering we definitely live in the land of 4 seasons, I knew tile would be a much better surface and something that could help keep our new carpet cleaner.  
So I'm very happy to show you our new entry!  It's still small, but in almost every way it's so much better.  Also, enjoy the sneak peak of our new carpet :) :) 
Ideally we would have continued our kitchen tile into the entryway, but as luck would have it, it's been discontinued and we didn't have enough left tile over to use here.  This little 4 foot area was the source of more than a few headaches for me.  I went back and forth about what to do here, what material to use and how to lay it out.  It's just not big enough to do much more than a basic rectangle so in the end I just settled for what would make the most natural transition.
I think you can see the grain of the tile well in this picture.  We just love it and are so glad we went with this here!  It's also the same tile we used in the master bath, but in there we used larger pieces.
The intersection of these four surfaces (tile, carpet and paint) stressed me out because I had to pick them mostly independent from one another.  I kept hoping and praying they were all going to work out when they were in together, ahh, hate that stress!  Clearly I have some touch up painting to do and some trim work to add but I really am very happy with the end result.
We (the tile guy and I) decided to keep the grout lines consistent so that the two would blend as seamlessly as possible.  Already I LOVE having a dark floor there instead of ivory carpet!
So now I have a cute little entry way that makes for a cozy first step into our home.  I love it and I also love some of the sights when you walk in our front door now...

I happen to think this is a great backdrop for photos now, I also think those two are some of my favorites to photograph! I'm really glad for a place to wipe our feet, leave our shoes and come on in.  
I realize this entry isn't a huge change or a crazy renovation, but like so many things, it's the little stuff that makes a big impact.  We're grateful for the chance to make these improvements one by one and I'll tell you the story of how this tile got the green light in a future post. As always, the Lord orchestrated every detail and made it possible for us to do more with less.  Amazing!  Isn't it such a great change from that first pic... this???  So happy!  Who knew??  Next time you're in my neighborhood, come on over, kick your shoes off and stay awhile!  This is day 9, stay tuned for the rest of our home and changes to come! 

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