Turning an Awkward Space into Something Useful

If there’s one thing I wish my old farmhouse had, it’s a designated foyer. When you open the front door you immediately step into the living room. No transitional space to hang your coat and purse before entering the rest of the home.  So I’ve had to figure out a way to create an entry of sorts … an area that’s not part of the general seating and conversational area in the living room. I’ve rearranged our living room a gazillion times and I’m still not happy with it. But I did manage to make the space by the front door functional and somewhat separate from the rest of the room.


The decoupage desk seems to be the right solution for this space for now.


We can drop off car keys in a drawer or plop the mail here for sorting.


This is just decorative mail on the desk. Letters that are postmarked from 1916 and later.
I keep them on display tucked in a rusty old spring I found.


A vintage bottle vignette provides a little eye candy while I go through the bills.


I might not be able to write any checks with the rustic colored pencils.
They look like they’re made from twigs, and they really do write!


Since paying bills isn’t any fun, I need some flowers to perk me up.



In the morning, the sunlight pours into the room.
Even on a gray day like today, plenty of natural light streams in.


All the natural light makes me happy, despite the challenge this room poses.
So for now, this is my solution for not having a separate foyer … until I come up with better idea.


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  1. Very pretty solution, Jennifer! I love all the natural light you have coming in those windows. My foyer/entry is so small I just managed to fit my hall tree and a few pictures. The wall behind the door is driving me crazy though, so I’m trying to come up with something for that area.

    • How about an architectural iron piece painted for over the door and right next to the door a small pocket like mail box for out going mail or a wreath on the inside of the door …just a few ideas that may help..have fun and think out of the box..

  2. Looks great! I think you’ve made a great entryway! The old letters are beautiful. I have a couple of my grandparents old love letters and I’m thinking I could display them like you did! Thanks for sharing!

    Jenna @ http://rainonatinroof.com

  3. Jennifer, I love how you are using the space. You could do a built in around the window. To the right and left of the window could be open coat racks (made like a book case with no shelves) and below in front of the window could be a bench type seat to sit on while lacing up your shoes and underneath could be the shoe storage. Just an idea:)

  4. What a beautiful, light-filled space, Jennifer. I don’t have an official foyer in my 50’s rach either. Funny, I have a desk by the front door too.

  5. I think it’s just gorgeous! And I was thinking the same as Dawn re the built in’s – but with or without them it looks fantastic!
    I have to hurry – Downton’s about to start lol

  6. It all looks so sweet. I think it’s great. Love the big window and the old door.

  7. I just love your solution and what a great idea using the old spring to hold old letters.

  8. You’ve made the best of things and come up with a clever way to make a separate room within a room. Everything looks lovely in your light filled “foyer”. I love the balls of yarn in the basket!

  9. Oh Jennifer I really like this. It is pretty and you have a space like you said in the drawers for keys and mail. I love that you look out a window when you are at your desk. Love that!!!!! This is really great.

  10. Great solutions for those things we have to tend to everyday! Love all that sunshsine!!!

  11. A perfect solution Jennifer. It looks lovely.
    Kerryanne xx

  12. Not only is it beautiful and functional but it FEELS good! Do you know what I mean?



  13. Such a charming space. So light and bright and at the same time so cozy. I love!:)

    Happy week,

  14. I think you’ve done a great job creating a space that works. It’s beautiful!

  15. Wow, I really love how your desk is styles. So pretty!


  16. AWW so pretty and quaint! I love it!

  17. Hi Jennifer!!

    I love how you pulled it all together. It’s such a beautiful area to work in.

    I love the design on the door. I love how nice and bright it is. It’s a happy space!!


  18. This was a great idea and such a pretty solution. I love the old letters.


  19. Beautiful solution Jennifer!Beautiful desk and those flowers are gorgeous too!

  20. Hi Jennifer … looks very comfortable, fresh and love the brightness from the windows.

    Entries are a real challenge sometimes and you have taken what you have or have not, and made it work for you.
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  21. Looks like a great idea to me, love the stool in the corner!

  22. What a beautiful space you have created there Jennifer! I love the amount of natural light you get there.

  23. Great idea! That desk is so charming. I really like that bottle with the butterfly. And pencils in a jar are a lovely touch. 🙂

  24. What a practical and beautiful solution to your quirky living room. You’ve inspired me to start moving furniture around in my living room to try something new. I’m so in love with every single detail of your vintage style.

  25. I completely understand, Jennifer, as I have a very similar situation. We have no entry hall either…you open the front door and walk right into the dining room. In fact, it used to be even worse…you would walk into the house and look immediately forward into the bathroom at the toilet! Thank goodness, we took out that bathroom!

    Your desk looks so lovely. I just love all the natural light, and it must be so convenient to have such a wonderful place to put all your stuff down. Great use of the space!

  26. I can relate! Our old farmhouse we entered the diningroom. Our empty nester home has an attached garage for the most part when we arrive home it’s through the laundry room. Our front door opens into the living room though. You did a beautiful job!! On a deary winter day what a treat stepping into that beautiful blue! So charming.

  27. Your entry looks very inviting! I love that you added flowers to turn that you pay bills there into a sweet spot:-)
    Great idea!

  28. No closets and no foyer – sign of an 1800’s vintage house! I’m with you – I have no foyer in my 1800’s house either! You really did a great job with what you have 🙂
    Our front door opens into the dining room so there is always stuff piled on my dining room table.

  29. I love what you did to create an entry.

    I had to think back to the other homes we have owned. They were built in the 50s and you walked right into the living room. Our present home was built in 1928 and you walk right into the living room.

  30. I also love this part of your house. Beautiful desk and great styling. Have a nice week, Pascale

  31. What a great way to create a landing spot! It looks so pretty. Your styling and photography is beautiful too. Thanks for the inspiration! ~ Angie

  32. I feel your pain! We live in a 1906 Victorian with the same issue. The front door opens right into the dining room (which was originally used as the parlor), the side door opens into the kitchen, and the back door does too. It drives me crazy! I love what you’ve done to make the space a little more separate. 🙂

  33. Hi Jennifer, I love how that space turned out, it’s like it always belonged there and the desk is beautiful. I’m a new reader and follower (from Coastal Charm), I’d love for you to stop by sometime. Have a wonderful day.
    Audrey @ neverendingdecorating.blogspot.com

  34. Hi .. My new friend .. I found you on a friends blog. SO glad that I did .. I love it here. BUNDLESS of sweetness I thought . Love the mail on the desk too .. GREAT idea… Might have to use that one … I have a blog The Rusty Pearl… Would love to have ya .. pop in when you can .. I will be a regular here …………… From : Your newest Blogging sister !!!! HUGS

  35. What a great job you did on everything! I love the “old” mail on the desk and the light streaming in is just beautiful.

  36. Such a beautiful space you created, Jennifer! You are so lucky to have all that natural light.

  37. Perfect and wonderful solution for this space! It’s functional, but also looks so good.
    Mary Alice

  38. This is such a lovely room, I trying to change over my study with heavy dark furniture over to something more delicate and light like yours.

  39. I would never know this is a ‘challenging space’. Your desk arrangement looks like it was ‘meant to be’ – so pretty!
    Have a Wonderful Day,

  40. A very charming desk in wonderful light!

  41. What a welcoming entrance you have now. I know my eye would be immediately drawn to the desk and all the pretties on it. It’s just lovely.

  42. In love— really I am. This space is just simple and beautiful!

  43. I think you came up with a lovely solution! The desk in front of that bright window is so inviting and functional on so many levels. What caught my eye are the old letters. I have a single letter saved from relatives that have since passed on and cherish the fact that I have kept their memory alive with their handwritten correspondence to me. Especially love all the sage advice given to me while I was in college. Those words are so true now!

  44. So beautiful and calming! I love the inspiring eye candy…you can never have too much of that 🙂 I love the old vintage bottles too…love “dressing” them up with some good old charm…so sweet! 🙂

  45. Beautiful! I love all those little decorating details! I really love the rug! I just started a new link party and would love for you to come over and share your post or any social media sites. Talkin’ About Thursday – http://designeddecor.com/talkin-about-thursday-link-party-5/
    [email protected]

  46. I love everything I see! I am a new follower from the pinterest party! I hope you come over and check out my blog too. 🙂 http://www.mendezmanor.com

  47. What a practical and beautiful solution to a tricky space. Love everything here!


  48. That would be very difficult to not have a foyer but you’ve done a fabulous job! I love your home and your blog 😉 Have a great weekend
    Jamie ~ Better With Age

  49. vilka fina bilder du bjuder på , och vilken fin blogg, ska kika vidare/Helena

  50. Love it! I just found your website today. I’m forever rearranging the foyer/living room and this is an inspiration.
    Would you please share your paint colors?

  51. We had a living room like that in our old house, and it drove me nuts too. Every house needs an entryway! You did a beautiful job creating the space like one!

  52. Great job…I love this space. Quirky to cute! Thanks for sharing.

  53. The lovely desk idea you have put by your front door is just what was used in the “old days” – people would put a desk by the door to put mail on, write letters, sort bills etc etc. I would probably put one of those white painted coat-stands there but apart from that you have done a spot-on job!

  54. Your entry is so welcoming! Love the desk too and that is a perfect spot for it too.

  55. Botanic Bleu says:

    The desk is perfect…for all the reasons you listed….dropping keys in a drawer, leaving mail on top, paying bills, … My house has a small foyer that is not big enough for your desk. Size of the foyer is something to keep in mind if you ever do move to another house.

  56. Setting up the desk there as a holding spot for incoming mail and keys is such a good idea. The desk serves double duty because you can drop off the mail, then sit down and sort through and take care of bills right then and there. The drawers are also good spots to store things you may need to grab right before heading out like a pair of gloves, and umbrella, or sunglasses.

  57. Great space, did i miss the obvious somewhere else in the posts? The room is all about the color on the walls. It is such a beautiful, serene, romantic color, what is it? Specifics would be greatly appreciated.

  58. Your details are amazing!

  59. I love the wall color and have looked for it to be mentioned here somewhere, could you please share? Thanks!

  60. I just subscribed to your wonderful, beautiful site. On this (one of many) gray day, it is wonderful to see the light filled rooms.
    So many of the rooms seem to have a periwinkle mist appearance that is so gorgeous. Is is a tinted camera lens? What ever it is, it’s given me joy on a January day. Thanks.

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