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We started the year with an impromptu renovation project and are sharing the reveal of our modern rustic entryway! [affiliate links are used for your convenience, at no additional cost to you]

It was the… first week in January (?) and Brett was working on the exterior lights for the garage/front porch. This involved cutting a hole in the wall in the entryway so he could wire in the new lights. We started talking about the entryway wall color and how we weren’t a fan of the purple-hue it had. This led to a discussion of the built-ins and how dirty they were. This led to a closer inspection of them and all the things Brett would do differently if we were to start over again. Then we started talking about the barn wood wall and how we should have cleaned the wood a little better before putting it up, like we did for the half-wall. This led to some investigating on Pinterest to see what other built-ins styles there were and different paint color options. And about three days later, Brett was taking a sledge hammer to the built-ins.

Well, that escalated rather quickly.

modern rustic entryway with black interior door

Renovating the entryway (again) was definitely not on the 2019 renovations list. But, sometimes you just need to go where the wind takes you and do what makes you happy. Post-project, I can say with one hundred percent certainty that we are much, much happier with this new look. It’s modern with a twist of rustic and dark and moody but still fresh and inviting.

The entryway was the ‘first’ interior renovation project we tackled – we shared our progress during the Fall 2016 One Room Challenge and you can read alllllll about it here.

Prior to the tear down, here’s what it looked like:


Beautiful? Yes, absolutely.

Functional? Not so much.

modern rustic entryway with blue built-ins and brick floor

We’ve done a lot of soul searching these past few weeks on really defining what it means to have a functional home. And what is functional for us will not (and should not) be functional for you.

We have two black labs, live on a lake, are in the process of renovating our entire house and spend a significant amount of time outside. White, while beautiful in pictures, does not serve our entryway well. If you look at the white front door, you can see a dark spot about where Gunner is laying and another dark spot on the side of the built-in to the right of him. Yup, that’s dirt. Either from the dogs, our shoes or just natural accumulation… Pretty gross, huh?

modern rustic entryway

While my heart is a little sad to not have the pop of the white right when you walk in, I will say that in the long run, going with a darker color is going to be much better for us and our family. Not only will it hide the dirt better (Thank You Jesus) but now, both of us love the space.

modern rustic entryway with interior black door

So, we knew we wanted to go dark – both on the walls and on the built-ins. After spending a small fortune in paint samples, we finally decided on a dark blue for the built-ins and a dark gray/green/taupe for the walls. And the door? I wanted to make a statement and decided on black. I’ve been chomping at the bit to paint something black and couldn’t wait to try it out on the door. It needs replacing so this was the perfect opportunity to try something drastic. I’d love to do the same to the window frames but Brett isn’t on board… yet 😛

modern blue builtins in entryway with black interior door

Once we had the built-ins ripped out, Brett had to lay down some pavers to fill in the space. If you remember, we did the flooring AFTER installing the built-ins. So, lesson learned on that one. Put the floor down first and then build.

barn wood wall in modern rustic entryway

When that was done, it was time to start building. As I mentioned, we scoured Pinterest for inspiration (you can check out our entryway board here) and then I sketched out something as a starting point. We talked it through, measured, talked some more and finally decided on a game plan.

modern blue entryway built ins

Brett built the top portion first, installed that and then started on the bottom. Last time around he built everything direction onto the wall and decided to go this round instead. It seemed to be a little easier, especially if he needed to make adjustments along the way. Another change that made life a little easier was painting each section BEFORE we hung it up. It saves a lot of time since there’s no taping – I did have to go around and do touchups but otherwise it was good to go.

modern rustic entryway with blue built ins and brick floor

We kept the barn wood tops from the previous built-ins and were able to reuse them on the new ones. Instead of a lift-up bench top, we opted for a more ‘floating’ style with little cubbies on either side of the vent for our shoes. While we lost a little storage in the bench, we now have the cabinet with two shelves and a drawer… plus all the storage in the half-wall bench.

barn wood wall in modern rustic entryway

The last major change is the barn wood wall. Brett had mentioned taking the pieces down to sand them off a little more several months ago and decided against it. Now that we were giving the rest of the entryway an overhaul, he thought it was also the perfect time to clean off the wood. After prying each piece off, he took a scrub brush (you know, the wire ones that go on the end of a drill?) and cleaned off each piece. I should have taken a picture of the dirt pile after all the sanding – we were amazed at how much came off. Once they were “clean”, each piece went back up in the exact same spot it was before.

modern rustic entryway built ins and brick floor

To fully finish the space, Brett framed out two of the three new windows we installed last year. I can’t believe how much a window frame can really make a space look polished – so much better than exposed drywall edges! Who would have thought, right?!

modern rustic entryway built-ins painted blue

All of this was done in a little under a month and pretty inexpensively – about $500 for the paint, new wood, flooring supplies, cabinet and window frames. For an impromptu project, I think it’s safe to say we’re pretty happy with the results.

black lab in modern rustic entryway

Now, anyone want to make bets on how long we stick to our renovation list this time around?!

All our best.



Shop the post

Wall color: Behr Smoky Trout
Built-in color: Dutch Boy Whale’s Tail
Door color: Behr Deep Onyx

Black vase
Glass flower pitcher
Green garland (similar,original purchased on closeout sale)
Gray and white vase (similar,original purchased on closeout sale)
Home pillow (similar, original purchased years ago…aka forgot the original source!)
Plaid pillow (similar, original is handmade)
Women’s boots (similar, original no longer available)
Men’s boots
Mirror (similar,original purchased on closeout sale)
Galvanized planter (similar, original from thrift store)
Wooden planter (similar, original purchased years ago…aka forgot the original source!)
Cream rug


  1. Kristi Mercer

    LOOOOOVE the darker colour and the rustic look of the cabinets and benches!

  2. Tiffany

    Love how you organized this place. It’s really worth it. Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By the way, are you interested in checking out the engagement rate of your Instagram page? If so, you can use our free engament calculator at Phlanx influencer marketing platform. Try it! ♥️ https://phlanx.com/engagement-calculator


  3. Harry Springer

    Yes, this is a good post without any doubt. You are actually doing a great job. I was inspired by you. So keep it up!.


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