A Multipurpose Entry Room

Recently, Cindy wrote to me with her entry room dilemma:

Hi Lauren,

I can't figure out what's the best use for my entry room/dining room. This is our first house, and because I've been so lost as to what to do with the space we're still living out of boxes (not the kind of welcoming I'd like for our visitors to have):

I have heard that a dining table shouldn't be in the first room when someone enters your house, but there's really no other place for a dining table and it'd be nice to have one for entertaining. I like the look of a farm table that perhaps can be used as a desk (maybe have it pushed up against a wall?) when not in use as a dining table. 

I'd like the room to look nice and make a good first impression when people enter and for the space to be useful (like having a dining table and seating area).  And I'd like to keep the room white but the built-in bookshelves can be stained a different color or painted.

Thanks for your help!


A multi-functional dining, seating, and entertaining space that makes a great first impression? Here's what I came up with:

Ideas for where to place things:
  • Hang the curtains framing the window
  • Place the upholstered bench below window - this can be used as additional seating at dining table when it is in use.
  • Make the fireplace a real focal point with a new fireplace mantle surround
  • Place a new mirror above fireplace
  • The dining table can be pushed against wall to be used as desk when not in use for dining
  • Two painted wood chairs can be used at the desk/dining table
  • Place two upholstered white chairs in front of fireplace with rug beneath to anchor the seating area. These can also be used as additional seating at the dining table.
  • Place two white side tables flanking the doorway into the next room
  • Two table lamps - one on each table and books/potted plants/etc. can also be used to add interest
  • Baskets beneath each table can be used for additional storage
  • A painting/print can be placed above each table
  • A photo wall or artwork can be placed above the desk/dining table
Hope that helps, Cindy. Best of luck with your entry space - I'm sure it will look beautiful no matter what you do!

Dining Table/Desk - Ballard Designs
Upholstered Chairs - IKEA
Painted Wood Chairs - Crate & Barrel
Mirror - Ballard Designs
White Ceramic Pitcher - Crate & Barrel
Parson's Bench Slipcover - Ballard Designs
Parson's Bench Frame - Ballard Designs
Drapes - West Elm
Floor Lamp - IKEA
Ocean Wall Art - Velocity Art & Design
White Tables - West Elm
Table Lamps - Macy's
Baskets - Crate & Barrel
Mantel Surround - Amazon
Rug - Macy's


  1. Well your pregnancy definitely hasn't taken away your vision! What a great compilation. I'm still holding tight to our bedroom board you made for me...waiting for the chance to bring it to fruition!

  2. Thanks Mrs. CFH2! I can't wait to see how your bedroom turns out :)



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