My front hallway has been in a state of disrepair and flux for many many years now. I had done some funky “looks like leather but it’s made out of paper bags” treatment in the area below the chair rail (known as the dado) but I’d ripped that off. And an idea to put up bas relief type joint compound diamonds around the top of the room has now left me wishing I hadn’t. Because those are going to have to be sanded off. Lots of dust. I have been planning a remodel and these pictures sprinkled throughout are my inspirational pics. Yet I wondered what was the deeper meaning of my inability to decide what to do next.

After reading the following article from Kathleen Shannon at Braid Creative, I realized this state of my entry way representative of how I was feeling about me.

“No weird spaces.” by Kathleen Shannon

This has become my mantra as I settle into our new-to-us 1950s mid-century modern ranch my family and I just moved into. You see, we lived in our last house for six years and there was always that one room that was never quite right – it felt awkward, lifeless, and unfinished. In our new house I want every room to feel comfortable, full of life, and conducive for creativity – whether it’s cooking, writing, or playing.

darker floors on
Darker Floors

When I went through coaching training with Martha Beck she taught us the most interesting concept about the spaces we create. We all know our surroundings impact our attitude, but Martha Beck taught us that the spaces we live in are actually metaphors for our life. This showed up true for me when that one room that always felt funny to me finally found its purpose when I had a baby and it became his nursery (I got goosebumps when I finally made this realization). And every creative I know who is having a difficult time finding focus, clarity, and even clients has weird office space. For example, one of the creatives I’m coaching right now is officing out of her laundry room – yet the rest of her home could grace the pages of Dwell magazine, easily! I wonder how that alone is impacting her creative business.

looks a lot like my hallway but not on

Try this: take a mental tour of your home and office (whether or not you office out of your home.) Identify your favorite space – what do you love about it and why? Now identify your least favorite space (it doesn’t have to be a room – it can even be a closet or a drawer). What about that space isn’t working for you? How does it feel? How are these spaces metaphors for your life?

another kilim rug on

Now do this: give some love to your spaces this week. Do a few things to make the weird spaces not so weird. Put on some music, light a candle, and start decluttering and decorating. 

She asked if this struck a chord with anyone and of course I replied with this.

 The weird spaces piece got me thinking. I really believe this is absolutely true. My entryway/hallway is wounded. I began to reinvent it but have not finished the vision. And the same is exactly true for me.  After taking the Braid Branding course, I am still working to see myself as a new entity, artist, entrepreneur, and creative and writer with a “career”. It’s becoming clearer as I work hard to raise my esteem and create projects I like and make connections.
    So my feeling is I need to do something with the entryway even if it’s wrong. Add color and sparkle until a clearer vision comes. Because it’ll never be exact, it’ll always be a work in progress.
    Thanks Kathleen for this thought parallel.
Love it.
painted floor idea on


Kathleen’s gracious reply was this:

So glad this email struck a chord. 

I love your site – “Practicing the art and mystery of housewifery” is so intriguing! I can see a parallel in “inviting people in” and your entryway when it comes to the work you capture, shape, and share. 
Have a great week, Shalagh. 
painted front door on


I was originally really inspired by the idea of painting the inside of the front door a happy color. I love love the painted ombre steps idea and I feel like the right rug will make the most cheerful impact.

another ombre stairs shot on


I’m hoping that by posting this post I’ll further my process along. And you’ll get to see the before pictures of the hallway when …wait for it… I do my next video walk through. Soon people. Soon. Just a few styling tweaks in the living room.

Wanna see the whole month of 2015 posts? Start here. Yesterday’s post, go here.

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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.



  1. I recently bought a new rug for the inside of the front door. I hated the one we had and it finally had to go after the winter. What a difference in my feeling every time I leave or enter that space!

    I’m inspired to fix a few other weird spots now 🙂

    • Amazing how a little visual change can make such a big difference. Especially when you Hate what you have. Can you imagine what a difference a complete revamp of my nasty crazy entryhall will make? I’m hoping it makes a huge difference.
      Thanks for reading all my posts today!

  2. Oh and I also had our doors, moldings and window sills painted a bright, glossy white. So fresh! Ah…

  3. So following this…my house in the past year when I was sick echoed me. Only this last week I put a favourite bookshelf to rights, dusting off an inch of dust, moving books and ornaments…not a full blown spring clean, or re work but a nibble on the edges of it all. More will come. love T x

    • How proud and excited am I for you Tracy to have taken back your bookshelves. It’s such a powerful energy reclamation when you do it. Nibble is good.

  4. Getting ready to (finally) re-do the front of our home. After years of “Hmmm?” it’s now in We will do this mode. For me, it’s a commitment to staying where we are. And liking it instead of that “It’s OK” feeling but I’d rather live in Oregon. And the husband (who’s idea of the perfect space would be a complete shop with a bed & shower. Maybe a microwave)is 100% behind the project.

    • I like the new improved husband you’ve got. Can I borrow him? Make sure you share pics as you progress please Shannon.

      • That “new & improved” husband is a 40+ years work in progress. But I must say that retirement has made some major improvements. Probably for both of us!! And I will do a “work in progress” thing…The before is tired; the during will be messy; and the after will be good. For us and we’re the ones that matter!!

        • Rough patches are rough. Relationships, like renovations are messy, and hopefully the results are better than you’d hoped for.
          Love to you again,

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