Before we lived here, I didn't realize just how much we would end up using the garden level entry. I thought we would just leave from the main front door all the time. But down on the garden level, there's more a little more space and a full-size coat closet. Which means plenty of room for backpacks, scooters, helmets, ballet and soccer gear - all the stuff that accumulates around here easily. We're finding it's actually nice that we can have a more casual entrance for the family and a more formal entry for guests.

Now that I'm revisiting old photos from before we moved in, I can see why I assumed we would never use this entrance. It was literally blocked off from junk the bachelors kept in the hall. And somehow they had broken the closet doors and just sort of propped them up at an angle. :)

So now that this entrace has become basically our mudroom, I bumped it up on the decorating priority list. Just like with my office, I mostly wanted to use things that I had around the house already. And because it's a more casual space that guests won't often see, I thought it would be fun to just go a little crazy here - full on, uninhibited decorating. I'm not done yet, but we're making some headway, I think.

The wallpaper was purchased at a B&F sample sale a couple years ago (we used the larger scale pattern in my mom's kitchen) for just a few dollars a roll.

The blue enamel paint on the door was left over from the interior of Joanna's bedroom armoire. I'm so crazy about the color!

I recycled the hooks from the loft entry. After living a month or two without these, I realized how much the hooks help us keep clutter off the floors. As soon as we walk in, everything gets put up and away. No more searching for backpacks first thing in the morning!

I picked up the antique burlwood mirror at the flea market last year. It's a favorite of mine. It's sort of weird I guess to hang a mirror on the back side of a door, but I kinda like it. I hung it on the door using a screw, and then added picture hanging strips to the corners to give the frame extra stability when the door slams, etc. It's fun to have a little place to check your hair before you run out the door. I want to hang an art series on the left-hand wall, so this was a way to get a mirror without losing wall space.

There was this really bad, commercial grade red carpet in most of the garden level rooms. We pulled it all out right away (it was super gross). The floors underneath need a little love, but they're not that beat up.

I was so, so glad my new persian rug fit the hall space. I love the way the coral in the rug works with the green of the wallpaper.  It was 50% off(!) at eSaleRugs. They are having sales all the time so I make it a habit to pop over to the site every other week or two to see what's new, so I have a lot of rugs from them now. :) (remember my old kitchen runner?).

The benefit to the use-what-you-have decorating approach is it's really instant gratification. I love how fast I was able to throw this all together. After just a few hours of work, it feels like a somewhat-finished space. And I'll take finished-and-good-now over perfect-maybe-someday, any day of the week!