Little Brick Cottage Back Entry Re-Do

Several years ago, when I first started to blog, I showed you this project I was working on. It was a very charming 1800’s little brick cottage that really needed a redo! When we purchased this house, this is what the back entry looked like:


It was ‘yucky’ at best, and it had some real issue. There was no natural light in the space, there was a door closing the kitchen off from the entry, yet the landing from outside was completely opened to the basement and felt dangerously close to the first basement step.

removed half wall

The first thing we did was to remove that half wall, temporarily making it even more dangerous LOL. But that was necessary to put in the full wall and door to fix it.

full wall next to old stairs

Then we built a full wall right next to the existing steps coming from the kitchen.

wall studded out with door

Here you can see the full wall studded out with a door frame that will house the new basement door.

half step for basement

To fix the scary drop off on the landing to the basement, we added to the landing so that it would fill the entire area when the basement door is shut, no falling or tripping over the edge. To make that first step wider and safer, we built an angled step that makes the turn nicely. Problem solved!

Once the sheetrock was installed, taped, mudded and all the beadboard (HERE is is link to the real wood beadboard we installed) and trim up, I could paint. Here are my go-to supplies for painting:

paint supplies

Well, more like my go-to supplies getting ready to paint. I always caulk first!

caulk tip

Cut a tiny angle on the end of the caulk tube nozzle, then it will run along the corners easily.


See that shadow of a crack between the door trim and wall? Caulk will take care of that and make the job look so much better.

lay the caulk down

Run a bead of caulk along that crack. Don’t worry if you mess up, you can clean it up, if you do it right away. Don’t let it dry though, or you’ll need to cut it out.

finger tool

Some people us a rag, but I have found the best thing to get the caulk smooth is my finger, (gloved finger). Right after I run a length of caulk about 5-10 feet, I immediately go behind it with my finger and smooth it, wiping the excess on my rags.

Caulking before you paint makes a world of difference to how the finished job looks!

  • Vinyl Gloves: I go through boxes of vinyl gloves, frequently changing them as they fill up with caulk on the outside, and/or dripping with sweat on the inside. It’s horrible to have to keep on a pair of gloves that are filled with sweat. They slip around on your hand.
  • Rags in a Box: These rags in a box are terrific too. They are tougher than regular paper towels. The way they dispense from the box is perfect for grabbing them as you go along.
  • Caulk: I love this particular fast dry caulk. Caulking the seams and joints of woodwork gives a finished look as it fills those shadow lines and cracks before painting. To successfully use this caulk read further for the tips.
new basement steps door

This is what the basement doorway looks like now, all painted:

Now, all completed, the new wall and door completely separate the basement from finished living space, and makes the entry feel much safer and looks a lot cuter.

From the kitchen the back door sheds natural light in.

new back entry

From the kitchen, it’s so cute and welcoming, I purposely continued the same elements and colors into the back entry from the kitchen to visually enlarge the space.

Nothing speaks the language of farmhouse like beadboard, right? Love it! For this back entry, as well as other places in this little brick cottage, I used THIS real wood beadboard. It’s durable and not expensive. Even the installation is cheaper because it comes in 4 x 8 sheets, so it goes up quick, saving labor costs!

beadboard in back entry

Most of the elements from the kitchen to the back entry are the same, except the floors are different.

In the kitchen, we found this original oak plank floor, but the entry floor is partly original and partly new, as we needed to rebuild these steps, the old ones were really rickety, so the treads are new, as well as that added piece by the basement door. It got finished with a darker grey paint as the walls.

numbered hooks by back entry

Even though I needed to keep this space neutral, because I was preparing for someone else to live in it, I found these super cute numbered hooks. Perfect for this vintage farmhouse little brick cottage back entry!

Here are 2 really cute other options of numbered hooks: THESE HOOKS incorporate rustic barn wood and metal. THESE HOOKS are cute colors and on a single bar making installation super easy.

Did you know I now offer e-decorating? I can help you with your decorating needs via email, without having to step foot in your home. If you’re interested in more information, visit my e-decorating site: Frame and Frills. I’d love to help you with your project!

Here are more posts featuring this little brick cottage renovation:

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and Instagram! I appreciate you reading along.

Reader Interactions


  1. Misty says

    I absolutely LOVE this! Great project! I want an entry 🙂 I’d love for you to link up to my first ever linky party, Ta-Da Tuesday 🙂 check it out here !

  2. Laura @ House Of Joyful Noise says

    AMAZING work, making over your home! I am BLOWN away to read it was built in 1985! You are truly making it look authentically like an older farmhouse. The wood floors, and bead board walls?…..LOVE!!
    BTW, I wanted to comment on your kitchen rug too, but could not find how to comment on that one. Got dizzy scrolling up and down looking! Anyhoo…very impressed with your diy solution!

      • Liz says

        Yes, it made such a difference to have that open doorway for letting in light. It made the kitchen feel bigger by not making your eye stop where the previous door closed it off.

  3. Ellie says

    What a cute little back entry! I love how bright and clean it looks, and it seems so right for the house! Visiting from Serenity Now!

  4. Claire says

    What a difference! We have such a narrow back entryway that leads straight down to the basement or up three steps to the kitchen. I would love, love, love to have some sort of mudroom or space for hooks etc. in our next house.

  5. Sharon Hines says

    I love those floors! And numbers…I don’t know what it is about numbers, but I love them. I agree with you…they’re neutral. Thanks for sharing this darling cottage with us at Show & Tell. I’m so glad the renters appreciate and love this house. I’m really going to miss it!

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  6. JaneEllen Jones says

    Lucky family living in your adorable little brick house. May they be happy and make many wonderful memories in that house. WEll done.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *