Dreams of a redesigned entryway have been swirling through my brain for a year or more now (read here and here). The space isn’t terrible or even that unattractive, but I get really frustrated with the functionality of the entry and know that it could be better. Here are my issues:
|Photo of entryway last year|
- When daycare parents drop off, there isn’t much room to remove or put on shoes, especially when they need to get into the closet. The front door has to be closed before the closet door can be opened. There’s nowhere to sit, and we try to keep a “no shoes on the carpet” policy. Two parents picking up at once, and it feels like total chaos.
- The closet itself is small, and is the only place to keep the vacuum. I’ve managed to organize it so that the daycare kids have a spot for shoes, the vacuum has a home, we can hang coats/jackets, and seasonally we have a spot for either beach towels or winter hats/gloves/scarves. Add anything else (backpacks, things the kids bring with them, infant carseats, etc.) and there’s not a spot to put them. I also don’t have anywhere for my own purse or my shopping bags.
- The biggest problem I have in this space is that built-in. It faces…nothing…really, and the shelves aren’t tall enough for most books. I’ve tried styling it, but with little kids the lower shelves either need to be toy storage or empty, and when they’re all styled or filled it feels cluttered and “busy” to me.
So I began brainstorming solutions. What I reeeaaaaalllly want is to demo the closet and shelf, open up the entry a bit and add a bench with hooks and shelves. But Brad was concerned about having to extend the textured ceiling, the laminate flooring, and patching up the walls once everything was tore out. With that idea shot down, I worked on more viable solutions…
|Winter hat & glove storage|
I added a hanging shoe organizer in the closet last winter which added storage for kids’ shoes, gloves/hats, sunscreen, etc., but it also became a place for the kids to put everything…and it started collecting a lot of little things. #nailsonchalkboard Besides that, winter boots won’t fit into those pockets, and the hooks over the door made the door barely able to shut and was scratching up the wood. In other rooms I use 3M hooks and ribbons to hang those organizers in lieu of the over-the-door hooks, but I feared with the weight of many shoes and kids tugging on it, that the hooks wouldn’t hold in this situation.
I also created an “entryway feel” and added storage by bringing up a dresser and adding a little shelf with hooks for keys near the door.
Both look nice and are functional, but they didn’t really solve the existing problems of the closet and shelf. I have tried styling the bookshelf in different ways, but always I’m left with what to do on the bottom few and I always get limited by the shelf height and the cluttered feel of it all.
A week or so I ago I came up with another “demo” plan that would solve the problem of the ceiling texture, and would also leave things in such a way that if future homeowners wanted to close it back up with doors, it would be possible. Even though Brad’s considering it (#happydance), it also means tearing out the hallway built-in to make a linen closet so the vacuum has a place to go. Realistically I know with all the projects on
our my list it will be a while before we can get to something that drastic, even if I talk him into it.
With school starting right around the corner (tomorrow!) I was determined to get some organization done and make things work as best as I can for now. If you follow on Instagram or Facebook you may know what happened next! After the daycare kids left last Thursday, I decided to grab some paint that was in the paint closet (free paint from Ace…even better!), and in about an hour I painted the coat closet turquoise. I’d been wanting to brighten up our closets with fun colors, especially as I’m transforming most of the walls to white, and I figured this was a great first step at freshening up the entryway.
I should mention that the closet truly needs a second coat of turquoise and I only did one, but since a) I still have hopes of talking Brad into a demo and b) you can’t really tell once the coats and things are put away, I left it at one coat.
Step two was making the closet more functional and to find a spot for those things that otherwise didn’t have one (backpacks, purse, shopping bags). I added four 3M hooks to the inside of the door for the kids’ backpacks, and two more on the wood supports holding the clothes rod. Those are for my purse and shopping bags. I ordered a new shoe organizer from Amazon in a size that would give us ample shoe storage and still allow room for the vacuum on the floor.
The baskets I’d been using on the shelf above didn’t fit perfectly together, so one was always the long way and the other had to go in perpendicular to it. (#firstworldproblems) I took three of my favorite water hyacinth baskets from The Container Store and they fit perfectly side-by-side. Winter hat and glove storage…done! I added a few Martha Stewart chalkboard tags (from Staples) like I’d used on the other baskets on my built-ins, and in less than a minute with a chalkboard marker I had labels. Bonus: Because these baskets are shorter, we could add another shelf above the existing one for more storage, thus utilizing the wasted vertical space in the closet.
I have some more thoughts for the bookshelf (aside from firewood), so we’ll see how that pans out.
For now I’m pretty pleased with the closet makeover! Onto the next project!
*This post has been linked up at Work It Wednesday at The Blissful Bee, A Bowl Full of Lemons One Project At a Time and the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop at Sew Much Crafting!