Entryway Closet Makeover

Whew, it is finally done! Our entryway closet is now a mudroom! I call it a mudroom, but it could be called a nook, landing area, entryway closet. Mudroom may not be the technical term, but it works for us.

Before we dive into what we did and why, here is a pic of the finished mudroom! We are in love with it! It works perfectly for us and it makes our home feel more open welcoming!

I got the idea from a  pin on Pinterest, it is a wonderful example of turning a closet into a beautiful nook.  House of Smiths did a fabulous job of transforming their entryway closet into a wonderful, functional entry way nook! It was love at first sight! Here is how theirs turned out:

Fantastic, right? Well I had my work cut out for me.  My DH was not as enthusiastic, but he was on board. Our closet is right next to a bathroom and the stairs. Everyone in the house would just throw their coats on the newel post rather than open the closet door and hang up their coat (including me). So I thought hooks and a bench and baskets would be a great solution. Warning, this will be a long post, so hang in there 🙂
Before I get into how we did everything here is a photo of the before and after:

As you can see, we had a standard, small entry way closet. In fact, it was so small that a hanger couldn’t even fit, when the door closed the hangers would turn sideways. We had to work around the bathroom the right of the closet and the wall ended to the left. (no room for expansion to the left because it would interfere with the kitchen) So we had to work with what we had.
Here are some more before pics:
What a horrible mess! Everything was jammed packed!
After emptying out the closet, we took the doors off and took the trim off. We saved it to use for later.

 Then we cut out the door frame and expanded the closet to the studs on each side, making it as wide as possible for out small space. Then we cut up, towards the ceiling. We gave ourselves almost 2 more feet of vertical space!

Then came the drywall work. I will be honest, that is not a favorite for me or DH, but we pushed through. We dry walled the new top of the closet and the edges. Then mud, sand, and texture. You know the drill…

Then we added the trim. I failed on the picture taking at this point. We were working on this for a few weekends and I just forgot to take more pics. Sorry. But I will try and explain what we did. 
First: we added bead board to the entire closet. Top to bottom
Second: we added trim to the edges. We used the trim from the original closet.  But what you say, we expanded the closet and made it taller, how did you get it it fit? Great question, we had some other door trim from a different project we worked on. So we put 2 door trims together and made one really great mudroom. 
Third: We added a decorative trim to the top. You can see it in the after pics
Forth: We added 2 top shelves, they are 12″ deep and a seat that is 24″ deep.
Fifth: After everything was installed it was time to prime and paint. ( I love this part, because it means we are almost done) One coat of primer and 2 coats of paint and we were done. I also painted the wall around the mudroom. The white color is Kwal Aspen White and the wall color is Glidden Warm Caramel .

 Ok, we aren’t exactly done here, but I was too excited to wait, I had to put some jackets on the hooks.  We added hooks and baskets, but no cushion yet. And as you can see the thermometer and door bell are not quite right. We had to adjust them during construction, but as you can see in the final pic they are put back where they belong.

 Before we can finish, I had to make a cushion. Since I don’t sew, I did the staple method. Fabric, then foam then a board and staple it all together.  I found the fabric at JoAnnes, but I am not sure what it is called. But I love the colors and it works perfectly in our entry.

 The finished mudroom! We are in love with it! The hooks are working out great, no more coats on the newel post 🙂 We decided not to put baskets on the ground, instead we put a shoe tray on the floor.

 What do you think? Are you doing a closet makeover as well. I would love to see your closet!

Lessons learned:
1. Projects like this will always take longer than you originally planned
2. Be flexible. You may have to change things mid project.
3. Patience with painting bead board. In order for it to look right you have to paint in all the grooves, so have patience.

After receiving a comment about the bench I thought I would add some pictures on how the bench was built.

 This is a close up of the bench. You can see that there is a 1×4 board supporting the front of the bench.

Here a pic of the under side of the bench. You can see that we added a 1×4 board along the sides and that is what the bench rests on. Then DH added additional 1×4 going lengthwise for support. The boards were attached with “L” brackets.  Hope this help, let me know if you have any other questions!


Porch Lanterns

Here is my inspiration, from Pottery Barn! Isn’t this just beautiful.

So I decided to try my hand at a lantern filled porch!

Here is my version:

We wanted a simpler, more refined look, but warm and inviting. Also, we didn’t want it too nautical looking, so we changed it up a little bit. and, our view isn’t as nice as the Pottery Barn version, but I guess you work with what you got.

I found lanterns online at: Wholesale Mart.com
I bought 12 so I would have plenty for my porch.  Then we spaced the lanterns and hung them with chains. Now, in our area we can get some strong winds, so we added fishing line horizontally through all the chains. Hopefully that will keep everything in place… I will keep you updated on if that works or not.

Here it is at night. Isn’t it pretty? We love how it turned out. 
BTW, we added battery powered candles (with remotes!) to make it easier to turn on and enjoy. 

 What do you think?
Do you have hanging lanterns that you would like to share? I would love to see them!

Lesson learned:
1. plan on weather. I didn’t plan on the wind until we had everything up. Luckliy we had a good soluiotn, but it could have been bad.
2. Inspiration is everywhere. Even though my final version is not like the inspiration, it works for us and without the inspiration we wouldn’t have even thought of doing this…