Before and After: This Plain Entryway Was Transformed into a Much More Useful Space

published Jul 8, 2019
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Jenna Schreck, a holistic nutrition consultant and the blogger behind NO WHEY LADY, shared her living room makeover with Apartment Therapy earlier this year. It was a pivotal design moment, because she was able to rediscover her design style after a breakup (and the ex moved out). In this post, she reveals her recent hallway-turned-home office makeover (of which she had help designing with Annie Mueller of Currant Design), and it’s great inspiration for anyone looking to carve out space to be creative and productive in an unconventional spot.

“There are so many fab coworking spaces in this city, that is a fact,” shared Jenna. “But truth be told, I do my best work when I’m in my element, marching to the beat of my own drum. That means making a snack when it’s time to fuel up (usually not at a ‘normal’ eating time), being able to create a recipe or bowl when inspiration strikes, getting a snuggle in with Hansel my labradoodle when I need it, blasting music, dancing, or just moving/shaking my body around to expel stagnant energy.”

As Jenna explains it, all these things she likes to do when working aren’t always encouraged in public places like a coffee shop or coworking space. “So, I manifested my dream office space in the underutilized entryway in the loft. I also wanted a comfy, quiet area to see local clients one-on-one—and if we’re being real, a serene background for Skype clients to call into.”

Jenna had another reason why her home office hallway needed revamping: she also needed to make room for a very specific purpose. Her nutrition practice focuses on gut health and hormone balance, and she believes that “hormone balance is based not just in food and blood sugar control, but also in the mind body connection, lifestyle practices, and spirituality,” she says. “All things a little woo woo. My newest product launch also needed a space to be packaged and shipped. The new office houses a station just for this purpose—The Astraias, a company that I launched with my friend Alyssa Brieloff.”

This transformation is successful for a lot of reasons. Visually, keeping all of the added furniture white like the walls keeps the narrow space from feeling too heavy or cluttered. Jenna built “up,” installing open shelving high above the desk, taking advantage of wall space. The extra worktop that folds up into the wall is an excellent way to make use of underutilized space. Adding a filing cabinet that’s a little bit deeper than the shelving helps define the office’s nook shape. And including a small rug and seating area makes it feel like its own room, and not just a walk-through entryway.

Favorite Element: “I have a few! One, the peacock mirror and horse leg bench sitting area. If you know me, you know I have a thing for animals and I’m actually surprised no leopard print made its way into the space… or at least it hasn’t yet. Two, my azurite crystal box by my company THE ASTRAIAS. It’s perfectly placed to aid in focus, which for my scattered brain is a necessity. Three, my dear friend Michaela’s nakey ladies. It’s the perfect everyday reminder to get into my body, feel it, understand it, and treat it with honor and respect. Not to mention she made them just for me, inspired by me. So that makes them extra special!”

Biggest Challenge: “Making use of the space properly and incorporating functional yet aesthetically pleasing pieces that suit my work methods and lifestyle.” 

Proudest DIY: “I painted the foldout desk that I use as a package opening-slash-creative play station. It came in a heinous off-white color that went with nothing.”

“I’m not a DIY-er by any means, so the fact that I made a trip to the hardware store, sanded the thing, and painted it to blend in with the walls successfully is quite an accomplishment for me!”

Biggest Indulgence: “The peacock mirror. But I can literally see it from every room (minus the bedroom upstairs), and the way it’s positioned it actually opens up the kitchen space tenfold. So it was worth every penny!”

Best advice: “‘Balance’ on a shelf has nothing to do with repeating patterns or colors. It has to do with weights and depths of objects, and it’s so important to mix and match. Have fun with it!”


  • Paint — Benjamin Moore Natura, Chantilly Lace (eggshell finish) with a semi gloss trim
  • Azurite Box for Focus —   THE ASTRAIAS
  • Original Naked Ladies — Michaela D’Artois
  • Gilded file holder — CB2
  • Stairway white 72.5” desk — CB2
  • Stairway white 72.5” wall mounted bookcase — CB2
  • Pilar pencil cup — CB2
  • Potted faux aloe — CB2
  • TPS white 3-drawer filing cabinet — CB2
  • Marin White Centerpiece Bowl — Crate and Barrel
  • Faceted Terrarium, Large, Gold — West Elm
  • Gallery Frame, 8X10 (13X16) — West Elm
  • Gallop Bench — CB2
  • Savannah Utility Basket — Pottery Barn
  • Wide Leather Wall Pocket — CB2
  • Faux Potted Crassula Jade Succulent — Pottery Barn
  • Set of 2 Mendes Antique Brass Down-High Plug-in — Lamps Plus
  • Modern Stacking Stool, Distressed Velvet, Light Pink — West Elm
  • Oro Champagne Gold Box — CB2
  • Berber Shag 2’7”x7’3” — Surya (similar)
  • Modern Upholstered Swivel Desk Chair, Saville Flax — West Elm
  • Barker Vertical Wall Mounted Coat Rack — CB2
  • Peacock Mirror — Anthropologie
  • Andersonville Floating Desk — Wayfair
  • Movement Print — Minted
  • UBrands Dry Erase Calendar Tile Unframed 14”x14” — Target 3834
  • Lana Ivory Pillows — Article
  • Mollo Throw — Article

Thanks, Jenna! Read more about Jenna’s business on her website, and check out her Instagram @nowheylady!