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Before and After: A “Dumping Ground” Closet Becomes a Cute, Functional Entryway

published Feb 9, 2021
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Before: Man removing doors from hall closet

Yes, closet space is a luxury, but sometimes closets just don’t work. They might be too hard to access, in an inconvenient spot, or difficult to keep organized — in which case, it might be better to tear the whole thing out and try something new.

Scared to take the leap? Follow Jessica Ceraldi’s lead. “Our original front entrance was dull, typical ’90s home with a box closet,” Jessica says. “Having the boxed-in closet took away the ability to have a functional space as it took up half of the biggest wall in the front entrance.” So Jessica decided to scrap the whole thing to make a cute and clutter-free entryway.

Jessica’s husband Luke helped execute the plan, removing the old closet doors before demoing the surrounding walls and faux-ceiling to make the entryway one big open area.

Because these closet walls weren’t structural, this was a pretty straightforward process. Jessica and Luke then patched the areas of the floor that needed new tile before adding new drywall to seal up any exposed wall patches.

Once all the structural stuff was done, they moved onto the fun part: creating a functional focal point.

The newly open space was the perfect blank canvas. “We couldn’t resist doing something dramatic with the entryway’s 20-foot ceilings,” Jessica says. So after Luke painted the wall a matte black — which involved using a lift to reach all the way to the top — Jessica plotted out a cool geometric accent wall that the couple made with wood moulding painted to match the rest of the wall.

After that, Jessica finished the space with a mirror, bench, and hooks on the wall for coats and bags — plus a few decorative touches, like a new potted plant and a gallery wall. The whole area feels bigger and more open now that there’s not a closet cutting into the space, and Jessica says it functions a lot better for her family. “The old ’90s closets feel like dumping grounds so losing the closet doesn’t feel like a loss of space. We have plenty of other areas to hang coats and put shoes away,” Jessica says. “We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!”

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