Home Projects

Before and After: $215 and Clever DIYs Make This Entryway Much More Practical

updated Jan 24, 2020
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Credit: Jessica Bui

We don’t always give closets credit for all of the work they do. They keep us clean and organized, and they hide our not-so-cute stuff. Some closets do even more work than others—which brings us to the one in Jessica Bui and her boyfriend Tyler’s living room.

Credit: Jessica Bui

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“This closet got quite a lot of identities,” Jessica says. First, it was a traditional closet. Then, the couple removed its sliding doors and turned it into a spot for an entryway table. Finally, Jessica and Tyler realized what the closet was meant to be: “After seeing our purses, backpacks and shoes—we’re an Asian household—land on the floor here and there and all over the house, it was clear we needed a mudroom, a place that can catch all things when you come home from a long day of work or even where the dog’s leash goes,” Jessica says.

Credit: Jessica Bui

With help from Jessica’s dad, the couple totally DIY’d the space over the course of two weeks. They hung up MDF boards for a wide and vertical shiplap look, and painted the area black. “I’m so happy we went with the moody black, vertical shiplap,” says Jessica. “The vertical shiplap just makes it so modern—I was a bit nervous that horizontal shiplap would be too farmhouse for our vibe.” Then they added coat hooks they nabbed off of Etsy.

Credit: Jessica Bui

In a handy coincidence, an IKEA Kallax shelf unit fit into the space perfectly as a horizontal bench. The squad covered it with a piece of wood and hung another piece up to serve as a shelf. Because the couple had some paint and wood stain left over from other projects, the whole redo cost about $215.

Credit: Jessica Bui

“This has become a corner of the house that I stare at the most,” says Jessica. “Almost more than my dog.” Hey, she said almost!