Before & After: 6 Days and $350 Later, a Cluttered Entryway Becomes a DIY Dream

published Mar 28, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Cluttered entryway at front door
Credit: Lisa Kanegae

Home entryways can be one of the trickiest spaces to design, since they’re often the tough combination of small and high-traffic. While entryways benefit from being beautiful, above all, they need to be functional.

Credit: Lisa Kanegae

Lisa Kanegae ( knew her father-in-law’s entryway needed a practical update. The home, built in 1949, features a space between the two front doors that had become a dumping ground. “The entryway was a complete afterthought and over time became an area to store boxes and junk,” Lisa says. “It was painted yellow and was very unsightly to see this as your first impression of his home.”

Credit: Lisa Kanegae

Lisa wanted to do something for her father-in-law since he does so much for her family, so she decided to put her newly developed DIY skills to work. “What better gift than to give him a room makeover like you see on those TV shows?” Lisa says. Her father-in-law said she could do absolutely anything she wanted, but he had one request: He wanted it to be orange, his favorite color.

Credit: Lisa Kanegae

Over six days, Lisa totally transformed the space — and on a budget of $350, no less. She started with the DIY slatted wood bench, which inspired her to carry slatted wood throughout the rest of the room, too. Before that, though, she painted it all a creamy orange so it would peek through.

After painting the walls, Lisa nailed up the wood slats — red oak she stained for a natural light golden color — behind the bench and to the right of the front door. She also swapped out the old sconce for a gold gooseneck one that matches the vibe of the 1940s home.

Credit: Lisa Kanegae

While the entryway is certainly stylish, it’s practical, too: The bench provides a place to safely sit and remove or put on shoes, and hooks offer a place to stash a bag or coat.

“I am SO happy with the end result and ended up loving how cheerful and happy the orange color added to this new entryway!” Lisa says. “I was so happy to do this for my father-in-law and I love that it’s something he can enjoy and use every day.”

She’s particularly proud of having made the whole space herself. “I’m new to DIY and it’s literally changed my life,” she says. “There’s something so empowering about building things with your own two hands and to show my kids that we can do hard things has been amazing!”

The most important opinion of the entryway is, of course, Lisa’s father-in-law. He’s thrilled, Lisa says: “He was equally excited and jokes he loves his new ‘orange sauna.'”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.