Before and After: A $2,500 Entryway Redo Rescues “A Beige Cave Disaster from 1979”

published Aug 4, 2023
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The entryway started dim and dated.

Often, the hardest part of a home renovation is having patience. It can take a long time for furniture to ship, to land on a paint color, or even just to get started on a project. After all, lots of changes take lots of time and lots of money. For Kandra and Mark Sobel’s (@half.finished.home) entryway, “the hardest part was being patient,” Kandra says. 

Kandra and Mark are renovating their 1979 home room by room, and it took them five years to get to the entryway — but it was in dire need. “It was a beige cave disaster from 1979, complete with avocado green and brown tiles,” Kandra explains. She adds that it needed more storage to corral all of their family’s gear for cold Michigan winters. 

Credit: Kandra Sobel
Credit: Kandra Sobel

With $2,500 and two IKEA PAXes, Kandra and Mark made a storage-packed stunner. “The entire space is DIY — courtesy of my talented husband,” Kandra says. “The IKEA unit was surprisingly affordable and worth every penny. I saved money on the rest of the space by using a secondhand mirror, art, bench, and reusing an old light fixture we had on hand.”

Kandra and Mark added the two PAXes in the corner, Mark added a base and soffit to give them a floor-to-ceiling look, and he added crown molding and beadboard around the unit — and the remainder of the space.

Credit: Kandra Sobel

“Our ceiling was so off-level that my husband installed the crown and ended up pulling it off and redoing it,” Kandra says. “At the time I was annoyed with his perfectionism, but it really does look beautiful now — wonky ceilings and all.” 

And the space functions better, too. Kandra says one entire PAX unit holds shoes — perfect for their family, she says — and the other holds winter and summer gear and has hooks for backpacks and coats. “Filling up the entire IKEA unit was surprisingly easy,” she says. “I don’t know how we functioned without all of this storage before!”

Credit: Kandra Sobel

For finishing touches, they painted the entire space in Benjamin Moore’s Bruton White, added brass knobs and handles to the old (now painted) doors, and wood knobs on the IKEA built-in.

Kandra’s only regret regarding the entryway? “I wish we had done it sooner!” she says. “I breathe a massive sigh of relief every time I open the door and come home to an organized, beautiful space.” 

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