Front Entry Hall Closet Makeover

Living in a 1970’s home has been a treat of renovations and upgrades. Most recently we ripped a horrifying amount of stucco from the front entryway hall much to the dismay of my husband. I don’t know what it was about that stucco…it was about 6 inches thick on the ceiling and went all the way down the freaking walls! Once it was down, we found we had quite a tall ceiling. This was a very good thing because the front and back doors are at either end and there is a door to what used to be a garage. All of this to say it was a narrow space so giving us the height allows for more light. When we had finished the front hall, I knew I wanted to do a front entry hall closet makeover which would get rid of doors forever!

Front Entry Hall Closet Makeover


I didn’t get a good shot of the front entry hall closet before but you can see it at the top of the stairs here. It was the old-style slider doors which were constantly off-track and the space was poorly used to say the least.

sober-julie-hall-closet-beforeHere is the closet “before”, which means we’d removed the header drywall which was in the front and painted it out. I left the shelf brackets from the old closet, knowing I’d be needing support.


The first thing I did was to sketch out the plan, this had me measuring a million times…because nobody wants to mess up the cuts. We head to the store and grabbed 2-2x4s, 2 sheets of 5/8 MDF, some paint and trim then we set to make a base. This is just a rectangular base made of 2x4s. We screwed it together, used 2 cross pieces and screwed the entire thing to the walls.

baseNext we made the cuts to our mdf…as you can see I realized I didn’t have a workspace big enough so I used the back of my suv. Handy!


Once the cuts were made for the base and 2 support pieces, we tacked them in place with glue and then nailed along the lines we’d marked on the back side of the mdf. This allowed us to be sure we’d hit the mark each time.



Below you can see the shape of bottom of the bench. We affixed it to the base on the bottom and screwed in support pieces around the perimeter wall underneath the bench top just to be certain of support.


We took the same steps with the upper part. We measured, marked, cut the mdf then glued it and nailed it together. We then affixed to the wall using support pieces which we had screwed in place.


Trimming out each of the boxes took a bit of time but is so worth it to achieve that built-in look. If you don’t have a table saw, Home Depot will do the cuts for you!soberjulie-diy-front-entry-hall-closet-makeover-trimOnce everything was in place, I set to puttying, sanding and finally painting. For the project I used CIL Duo paint which is a primer and paint combo. Mdf sucks up paint/primer so I was pleased to have to do only 1 coat.


Next up we made a bench cushion which is so incredibly easy. We got cut a sheet of plywood to fit the bench top, clued some foam onto it and laid it on top of some outdoor fabric which I’d found on sale. We then pulled the fabric up around the foam, onto the plywood and stapled it into place.


And that’s it, what a HUGE sense of pride we feel as we look at the result of our Front Entry Hall Closet Makeover!! It’s functional AND so pretty. The fact that it didn’t cost much is the icing on the cake!



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23 Responses

  1. Oh I love how this all turned out! The whole time I was reading and looking at the pictures all I could think is were could I do this at in my house!

  2. That looks really nice and it is so functional, I wish I had room near our front door to do something similar!

  3. OMG you guys are good!! so handy and creative I love it what you did with the space. looks so inviting & cozy

  4. WOW!! you did such a fantastic job!! This is so much more useful and organized than a “traditional” hall closet! I love the textiles you chose they really make the space pop!

  5. Marvellous, what a difference the closet must make. It’s turned out really well. I’d love to make one too but there’s no room at in my home.

  6. That looks amazing! I think I’m inspired to give that a whirl — you have so much more storage space now!

  7. Wow Julie, that is an amazing transformation. Love it. I especially love the fabric you chose for the seat. Love. Well done, you must be thrilled.

  8. I need this, we enter buy the side door into the kitchen, There is a a door to the bathroom, then a door to the basement.there is a little wall by the basement door and the wall dividing the kitchen to the living room. I printing this for my husband to build it. Hopefully he agrees.

  9. Somehow I have strayed from shortbread and ended up in your closet! Not a bad thing, as it certainly does look lovely and OH to be that handy. Not that I’m not, but that “square thing” presents it’s challenges!
    Question though – how did the boards grow to be so thick? Is that the ‘trimming out’ part you describe and what did you do to achieve that. One picture for this novice was likely missing.

    None the less – great job! Great site, kudos to you!

    1. Hi Sharon, I’m so glad you ended up looking around! Yes those are simple trim bits. They’re just mdf we cut off actually and then glued and nailed into place the same way as earlier.

  10. Wow,i sure love what youve done,now if only i could convince hubby with this post that i need this badly !

  11. Thinking of doing this to our front hall closet but my husband was concerned because our front door swings towards where the current closet space is and we can’t get s new front door. Notice yours does that and it’s a tight space with your stairs close by. Would love your feedback so I can help convince my husband. Lol!!!

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