Creating an Entryway Organizer

With all the charms of living in a 1900’s farmhouse, storage space is definitely not one of them! I guess they were a simpler people back then, with little need for much more than a well and a root cellar. My husband and I have had to get quite creative in designing and building in the extra storage space we need for our growing family (and our stuff).

The latest problem to tackle was where to hang your coat or put your shoes when you came in the front door. I mean it’s not exactly polite to ask a guest for their coat and then fling it onto the coach! Sooo, we did some creative thinking to turn a little nook into an entryway organizer.


original wall2

Here is the original space. “Welcome Home!” As you can see, there is a wall built around a closed chimney, giving us some room to hide away shelves and creating the illusion that they are almost built-in.


original bookcase

After some digging on Craigslist, I found two matching tall and narrow shelves that would fit the space perfectly. After some light sanding to rough up the surface of the wood, I prepped to paint these babies white.


finished shelf

I decided to use white chalkboard paint, because I love the distressed texture and how well it covers on nearly any surface with little prep.


shelf instalation2

Once painted, we secured the shelves firmly to the wall to ensure they would be sturdy and could hold a good amount of weight (even the weight of little climbers).



original hooks


white hooks

I found these long twisted cast iron hook mounts, and gave the wood panels a very light coat of the chalkboard paint, allowing the wood texture to show through. (Two of these panels will be used inside the shelves and the larger one –not shown– will be used in between the two shelves).


hooks on wall2

We then mounted the panels in a line on the wall. The two smaller panels fit inside the shelves and the larger panel fit in between the two shelves.


bench space4

The last addition, in connecting it all together and making it look like one intentional built-in piece was adding a custom bench between the two shelves. This would be fashionable as much as functional for those hurrying to get their shoes on and off as they come and go.


And here it is, the final product – in use – as we all gather round for shoes and coats! I added a few sturdy fabric baskets on the shelves for shoe storage at the bottom, hats, sunglasses, gloves and other odds and ends up above. I also found a mirrored black clock at Goodwill, which I hung on the wall right above the middle panel of hooks as the perfect final concluding accent.


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  1. Katie says

    Super cute!!! Great job with the organizer. I always tell my kids that “everything has its place” and our job as moms is to help create that place and teach our kids where to put things. Looks like you are doing a great job, momma!

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