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Tidy Catchall Foyer for $104

A little lumber and lots of hooks turn a foyer into a family-friendly coat corral that makes room for everyone's necessities

<p><strong>After:</strong> Two benches, 10 wall hooks, and a shallow ledge provide storage aplenty on a backdrop of classic double-panel wainscoting.</p>

After: Two benches, 10 wall hooks, and a shallow ledge provide storage aplenty on a backdrop of classic double-panel wainscoting.

Photo by Jami Nato

When everyone in the family is constantly coming and going, the absence of an organized drop spot can really take a toll. In Jami and Mark Nato's 1922 home, in Kansas City, Missouri, a lack of storage at the front entry made the adjacent dining room a dumping ground for their three young children's backpacks, boots, and jackets. Their solution: Make the most of the foyer's ample wall space by using it to create a makeshift mudroom.

<p><strong>Before:</strong> The entry boasted lots of floor space but no place for coats and shoes.</p>

Before: The entry boasted lots of floor space but no place for coats and shoes.

Photo by Jami Nato

Mark set the stage with double-panel wainscoting, nailing up 1x6 pine planks for the horizontal rails, which echo the beefy baseboards, and 1x4 boards for the vertical stiles. A slim pine shelf nailed directly into the top rail creates space for displaying the kids' artwork. Jami and Mark caulked the seams between the boards and the wall before painting the area with white semigloss for a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. To add open storage, Mark mounted two sets of chrome hooks on each side of the entry: combination coat-and-hat hooks for adults and two-pronged hooks for kids' jackets and backpacks. Jami finished the space with an oversize sisal-blend rug just inside the door for wiping muddy feet, adding benches for slipping on shoes. Now everyone's belongings have a place to park. "It feels cleaner and brighter even though there's more stuff on the wall," Jami says. "And it makes the whole house much more user-friendly."

The Project Tally

Created the look of double-panel wainscoting by nailing 1x6 and 1x4 pine boards to the plaster walls and topping them with a 1x4 display shelf. $60

Used leftover supplies to caulk, prime, and paint the area for a bright—and durable—white finish. $0

Installed adult- and kid-height hooks for coats, hats, and bags. $25

Protected the floor from muddy shoes with a hefty sisal-blend rug. $19

Moved on-hand benches to either side of the door for lacing up sneakers. $0

Total: $104