• Meredith Street

Entryway Reveal using IKEA Hack

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

We are so glad to finally share this finished reveal of the #StreetHouse entryway. So many things held up progress on what was meant to be a weekend project - Covid-19, shipping delays, door hinges, and more! Everything came together perfectly for our vision of this space. The entryway feels so much more welcoming and brighter. Now, if this pandemic will end so we can have people over!

Getting Started

Our entryway originally had a wall of double closets with two large wire shelves. They were exactly like the closets in the rest of our home in the bedrooms. When we first moved in we updated the light fixture and door handles, which made a big difference in the space. We got used to the closets and having the storage. It just wasn't the most functional or visually appealing for our needs.

We sat down to think through what we needed to use this space for and how we anticipated those needs might change if our family grows in the future. We debated Austin building some built ins, but we wanted an element of flexibility. We also didn't know if we had time for him to do that with the looming purchase of the #BeeHouse. Because it is our main entryway, we wanted it to look a little more formal than a mud space you might see off of a garage. We also wanted to solve some of our storage and drop space issues. We searched for closet systems and came across the IKEA Pax Wardrobe system. The measurements available for height worked out well and we had the idea to create some faux built ins using crown and baseboard molding and building the bench, drawer, and cubbies in between.


Using the IKEA PAX to Create Faux Built Ins


Demo

The first step was to remove the Rubbermaid shelving from inside the closet so we would have room to work. Then we removed all of the trim on the floor and the door frames. Once we did this, we were able to remove the doors with the frames intact by holding them together with a ratchet strap so they wouldn't fall apart. Next, we took the drywall off of the remaining parts of the closet wall so we could see what we

needed to do with the framing. Since this wasn't a load bearing wall, the top plate of the wall wasn't attached to anything in the center once the studs were removed. We really didn't need the top plate anymore, but it was filling a gap in the drywall, so we attached it to the rafters so it wouldn't move in the center by going in the attic space.

At this point, we were able to build the PAX Wardrobes so we could get them in place on the outer walls. We ended up needing to screw them into the studs to make them level and also keep them from moving around. They didn't fit the closet space perfectly, so we ended up leaving around 3 inches of space behind them. We wanted to avoid trying to patch the ceiling and floors. Once these were in place, we measured the distance between them where the locker would be built. Using some of the 2x4 boards from the wall, Austin built two frames that would eventually be the base for the seat and the frame for the drawer. These were attached to the sides of the wardrobes and to the floor. The front one was set back 3/4" to allow for a face frame to be put on later.


We used Ana White's idea for the bench with a drawer. Austin then built the cubbies that are on the top of the locker using MDF and a scrap piece of plywood for the back side. The width between the wardrobes ended up working out to allow 3-1'x1' cubbies. We used two small pieces of wood on each wardrobe to hold the cubbies level while we attached them to the wardrobes.


Since we had to move the wardrobes forward 3 inches, we built a faux back for the locker using shiplap. Three of the 2x4 boards from the old closet wall were used to create places to nail the shiplap boards that would eventually be the back wall of the locker. Austin cut the bench top out of 3/4" Maple plywood and attached it with finish nails. The shiplap boards were made out of MDF at a width of 5.5 inches and used nickels to create the spacing between them. The key is to be sure the first shiplap board is level at the bottom, then the others will be level as you move upwards. Once all of the shiplap boards were in place, a 1x4 board was used to frame around the edge. Some 1x2 and 1x4 boards were used to create the face frames for the front of the bench and cubbies. Using pocket holes to build, the cubbies were then attached with finish nails. Once all of that was in place, the drawer that is under the bench was built and installed using ball bearing drawer slides. To mirror the doors of the wardrobes, we placed a face frame on the front of the drawer even with the face frame on the front of the bench. One other obstacle was that the wardrobes weren't tall enough for crown moulding to attach to them and fill the gap between them and the ceiling. Austin put filler strips on top of the wardrobes to attach the crown moulding. At this point we replaced the baseboards, shoe moulding, and installed the crown moulding and it was ready for caulking, priming, and painting.


Check out the photos from DEMO day!


Decor & Products

One Splurge Rule!

Austin and I have a rule that when we redo a room, we splurge on one item that is most important to us. I've been in love with this wallpaper since it first came up on my Pinterest page years ago. I knew that I wanted a pattern with some movement to balance all of the straight lines in the cabinet doors and shiplap. I also wanted a pop of color, but not too much color (aka navy). I know I will always love navy and this doesn't confine me too much if my colors in adjoining rooms change. You can tell I'm not much of a risk taker, can't you? My lack of experience with purchasing wallpaper led me to believe that I really wouldn't need that much, so I could splurge on this expensive paper. I'd only need one roll, right?

WRONG! I forgot to account for the wasted paper with doorways, etc. I agonized over spending this much on wallpaper and searched for a wallpaper I could love as much for weeks. It's not often that I splurge on home decor and I knew this paper would be with us for a long time. I knew if I didn't go with the Kamala paper, I'd regret it forever. I found a similar Serena and Lily that wasn't quite as expensive, but when measuring for it and accounting for the difference in the size of the roll, the cost was not worth going with the dupe. I would have just about as much money in it with about just as much leftover paper. I'll be sharing some wallpaper DIY tips and tricks on the blog soon! I learned a lot from my mom who helped to hang this wallpaper.


Rugs, Trim Paint, Hardware, and more!

I loved this high performance sisal rug in a geometric pattern and was so thrilled to find it on sale in the 4 x 6 size! It actually has a rug pad attached as the bottom and it literally does not move. I originally bought a less expensive dupe, but it ended up not working out because our front door would not open over it. I saw so many rugs that I felt would work, but I'm also on the hunt for a great rug for our dining room and wanted a rug that wouldn't compete with anything I chose for the dining room.

We noticed after priming the wood and new trim that the IKEA Bergsbo doors were not a true white and not even the same white as the PAX cabinets. We researched paint matches to see if anyone else had done this before to save some time. I found several paint match recommendations and even tips for painting entire PAX cabinets and doors. We ended up going with Benjamin Moore White Dove in an eggshell finish to match the finish of the doors (We probably could have even used a satin finish). This is the trim color I am using in each room as we repaint and it just so happens to be a pretty perfect match to the PAX cabinets. Benjamin Moore Aura is the only paint I use and it is so worth the extra cost. It goes on and holds up like no other. Not to mention, we love supporting our local Benjamin Moore paint store.


We wanted larger pulls for the doors and drawer. We went with these modern pulls that matched the finish on our current light fixture that we chose not to replace right now. Our light fixture is no longer sold, but this single tier version in a gold finish is awesome. We've loved this light and been impressed with the quality. It does cast light in a funky way due to the crystals, but it is really beautiful in person. We have the coordinating single tier version in our hallway.

When searching for rugs, drawer pulls, etc. I came across this adorable hanging floral arrangement and knew I'd love it hanging on these hooks. I used pillows from our bed to stage the room and am waiting on the baskets I ordered for the cubbies to arrive. My mom is going to help me make a custom cushion for the bench seat.


Other products used:

Overall, we are glad to have a space in our house that truly represents our style and is also extremely functional for our family. One of the things we loved most about using the PAX wardrobes is that we can change the organization system inside as our needs change for this space. We can't wait to have family and friends over and have an inviting space to welcome them into our home. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions! Be on the lookout for planning and organizing PAX cabinets and wallpaper tips on the blog soon.


- Meredith & Austin


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