How to Turn a Closet Into a Mudroom for Less Than $300

By Mitchell Parker

Walking into their split-level 1958 Seattle home always created a bottleneck for the NyQuist family. Kristen, Steven and their three kids — Elliot (age 8), Clio (6) and Shepherd (4) — would often get stuck on a 5-foot by 3-foot landing, where they would crowd around peeling off their backpacks and coats before shuffling farther into the home.

Before Photos

So Kristen turned her attention to a coat closet (seen here) at the top of the stairs. She plowed into Houzz in search of inspiration and came up with a solution to turn the closet into a recessed mudroom of sorts.

BEFORE: The closet was unappealing with the doors on. When Kristen removed them, she knew she had to turn the space into something visually pleasing.

AFTER: She removed the doors and added a cushioned bench, several hooks, some fresh paint and eclectic touches to completely change the experience of entering the home. “Now stuff isn’t hanging around on the landing anymore — including all of us,” she says.

She began by measuring the closet and hunting for a bench on Craigslist. She found one and topped it with a cushion from Pier 1 Imports.

Each family member then got his or her own blackboard hook from Anthropologie. To keep clutter down, Kristen implemented a strict rule that only two items can be hung on each hook at any given time.

Ikea baskets under the bench provide storage for shoes and other items. She considered leaving the existing shelf in place but thought it made the space feel too short when seen from the entryway. A piece of art from Ikea helped make it appear loftier.

To hang the hooks, Kristen had to add a new piece of solid wood to the existing border for more support.

While the home’s architecture leans toward midcentury modern, Kristen pushes for a more eclectic style with saturated colors, lots of textures and a bit of shine. To add boldness, she painted the interior of the closet yellow and the hook trim blue.

To save money, she used paint left over from a previous project. (She had color samples of Sherwin-Williams’ Banana Cream and Blue Nile matched at The Home Depot in Behr brand paint.) She then splurged on a metallic gold (Parlor Gold from Ralph Lauren) for the trim, an idea she got from this photo on Houzz.

Here’s the breakdown of the project cost:

Bench: $ 45, from Craigslist
Cushion: $ 80, from Pier 1 Imports
Hooks: $ 70, from Anthropologie
Blue and yellow paint: Left over from a previous project
Metallic gold paint: $ 30
Print: $ 40, from Ikea
Baskets: $ 7 each, from Ikea
Backpacks: Already owned, from Hanna Andersson

Total: About $ 286

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