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A Bright Organized Entryway — The Reveal


It’s here! It’s here! The organized entryway makeover reveal has come at last!

So I showed you yesterday how I went completely overboard with the amount of work I put into this. I mean who knew a 30 square foot space could take five weeks to complete??

Last night I came home through the refinished entryway for the first time and it felt SO. GOOD. That first impression of your home really is everything. It’s clean, it’s organized, it’s friggin’ pretty, and above all it’s not ARMY GREEN.

Enough talk, let’s get to the pictures.

Entryway Makeover Reveal @idlehandsawake Entryway Makeover Reveal @idlehandsawake Entryway Makeover Reveal @idlehandsawake

I have to stick one “before” photo in here so you can get the full effect.

Entryway Makeover Before and After @idlehandsawake Pro blogger tip: always take your “before” photos with a crappy camera in crappy lighting.

Where is all our stuff, you ask? Why, right here, in this beautiful giant IKEA BESTA cabinet that goes up to the ceiling. UP TO THE CEILING.

Entryway makeover reveal @idlehandsawake

It’s so big that I couldn’t fit the whole thing in one photo.

Entryway Makeover Reveal @idlehandsawake

That’s almost NINE FEET of storage, baby. We only have one closet in our little one-bedroom apartment so I had to stuff as much storage into this nook as possible. And you know how I feel about open storage. Instead I went for something sleek, roomy, and totally closeable.

Here’s the Pinterest version of how the inside looks:

How to use IKEA BESTA cabinets to completely transform your entryway into a practical, organized, and inviting space.

And the real-life version with all the tools, toilet paper, cat litter, and soccer cleats:

How to use IKEA BESTA cabinets to completely transform your entryway into a practical, organized, and inviting space.

I decided to go with the IKEA BESTA storage system because it’s completely modular (but less expensive than its PAX counterpart). I chose tall frames for the base of the unit and didn’t order shelves for the right side, so that we could use it to stash our vacuum and broom. There’s even a planning tool so you can design your own combination and it’s really fun to use while Netflixing.

Entryway Makeover Reveal @idlehandsawake

And if you’d rather just use this combination, I’m including the shopping list at the bottom of this post so keep reading!

Ok, that was a lot of organization gushing. Sorry, I’m OBSESSED with making our little apartment feel more roomy. 30 square feet down!

Moving on, you already saw how to hack the GRUNDTAL and turn it into a copper mirror. Doesn’t it look pretty in here???

Entryway Makeover Reveal @idlehandsawake See how to transform an entryway from dark and dingy to bright, clean, and organized. Entryway Makeover Reveal @idlehandsawake

The shelf is a DIY too! I’ll post the tutorial in the next couple of weeks (it’s really, really easy).

See how to transform an entryway from dark and dingy to bright, clean, and organized.

Can we just talk about the ancient linoleum floor for a minute? I originally had no thought of doing anything with it at all. When the whole room was crowded and weirdly army green, it really didn’t look that bad other than needing a very thorough scrub.

But as everything around the floor became more and more bright white, it started to look truly hideous:

Entryway Makeover - Before @idlehandsawake

So…I painted it. And painted. And painted. And stenciled. And eventually I got this:

Would you believe this stenciled concrete floor is actually painted linoleum?

And it was reeeeaallllly hard to cover it with the cabinet or walk on it or put our shoes on it because it’s so beautiful and I just want to stare at it all day long.

One last little detail: we’ve used a draft curtain in the entryway for years because the outer door is quite crooked and has lots of gaps around it (old houses will always find a way to get you). Hanging a curtain between the kitchen and the entryway helps A LOT.

Entryway Makeover with IKEA @idlehandsawake

For the makeover I picked this SANELA curtain with a velvety texture. When I saw it in person I thought it would be too thin, but there is a drastic temperature difference when you go in here from the kitchen so it’s working for sure!

See how to transform an entryway from dark and dingy to bright, clean, and organized. See how to transform an entryway from dark and dingy to bright, clean, and organized. Entryway Makeover Reveal @idlehandsawake

For those of you who are interested, here are all the sources, and as promised my IKEA shopping list!

Paint Colors:

Door — Benjamin Moor Onyx, Satin

Walls — Behr Ultra Premium Plus Ultra Pure White, Eggshell

Trim — Behr Ultra Premium Plus Ultra Pure White, Semi-gloss

Floor — Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor Enamel in Stamped Concrete and White (plus a DIY glaze mixture which I will post in a few weeks)

Floor stencil — Marbella tile stencil


Cabinet — IKEA BESTA custom combination (or see the shopping list for all the individual parts)

Storage boxes — No longer available (similar)

Wire baskets — gray and copper

Shelf — DIY *tutorial coming soon!


Matisse portrait — printable download

Mirror — GRUNDTAL with DIY copper leaf finish

Plants — faux mini succulent, faux airplant (similar), hart’s tongue fern

Curtain — SANELA

Curtain tie-back — KNÖLFLY

Keychain — DIY


Ok pardon me while I go sleep until June. I’m sticking to little projects from now on. (For like, the next five minutes until I get the next crazy idea).

Have you ever taken on a renovation? How did it go??

This renovation would not have been possible without my amazing adventurous landlords, my very patient husband, my neighbor’s endless tool-lending, and my good friend’s savvy IKEA furniture-assembly skills. Thank you all! xoxo

Author: Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake

Maker, baker, cat momma, total nerd, perpetually covered in glitter/sawdust/paint. Blogging DIY and design for modern creatives.

36 comments on “A Bright Organized Entryway — The Reveal”

  1. What a gorgeous transformation!! I just adore everything – the floor – the storage, the entry hook/shelf table, the mirror – I love it all! I’m also totally with you on the no closets thing – we have exactly one proper closet in our house so we’ve had to get super creative with where to put things haha

  2. OMG, I cannot believe that floor is paint and stencil… You rock, lady!! I’m so inspired to tackle the ugly lino in my kitchen now, no excuses! Amazing work. X

  3. I just pinned almost every picture!! Those floors are so good. I totally want to straight up copy that idea in our next home. The DIY wooden shelf is perfection and so well staged. 😉 And 9′ of IKEA storage is a dream! Excellent work, lady!!

  4. Holy COW what a transformation Marlene!!! Those wall to ceiling cabinets are TO DIE FOR. And you already know I LOVE the mirror. Let me know how those floors wear. They look amazing! I’m tempted to do something similar in our bathroom.

  5. I’m currently working on our terrible entryway and you’re so right: why does such a small space take so long?! This is absolutely beautiful and I love everything you’ve done! Worth the 5 weeks of work for sure!

  6. Wow! What a transformation. I almost can’t believe it’s the same room as the ‘before’ picture. It looks so light and bright now. And that storage is fantastic – a girl can never have enough storage I say! And the floor, and the mirror and everything. Just stunning.

  7. Wow, the transformation is amazing!! Love the bright white against that black door and I’m totally jealous of all your storage. Any chance you’re free to come over and makeover my entryway? 😉

  8. Wow, it’s amazing!! Love how you added so much storage and brightened up the space. I still can’t get over that stenciled floor. So gorgeous!

  9. This is so awesome, Marlene! Just such a great Before/After. So much love for your stenciled floor. Since I saw it on your Instagram, I’m pondering where I can stencil some. So cool!

    I love your entry way! Congratulations on finishing your big project. I know how much work this must have been!

  10. This is absolutely amazing! A lot of hard work for sure, but the result worth it! I hope you smile each time you come home by just seeing your beautiful entryway!

  11. Hey Girl
    here is your grazy Aunt from Germany.
    Go Marlenchen Go !
    I am so proud of you !! What a great kreativ work.
    I am so happy that you find the way back to yourself.
    In case you can make it in Fall to Germany i’d love to hear your creative Ideas and Thoughts to my Appartement.
    Love you from the other sie of the Ozean

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