Before & After: We have a (Finished!) Coat Closet!

October 6, 2015

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

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When we shared our laundry room before and afters, so many people wondered, well…what’s on the other side of the room? Oh you mean on the other side of this??


(See all the before and afters of the laundry room here) We conveniently left those pictures out, because, well, it looked like this:


Avert your poor eyes! But no longer! We had to move our laundry room before we started the kitchen, because a big part of the kitchen plans was adding a walk-in pantry. The pantry that I mentioned last week we were going to finish this weekend, but we decided to knock out the coat closet area instead. We just needed a shorter, faster, nearly mindless project I guess.

I want to rewind a little further in time, because although the above photo is what the other side of the new laundry room looked like earlier this summer, it originally looked like this when we moved in two years ago:


Behind me in this photo is the 4th bathroom that we tore out and converted to the laundry room. To the right leads to the garage (now the black door you see in the after photos) and that closet on the right might look like a coat closet, but it was actually just full of shelves like a linen closet would be. For the past two years, this space has been evolving. Below, you can see how over the past couple months everything finally took shape.


The recessed wall of the fridge became the perfect spot for Charly’s raised feeding bowls (check out the DIY here) and a mirror and the extra space behind it became the coat closet we’ve been pining for for two years.


Through the garage is where we normally enter the house so a spot for keys and a place to hang coats has been on our wish list for some time. Saturday, we tackled everything from adding baseboards, doorknob, painting the walls , and making the interior of the closet actually function.


With such a warm, but white, room we thought the closet would be such a fun and unexpected place to add some color. I had some paint left over from when we painted our bedroom the first timeValspar’s Flannel Gray from Ace, and it is the perfect moody blue.


I painted the shelf (and the little support boards we used to hang the shelf) all the same color since it is a small space and chopping it up with too many different finishes would look unsettled. We hung a simple oil rubbed bronze bar we picked up at Lowe’s and filled it with wooden hangers (also from Lowe’s) for warmth and to tie into the countertop on the laundry side of things.


We stashed three canvas bins (Lowe’s again) up top to hold our hats, scarves/gloves and bags respectively. We’re ready for you, cold weather! (not really)


The mirror and key holder are both from Target. A coat closet seems like such a simple thing, but this has made us feel so happy! We have a closet! We have a space to hang our keys. And Charly has a permanent place to chow down (we promise we won’t move it again, pup!). We always strive for our home to be as functional and practical as it is beautiful and this is another major step in that direction.


I’ll end with this photo of how the laundry room/garage entry correlates with the kitchen. I’m going to do better at trying to share more of these kinds of angles, because although it should be obvious to me, sometimes I forget that you all aren’t here and don’t necessarily understand how everything flows. I’m also have a video tour on deck for this fall, so look forward to that, too! This space is officially a wrap!

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What do you think?

  1. Chrystal says:

    I’m planning to do the exact same thing to my coat closet and your post helped me visualize the after. Thank you! I wasn’t sure how it would look to paint the shelf and the support boards the same dark color but it looks great – your pics helped me decide that’s what I’ll do as well! (And to further point out we’re thinking alike, I have that same mirror hanging next to my coat closet!) :)

  2. Mariana says:

    This is beautiful and super functional as is all of your work! One question, why did you opt for a coat closer versus like a mudroomwall with tall cabinets/lockers and bench to sit? Just curious. It really looks amazing. Love all of your work!

    • Julia says:

      Mostly space constraints, really. We have a wall by the front door with hooks and a chair, but this space was the perfect size for a good ol’ coat closet.

  3. LaRae says:

    I’m not sure I’ve seen this question asked or talked about, but sorry if it has been….I am just dying over your gorgeous rugs! Where do you get them from??

  4. Gavin says:

    This is a great post! I would say this is a win for “After”. Thanks for the inspiration…


  5. Joe says:

    I love the way you decorate your house. It looks so modern and classy. So talented. You have gave me some inspiration to DIY my new house

  6. emily says:

    gorgeous! maybe i missed it, but did you tell where you got that doggy dish holder? We just got a puppy and i love it….you probably made it..but if you bought i’d love to know the source!

  7. LOVE IT!

    P.S. When I clicked to leave a comment, I kept getting a popup box saying “please use landscape”. weird.

  8. Jen says:

    Random question as a fellow tall girl. How do you find the front loaders in terms of ease of use from a height perspective? Are they okay without the pedestals? Or do you feel that you’re hunching over?

  9. Rischel says:

    Can I please get the paint color that you used for your closet. Thanks so much.

  10. Dakwerken says:

    Wonderful transformation! Great execution!

  11. Chelsea says:

    Love the dog food station! I’m going to have to steal that when we get around to doing our mudroom! The whole space looks amazing.

  12. Evelina says:

    I love that you painted the inside of the closet. It is gorgeous! Can’t wait for the video!

  13. Catherine says:

    Is the wood top over the w+d mounted on something (walls on cleats) or sitting on top of the w+d? We have the same layout and I’ve always wanted to add a top but was told we’d need a center support.

    Love the updates!

  14. Ingrid says:

    I LOVE this little addition – such a great use of space! I would LOVE to see an updated floor plan of the whole kitchen/pantry/mudroom/laundry room if you ever do one – but of course I know you have a million things on the go!

  15. Judi says:

    Lovely…and I’m selfishly so glad you bought that mirror, because I’ve been staring at it for ages and haven’t committed because of some negative reviews. It looks stunning in your space and I have a feeling it could look pretty cool in ours, too…thanks for the constant inspiration!

  16. Jen says:

    Beautiful coat closet.. as the mom of a 4 year old ,I am wondering, where do you store your kids jackets, boots and winter gear?

    • Julia says:

      Greta’s coat is hanging in here (Faye has yet to get a winter coat for this year, yet), and her snow pants are actually hanging in the utility closet downstairs. I’m not exaggerating when I say there are about 17 hooks in there and we can only guess that’s where the previous owners hung their snow gear out to dry. There’s a drain and it’s pretty toasty and roomy in there so it seems like a good place for us. As for boots, we all keep our shoes in our closets. We do have a basket of recently worn/the day’s shoes by the front door that we try to empty every so often.

  17. Victoria Steimke says:

    Can I bug you to ask where you found your black door knobs? I have been on a hunt for black ones to replace the glorious gold ones throughout our home :). Your space is beautiful!

  18. Alison G says:

    Wow seeing your vision rather than reading it is amazing. You two do a great job. And Charlie is a lucky one.

  19. Kelli says:

    Looks great! Where do you put everyone’s shoes? Maybe we have too many shoes for our family but with four distinct seasons where we live finding a place to our shoes is always a struggle.

    • Julia says:

      We honestly all keep our shoes in our rooms. We do take off shoes when we come inside (for the most part, we aren’t terribly strict about it) and toss them in a basket and at the end of the day, we try to bring them back to our rooms.

  20. This is such a great space to have right off the garage. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make our garage entrance more functional. You basically walk right into the kitchen from the garage at my house.

  21. Colleen says:

    It’s always nice when something so simple can be all a room needs to feel complete. The laundry/coat closet/kitchen are all wonderful! You’ve probably said answered this in a previous post or source list somewhere, but what door knobs did you all decide on? I am looking for something very similar and recommendations on this type of hardware can be really helpful!

  22. Kara says:

    I absolutely love everything you have done with this house (I adored the kitchen in your last house, too). You have amazing taste and I always look forward to seeing what you do next. Thanks for sharing so much of your lives with us!

  23. Marie says:

    Where do you keep your dog food?

    • Julia says:

      If you look in the first photo, of the laundry room side of things, the cabinet under the sink is actually a large drawer full of Charly’s dog food. It’s its sole purpose. Haha

  24. Perfect! Love that moody splash of blue too. Looks great :)

  25. Mara says:

    Love the transformation!

    I’m a bit OCD and notice all the small details, so please take this as constructive criticism.. will you fill in the old hinge pockets so it’s flush?

    • Julia says:

      Are you talking about where the sliding barn door is? If so, I think we eventually will. We have recently talked about putting in another pocket door like we added for the pantry there instead of the sliding barn door. We’re still teetering on that decision and we’ll address the doorway when we decide for sure.

  26. Lilly says:

    I love it, so simple but so functional. I’m so jelly right now. We have a coat closet but it is not by our main entrance so we don’t use it and i would really love to. Instead I had to hang some hooks by our main entrance and I am not looking forward to winter because I have a feeling it’s going to be a cluttered mess.

  27. Jackie says:

    I love this space! I think it’s a good example of how sometimes keeping things clean & simple can have a really great impact. I own a fixer upper and have been painting a lot of rooms white and it’s amazing what an impact it can have in a space when styled with the right accessories and warm wood tones.

    One question: how do you & Chris find the motivation to work, take care of your kids & dog, cook amazing meals, renovate your home and keep up with friends, family, etc? I ask because I am pregnant with my second child and currently only have about half of my house done. I feel like most days it’s difficult just to get the dishes done! I want to finish our home so we can actually be comfortable & enjoy living in it, but it seems like I’m always 2 steps behind when it comes to getting things done!

    Xo, Jackie

    • Julia says:

      That’s such a tricky question, Jackie and one that even we have struggled with. Previously, a lot of our motivation came from keeping up the blog. We were always working on a project to make sure we had content. It’s no way to live and earlier this year we let go of that and a regular blog schedule in favor of only posting when we actually have projects to share. We don’t stress about it anymore and now the motivation really comes from within. When we want to do it. We also really enjoy entertaining and have really supportive friends and family that are not only eager to see what we’re doing next, but usually ask what they can help with. Ultimately, we are looking forward to a finished home, too. But we are trying to enjoy the process and love seeing our home transform little by little. It keeps things exciting, for sure.

  28. Izaskun says:

    Good Job, I love it!! Now I just want to see the pantry and your bedroom… by de way, are you still working on it? or is it already finished? I am curious :)

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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