Renovation Before & After Interior

This Monochrome Entryway Built-In Is Actually a Kitchen Cabinet

Coats, dog bowls, and kibble all have a place now.
pale blue entryway with faux built-in storage

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Rashida Banks didn’t want to spend a second longer than necessary in her dim, cramped entryway. So much so, she had resorted to dropping her shoes and bag anywhere other than the 4-by-4-foot space. “My husband jokes that he can always tell where I am in the house based on where I’ve left my purse,” the Washington, D.C.–based content creator says. Consisting of only a small coat closet, the Bankses’ front foyer lacked any sort of functionality anyway (the couple primarily keep footwear and jackets in their bedroom wardrobe). But earlier this year, Rashida set out to change that.

disorganized closet before renovation
The closet, before. Photography by Rashida Banks
door of faux built-in opening and closing

Turning the heavily trafficked area into somewhere pleasant required not just more storage but a design that blended in with the rest of her thoughtfully curated home. Ahead, Rashida walks us through the project—including how she eked out room for the couple’s two furry friends. 

Box Yourself In

kitchen cabinet inset in closet
The new closet in progress. Photography by Rashida Banks
dog kibble drawer in faux built-in

Who said kitchen cabinets can be only used in kitchens? To make the existing closet appear to be a built-in piece of furniture, Rashida slid a standard 30-inch-wide cupboard into the entryway alcove, an almost seamless fit with the 32-inch doorway (she filled in the gaps with extra molding). But to keep it from seeming out of place—read: not an extension of the actual kitchen—the couple opted for a butcher block shelf instead of tile or stone.

bags and hats hanging on brass hooks

There’s still plenty of room to stow coats up top, and “the space we lost on the closet ends we gained in the center,” she explains. “Now we have storage in the lower half of the closet that we didn’t have before.” Scarves and other grab-and-go gear have a home either in the top two drawers or on the row of wall hooks.

Trick the Eye

close-up of ribbed faux glass closet door

Rashida let us in on a secret: The vintage-looking closet door isn’t glass. “It’s actually corrugated plastic roofing that we cut down to size,” she reveals. Originally meant for greenhouse construction, the material evokes ribbed glass for a fraction of the cost—at Home Depot, a sheet will run you about $20. By picking up the material from her local hardware store, she also avoided any lengthy lead times. A coat of Benjamin Moore’s Heather Gray paint on everything from the walls to the drawers completes the custom look.

Follow Your Routine

disorganized entryway before renovation
The entryway, before. Photography by Rashida Banks
Rashida Banks feeding dog in entryway

Redesigning the foyer was also a chance to halt the hassle of carting bags of dog kibble from the kitchen and back again. Surprisingly, the entrance had ended up being where Rashida fed their two pups, Jax and Chase. “That’s why it’s important to live in a space for a while before you make changes,” she notes.

dog kibble drawer in faux built-in

Now the baseboard drawer hides two dog bowls, and the larger one above holds containers of food and treats. Despite the additions, the Bankses didn’t lose an inch of storage. “Everything went back into the closet that was already there, but now it’s actually a functional place,” says Rashida. “We have a junk drawer now!”