Cozy Cottage Entry for $177
Board-and-batten wainscot and carefully placed hardware give a fresh new look—and purpose—to a formerly nondescript space
After: Building upward made the best use of this tight space while also providing a place for the family's belongings. A shallow ledge acts as a rotating gallery for artwork
Sometimes when you're squeezed for space, there's nowhere to build but up. Just ask Sada and Reagan Lewis. The entryway of their 1950s ranch, in San Antonio, didn't boast much square footage—or character, for that matter. The couple dreamed of making it a functional foyer with space to store their gear, since they already knew that their lone, overstuffed hall closet wasn't cutting it. Sada's "aha" moment came after she discovered a fellow blogger's solution to the same problem: a custom board-and-batten wainscot that provides a landing zone for coats and bags without taking up a lot of space.
Before: The bare-bones entry had little square footage for mudroom storage.
Wainscot Building Details
Within the week, the couple had sketched out plans for a new-and-improved entry, with hooks for their essentials and a ledge to display artwork. Sada had lumber cut to size at the home center, and Reagan screwed pine 1x3s and 1x6s right over the drywall, then made the display shelf from a 1x3 on top of upside-down base-cap molding. Sada married the pieces with white paint and dressed the ledge with photos and decorative items they had on hand. A new light fixture was the final touch, adding a subtle pop of color. Now Sada loves her entry, adding, "The extra organization is just a bonus!"
The Project Tally
• Used pine 13s and 16s to create board-and-batten-style paneling and topped it with a display shelf $60
• Filled screw holes with wood filler; caulked the assembly and painted it with latex left over from a previous project $10
• Hung hooks at different heights to accommodate lots of items $17
• Replaced the old builder's-basic light fixture with a new punched-metal pendant $70
• Topped the display ledge with photos and accessories the couple had on hand, then finished the space with an entry rug $20