To create a focal point and eliminate congestion in our narrow entrance hall, I came up with this simple solution. It provides hidden shoe,hat, glove, and scarf storage as well as providing a place to hang guest's coats. With it's upholstered seat, it is also a comfy place to sit when putting on shoes and boots. I would, not, however, recommend it as the main storage area for winter coats. Luckily, I have another closet for that.
Step 1: Isolate the Problem
I had a narrow hallway with a main entrance door and a closet with bifold doors in close proximity to each other. With bifolds open, the entrance door hit them and used up too much space, especially when guests visited. First step was remove the bifolds and all hardware. The existing mouldings were retained, as were the interior upper shelves.
Step 2: Go Shopping
I wanted a "Beachy" theme so I shopped the sales and found wicker baskets that roughly fit the spaces I had in mind. You could just as easily build drawers if you wanted a more formal look. Baskets are easier though!
Step 3: Upper Shelf
Luckily, my closet had two upper shelves. I ripped 1.5" off the bottom one and tacked the left over 1.5" strip to the top one. This gave some detail and made a perfect fit for 3 medium size baskets. I cut some divider cornices from 3/4" pine and tacked them in place with a nail gun.
Step 4: Lower Shelf
I used 3/4" MDF melamine desk top. It came in 5'x 30" pieces. It was ripped to fit the 4 bottom baskets and I used the left over pieces to provide a stop for the baskets at the rear and sides. I ripped some pine to 5" and nailed it to the existing interior moulding. This allowed the shelf to sit 5" above the floor providing hidden shoe storage underneath.
Step 5: Seat Support
Since I used the same 3/4 MDF melamine for the seat, I needed to support it. For this, I ripped 3/4" pine to 2", doubled it up and attached it to the studs with construction screws. I made a sturdy double support in the middle as this is where the most weight will be. I also ripped a 2" piece of the melamine to provide a facer at the door. The 2" was to provide enough clearance for the 10" baskets and the 5" shoe storage as well as the thickness of both pieces of melamine. This gave a perfect standard 18" seat height.
Step 6: Test Fit/ Install Beadboard
After test fitting the upper baskets, I lined the interior between the top shelves and seat support with pre primed MDF bead board. This continued the Beach look. A moulding was needed to conceal the seam at the top.
Step 7: Test Fit/ Cut the Seat
After test fitting the lower baskets, I cut the remaining melamine to fit. Knowing I was going to upholster it, I left a 1/4" gap at the rear and sides to compensate for the thickness of the material. I glued 3" foam to the seat, covered it with a layer of batting and upholstery fabric and stapled it in place. I've done this before, but if you haven't, you may want to source this step out.
Step 8: Fill, Prime and Paint
Take your time with this step. I used one coat of high hide primer, and two coats of paint to match the rest of the hall. Don't cheap out on the paint. This area will take a beating so make sure you use an appropriate product. After it dries, screw in the coat hangers and put it all together.