Before and After: A $500 Project Creates a Family Entryway with a Place for Everything

published Oct 8, 2022
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Before: cluttered garage space
Credit: Lisa Kanegae

Garages don’t get a lot of glory, but they sure do get a lot of stuff. Between athletic equipment, gardening goods, overflow storage, and all the other odds and ends, garages tend to fill up fast. When Lisa Kanegae ( and her family moved into their home last year, they knew the garage would need to be more functional than it was at the start.

“This is a before photo of our garage when we moved into our home in September,” Lisa says, explaining that even in the early days as the family was getting settled, the garage just couldn’t keep up.

Add to that that it’s the main entry for the house, and you have a recipe for trouble. “Since we do not wear shoes in the house, and there are stairs right outside the door, we would try to wear our shoes as we were coming down the stairs from the inside of the house and it was like a death trap and I would cringe every day,” Lisa says. “We needed to create a landing area, storage for household items, and an area for our shoes.”

Credit: Lisa Kanegae

Even after the garage was organized, the family still needed a solution. So after just a couple months in the home, Lisa got to work creating a landing pad that would help the family stay organized (and get shoes out of the way of the door).

Credit: Lisa Kanegae

Lisa took a few weekends to create her new entryway, and only $500 — impressive, considering how well it turned out! She started with peel-and-stick tiles on the floor; curving them up onto the wall helps provide an easy-to-clean buffer in case of mud splatters. “I love that we created a “landing” area and now we can safely walk in and out of our house with our bare feet since we have clean floor tile instead of the concrete floor in the garage,” Lisa says.

A complementary-but-not-quite-matching set of tiles on the stairs features a smaller pattern to correspond with the smaller footprint.

Credit: Lisa Kanegae

As for the new shiplap, bench, and cabinets, Lisa built them all. “Since I knew how expensive custom cabinets would be I decided to learn how to do everything myself,” Lisa says. The first-time DIYer consulted YouTube to figure out how to build exactly what her family needed. “I am elated with how much money we saved and how I can look at this and be proud of myself that I built this with my own two hands,” she says. “It’s never too late in life to learn something new!

“I absolutely [love] the functionality this entire space has created for us,” Lisa says. “We can now sit down on a bench and take our shoes on and off — goodbye deathtrap!” Plus, the cabinets provide tons of storage that stays hidden behind pretty doors.

“I’ve always wanted a mud room and never had the space for one, but now I realize anyone can have a mud room and a beautiful garage,” Lisa says.

And for other first-timers, Lisa has some advice: “Anyone can DIY — you just need to put in the time and effort and navigate all the bumps along the way,” she says. “I make a TON of mistakes in DIY and am much slower than the average human. I said I wanted to cry multiple times while completing this project, but in the end I am so happy with the result and all the blood, sweat, and tears were worth it!”

This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: Before and After: A $500 Project Creates an Entryway with a Place for Everything