So we were trying to figure out what to do with the hallway of our new house. We needed storage because the three hooks on the wall were insufficient to hold our coats, especially since somehow coat after jacket after coat after handbag  would pile on until the poor hook screamed for its life.  Not sure how this happened since I usually have only 1-2 coats or jackets in rotation in Chicago’s ever changing weather…I guess the House Elf is up to mischief again.

The previous owner had a nice entryway bench with hooks but it was custom and he took it with him.  We looked around for something we could buy off the shelf but the trick is the length of the wall is 70 inches and then you hit the arch.  Most standard entryway items were either too small to go with one or two big to go with two…it would stick out just a little and that would cause  the Interior Design Police to knock on our door.

I contacted a carpenter I had heard good things about through Everyblock.  Here’s what he had to say:

Hi Icarus,

If I build them at 4 x 6 by 12″ deep, in oak, and you stain them, it would be only $1400 plus installation. Installation could be as little as $300 depending on what we do with the base molding. If you want me to do the stain and varnish, add $500. If we make it larger, it would have to be made in two pieces and put together there which drives up the price. If you stain it, I would recommend removing it and re-installing it. Just a few screws, so you could do it yourself.

Let me know,

Carpenter Dude

So we were looking at $2000 when all was said and done.  That’s a lot of money to spend on something that we cannot return if it doesn’t work out.  We decided to look into other options.  I had hoped we could find something already built online or at an antique store but nothing seemed quite right.  So we decided to see if we could hack something ourselves.


IKEA hacks are all the rage now and what we did was quite simple.  We took an EXPEDIT Shelf unit and simple didn’t add the middle shelves.  At first I was worried that something so modern looking wouldn’t work in our old Foursquare style home.  Alas, it actually worked out quite well.  The sleek dark wood have an elegant, formal look that compliments the missionary style Oak wood of the stairway and surrounding trim.  At least I think that’s what people versed in Interior Design Vocabulary might say about it.


EXPEDIT Shelving Unit       4 X 59.99 = 239.96

Lekman Box                            4 X 12.99=51.96

KNIPSA Basket                       4 X 14.99=59.96

National Nickel Under Shelf

Double Coat Hook Pack of 2   2 X $4.89 = 9.78
total cost ~ $362 plus tax



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Life Hacks, Weekend DIY

IKEA Hack: Entryway Storage using Expedit Shelving Unit