a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.

Pinterest Meets Real Life

A couple of years ago, I designed a solution to our front entrance clutter. 

Our tiny hall closet is home to my husband’s things, along with some of our footwear and out of season coats.  But there’s no room at all for the kids’ things.  Our front door is the only place to store the boots, shoes, coats, hats, helmets, snowpants, mitts and scarves that our 3+ kids use on a regular basis.

So I got to work scouring Pinterest for ideas and inspiration.

What I came up with reused two shelving units and two sets of hooks that we already had.  First I put up some beadboard wallpaper (awesome stuff!).  Then I mounted the shelving units to the wall and placed a plank across the top.  I mounted the hooks between them, and swiped one of our kitchen benches to provide seating.  I finished it all with a whitewash and then went over it with a dry brushing in a latte colour.  Ikea baskets and nametags completed the look.

This is what we ended up with:

Cubbies 2

A tidy, organized area for the kids to hang their coats, line up their shoes or boots, and to store their hats and mitts.  There’s even room to store their Awana books and Bibles.


The plank along the top of the shelving units became a focal point to display my favourite family portrait.

I love it.  I think it looks great.  That is, it looks great when I move all of the clutter to take pictures like these ones.

Having a organized entry way is great … until your kids start using it.  Then it starts to look a little like this:

Cubbies b&wUgh.

This is the point when my great big Pinterest-inspired ideas meet real life.  And real life usually wins.

As much as it frustrates me, I also know that if real life wasn’t happening in my home, it wouldn’t be a happy one. 

That’s why I’d pick real life over Pinterest any day.

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I was just telling my hubby last night that I want to re-do some areas of the house after we do our spring cleaning. I will definitely be heading to Pinterest for some inspiration.

  2. Coupon Gal (Andi)

    LOVE it – can you come do my house? 😀
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  3. Chrisitne

    Hi there where did you get the wallpaper? And secondly where do your kids go to Awana at.?

    • Megan Elford

      Hi Christine! I think I got the wallpaper at Canadian Tire, if I remember correctly. And my kids go to Awana at a church about 15 minutes away from us (not our own church). It’s been wonderful for them!

  4. Sherri S

    It looks great! We have a very small and narrow area at our entrance that this would work well for. Thanks for the idea!
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  5. Carmen Perez (listen2mama)

    I think it looks fantastic! Don’t you just love to get ideas from Pinterest, I do all the time!

  6. Ashley

    The struggle is so real. Organization is so good until real life happens. And it’s okay, everyone knows IG and P aren’t real life in action, anyway.
    Go check out Ashley’s latest post! From Where I StandMy Profile

  7. Crystal

    It looks great!
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  8. Brandi @ penguinsinpink

    Love it! Personally I like the real life one too. Real life is messy and makes a house mess. A messy house makes a home!
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  9. bri

    I love DIY projects.

  10. Christina

    I think it looks great! I am always on Pinterest searching for something, normally involving organization. I so can relate to kids cluttering everything up!

  11. Jenny

    Love it! I love to see a great Pinterest success, especially when the word “swiped” is included…do with what we have.

  12. Laura Prater

    I love this! Pinterest is one of my love languages. lol
    Go check out Laura Prater’s latest post! Modest Monday: Changes & GraceMy Profile

  13. Elizabeth O.

    Looks so warm, cozy not a eye sore. It gets the job of organizing done

  14. Vicky @ randomlittlefaves.com

    Ummm….wow!! This is AWESOME! It looks like a custom (i.e. expensive) built in unit. I love that you repurposed things you already had and I didn’t even know there was beadboard wallpaper! I’m going to look into that :). What a fun project and what a fantastic job!! Totally pinning this ;)…
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  15. Liz Mays

    I’m with you – real life trumps magazine beauty anytime. But that set-up is incredible!!!!! I totally love it.
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  16. Dhemz Apdian - Dias

    I love the whole setting…very nice!

  17. Ann Bacciaglia

    I think it looks great even after the kids have used it. I prefer a home that looks like it is lived in.

  18. Rosey

    I love that little area for the kids to organize their stuff for school. I have the perfect spot for that too, right by our front door.

  19. sojourner

    You’re good! I’m still working on a gallery wall (5 months later….) that I found on Pinterest. One day I’ll finish and move on to a new task.

  20. Maggie

    Wow, amazing job! That looks so nice! You should be proud of it!
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  21. Lucero De La Tierra

    Very useful and well executed idea. If we didn’t have a fireplace by the front door I’d totally want to do something like this.
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  22. Yona Williams

    I absolutely love the look of those baskets and the nametags on them. Overall, this is such a functional and nice-to-look-at arrangement.
    Go check out Yona Williams’s latest post! My New Favorite Sweet Treat is Albanese 12 Flavor Sugar Free Gummi BearsMy Profile

  23. Brittany at Equipping Godly Women

    Hey, I’d say yours looks every bit as good. You’re just comparing a well-taken photo to a black and white one–that’s not really a fair comparison 🙂
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  24. Jillian Fisher

    I think it still looks great. I would love to do something like this someday.

  25. Angela @ Setting My Intention

    Love it! It looks great!
    Go check out Angela @ Setting My Intention’s latest post! Our Unfancy Family Command CenterMy Profile

  26. Erica @ Coming Up Roses

    This. Looks. FABULOUS! Way to make use of space so creatively!


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