Style + Storage: A Bare Wall Transformed

January 10, 2011

Ever wondered what to do with those bare walls in your home?  That unused square footage along empty hallways or entryways ?  Do you add storage, or do you use that space as display for your art and photographs?  Well why not have both!

This wall space presented that very design dilemma:  how to take this busy family’s unused square footage in their upstairs loft and make it work for their lifestyle.  They wanted to display family photographs, but like most families, also needed extra storage. 

I tackled their dilemma in three simple steps:  first, by adding architectural interest that complemented the style of their home with the addition of a board and batten wall treatment.  Next, I introduced hooks and a storage bench below for added utility.  Finally, I allowed for space above the wall treatment for a mini gallery of family photographs.  Take a peek at the transformation!


wall before



cg loft bench after


The first step was the addition of the board and batten wall treatment.  My ‘How To’ to follow tomorrow! 

loft left side jackets


Next, I added some inexpensive hooks found at Lowes, originally brass, but I painted them with espresso colored spray paint to complement the bench beneath.  Perfect for hanging sweaters, jackets, backpacks or handbags!

hooks on board


I found this perfect size storage bench on sale at The Company Store ~ it has a drawer for each of the three girls whose ages range from 1 to 7.  To personalize it, I upholstered it in a girlish floral stapled over some two inch foam trimmed to the size of the bench. The punchy pattern can be switched out later for a more sophisticated fabric as the girls grow older. 

I also sewed some accent pillows to coordinate, and also to add pops of color to the basic white and tan backdrop.  

toy storage bench


Recognize that sweet plush owl? 

penny and joy owls

Find it here


I made my semiannual trip to IKEA for frames for this wall gallery.

wall frames and hooks


This family has a one year old, so I find it impossible not to frame that sweet little girl’s feet!   

baby feet


This entire makeover took about five hours including the installation and painting of the board and batten, plus the addition of the hooks, the bench and a wall gallery.  You can apply these very same concepts to any mud room or foyer.   

cg loft after


Oh yes you can have both style and storage!

All it takes is a weekend’s worth of time. 

My basic board and batten tutorial tomorrow!  


cg kate signature



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