“The Problem Wall”

January 12, 2011

Jennifer from I Heart Organizing wrote to me today asking if the board and batten loft solution from Monday would work in her home on her ‘Problem Wall’.  Jennifer wrote:

“I would love to do this project right in between our front door and large picture window in our living room/entry.  It almost looks to be a similar situation to the room you worked on . . . I have always struggled with no coat closet in this room.  When I saw what you did, it seemed like a perfect solution!  Just wondering your thoughts.” 

So I got a little creative with her entry and decided with a little Photoshop ‘cut and paste’ she could visualize her improved foyer. 

Here is Jennifer’s ‘Problem Wall’ now:



And what it would look like after installing some simple board & batten.   

jennifer wall after bandb


I hung her pictures a bit higher to accommodate for the ‘new’ wall treatment.   Since Jennifer is a busy mom of three boys, those extra hooks will come in handy.  She could use some extra storage, but there’s no need to make it drab or expensive, so I added this upholstered bench

While shopping online for storage benches, I found a few more stylish versions that work well for similar entryways!


overstocks seating

Manhattan Herringbone ($196); Jenny Santa Fe in blue ($189); Linen Mansfeld ($299); Hastings Brown Tufted Leather ($299)


brighton and home dec

Brighton Bench ($349); Lakewood Bench ($229)


ballard benches

Custom Tufted Bench; Custom upholstered Amelia Bench ($399+); Zoe backless bench ($399)


Be sure to pop on over to Jennifer’s blog I Heart Organizing, it’s full of great tips for simplifying the way you live!  

A fabulous giveaway is coming up next!




39 Responses to ““The Problem Wall””

  1. Jenn says:

    I love her blog! and your blog! Two amazing ladies in one post =) haha can’t go wrong there!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. LindseyR says:

    I agree….2 amazing ladies in 1 post! VERy, very, cool!! Keep up the great work Kate and Jen….!!

  3. Thanks for showing this! It motivates me to do this to my house :)

  4. Judy says:

    Looks great in her space as well. I’m planning to try it in mine. Wish me luck.

  5. Oh how awesome! it works so well I hope she does it so that we can all see!

  6. Lynda says:

    I like how it even lightened up the corner. It looks very welcoming and put together. Great idea!

  7. I love both your blogs! I wish there was somewhere to do this in my house, even though I have a coat closet. Hmmm….:)

  8. kristin says:

    Looks fabulous, if only it where that easy :)
    I’m on my way to her place now :)

  9. I love it! It would look fabulous with this makeover!

  10. The white wooden Lakewood Bench you posted down towards the bottom looks exactly like the one that Ana White just posted on her Knock Off Wood blog. There is a tutorial for building it for much cheaper!



  11. Jen says:

    I am SOLD! :) Can’t wait to get started! Thanks again Kate for helping me visualize the space with your mad photoshopping skills!


  12. Gorgeous colors! You’re so talented and very inspiring:)

  13. Kellie says:

    Would love to know your secrets of the Photoshop trick so I can try this in my house.

  14. Miss Miracle Worker! That’s pretty cool. The wall looks so much better with the board and batten, evn if it’s in Photoshop. Love the addition of the hooks too. Great job!

  15. Courtney says:

    You know what, I think that I could maybe do this to the wall when we come into the garage (as we are missing a coat/backpack closet as well). Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!

  16. That’s totally awesome as a problem-solver! And it’s awesome that you whipped the solution up for Jen.

  17. The board and batten will definitely give the blank wall some depth, but the best part was that you addressed the closet issue with a storage bench, and ones that are affordable. Great job.

  18. Jen says:

    Fabulous! I’ve been looking around my house wondering if I can use this maybe on a blank wall by our staircase. This is the year we paint the main level & I may just need to photoshop this to see if I like it :)

  19. Natasha says:

    I love BOTH your blogs…you are both on my top bloggers…so funny how that works out…the bogging world really is smaller than you think. Amazing job…and so functional for a young family! Big kudos!

  20. leah says:

    So awesome! Looks amazing.

  21. Allison says:

    It looks wonderful, Kate! Nice job. What a fun and functional entry! I like the floral (green and taupe) bench that you chose in the second photo.

  22. Holly Austin says:

    It looks AWESOME Kate! Fabulous job :)

  23. Jennifer says:

    Can you do just one area of board and batten? Or does it need to be taken all around the room?

  24. Irene says:

    That is perfect. It makes the entry way look so much more appealing. (I love the green on her wall).

  25. Kasey says:

    Her blog is great and I think that board and batten wall would look awesome!

  26. Victoria says:

    I really like this on the green wall, but wouldn’t continue it on the beige wall.

  27. You did such a nice job making it visual and bringing colors and storage together.
    Mary Ann

  28. Layla says:

    Great job with Photoshop!
    I think the board & batten and the bench look awesome too!


  29. Cheryl says:

    Awesome idea!! My entryway is super tiny, but this would be perfect to add some much needed storage!!

  30. ashly says:

    It looks amazing. I hope she makes it!

  31. Kendra says:

    How would someone do this in a home with wood trim, instead of the white trim? I would love to have white trim thorughout the house, or the time to paint it all but I don’t. Would white B&B look odd against a light oak trim?

  32. Corinna says:

    That wall looks awesome! I’m convinced and it’s not even MY wall! LOL Great idea for the hooks.

  33. Hi Kate,

    I love your blog and read it regularly. You have great style! As a result I have a surprise for you announced on my blog site at http://theidesignbox.com/2011/01/13/stylish-blogger-award/ You have been awarded A Stylish Blogger Award!



  34. {oc cottage} says:

    Holy cats! That looks awesome!

    m ^..^

  35. christi says:

    I have used Photoshop a lot, for photo retouching, album layout, etc., but I would love for you to share how to create previews of how rooms will look with new tweaks, before taking the plunge! :)

  36. Sheri says:

    I’m very new at this blogging thingy! I’m having loads of fun with it. I didn’t know what I was missing! My husband and I were just talking last night about our “problem wall”. Our problem wall is in our kitchen. It is the back wall of the kitchen and right now it hosts a place for my son’s Thomas the Tank Engine toy box and our telephone. We have a very tiny entryway just off the kitchen and we need some sort of storage/bench, chairs… something. I came across your blog later on last night and showed it to my husband. He said “great, you get the stuff I’ll do it”…
    problem solved. I’m excited to get started on this!

  37. Cristi says:

    I adore the green walls….could you tell me the name of the color and the brand? Thanks….

  38. Katie says:

    The after looks great, she should totally go for it!

  39. Nicole says:

    I like this but personally, having lived in a house with a similar entry, I didn’t like having all that stuff to look at all the time (and hanging it up only partially improves the situation). I think it would be even better to add a small narrow set of shelves (about three feet high), set perpendicular to the wall, nearer the window,which would still leave enough space for a chair or bench. This creates an area that is more clearly defined as ‘the entry’ and provides a place for setting down mail and keys, as well, as hiding more effectively the shoes and bags that need to be left out. I think that to make it look even more integrated, the back side of the shelving could be done in the same board and batten as the walls.

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