Around the House: Hallway Organization Station

Way too long ago, I posted this inspiration (Pinspiration) picture for our entry hall.

I had been wanting a way to keep our counters clean from all the junk-mail and coupons, and to keep track of everyone’s schedules, especially now that Brett is back at work for the school year (already done with the first quarter! Holy smokes, where does the time go?)

Well, it took me awhile, but I finally finished it! Well, finished for now anyway. That’s not to say there won’t be a few more tweaks, but here it is!

I’m loving it already. It is so nice to actually have a function to this area instead of just a pass through. Like I said, there may be a few tweaks yet to come, as I’d still like to soften it with some nature inspired element (like the oranges in the inspiration photo) and possibly add a message station for even more functionality. Maybe on the opposite wall? Maybe a mirror message board for pretty-ality?? (Yeah I just made that word up but I think it will catch on. It’s pretty and functional- get it?)

For reference, here is a picture of what the hallway used to look like way back when.

And one of what it has looked like since we moved in. Ok, kind of what it looked like. We actually had a square mirror here, but I forgot to take a picture before I replaced it with the calendar. So just  use your imagination and pretend that the calendar is a mirror… Not bad, but definitely not functional or inspiring.

The biggest challenge I faced by far in this little project, was finding the hanging file system. I thought it would be easy to find exactly what I was looking for, but I was very wrong. I looked for months at a few options like this one  from pottery barn, but the fact that the pottery barn version is over $50 (and that’s just for 2 bins) ruled them out pretty quickly.

So I started looking into DIY options, like this one, made from cardboard and fabric. It looks great, but while do-able, it seemed like a lot of work, and I would have to buy fabric too, since I didn’t have any on hand. Plus I wasn’t sure I wanted a fabric-wrapped look. I thought I could come up with an easier solution, and I’m happy to say I did. All it took was a few plastic file bins and one can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint. Here’s how I did it:

I found these inexpensive but sturdy plastic bins at target for $3 a piece. I liked that they were lightweight and came with mounting hardware. I also liked that they could be stacked to look like one solid piece, which I prefer over several smaller bins. I think it looks a little more expensive/fancy.

I liked the bins, but not the cheap clear plastic look. So I also grabbed a can of Rustoleum metallic spray paint in oil rubbed bronze. To get the look I wanted, I jut sanded the shine off each bin. Hopefully you can see the difference in the sanded one on the left here:

And then sprayed a few thin coats on each:

Once they were dry, I mounted them to the wall using the hardware they came with. I should note that even though they are made to connect to each other, I mounted each separately to get a little taller final look, with more space in between each bin. I also like that they are a little more secure and sturdy this way, since each is screwed into the wall independently of the others, as opposed to just hanging on the one above it. If you wanted to more closely replicate the look of the PB version, you could always mount these to a piece of plywood or another backer that was sprayed to match. Hmmm… maybe I’ll add that eventually too.

After I hung them, I just added some labels from Michael’s that I found in the scrapbook section for $2.50. They are made for scrapbooking, so were super simple to apply. Just peel and stick. Easy peasy, but I think the little details like that really finish it off and give it a higher-end look.

Besides the bins, the other items were pretty easy to find/make. The calendar came from Walmart for around $10. It is magnetic and has a cork strip along the bottom for notes, etc.

The frames were given to us by Brett’s grandmother (as part of this haul), and just requires a quick paint job, some matte board and a few photos. The key holder came from Hobby Lobby, and I painted that too to incorporate the white of the frames.

We’ll replace these pictures eventually, as they are just low quality print-outs of our family photos, but I wanted to get an idea of how they would look (square pictures can be tricky!) and I love them.

As for the large S, my handy hub was kind enough to cut that out for me from an old piece of MDF I found in the garage. I just drew out the shape I wanted and he went to town.

Side note, please wear shoes and eye-protection when using power tools. The hub is obviously not practicing very good safety skills here.

Once it was all cut out, I just sprayed it down with a few thin coats of the same ORB spray paint I used on the bins and added a small picture-hanging bracket to the back. Ok, actually, first I sprayed it with a nickel colored spray paint, because I wanted it to look like these Anthropologie zinc letters, but after hanging it on the wall, I quickly decided that the silver nickel color was way too close to our gray walls and went for ORB instead. Or as I like to tell the hub, I exercised my right as a woman to change my mind. :D

After all that, the total cost for this project was about $35. That’s $12 for the bins, $10 for the calendar, $10 for two cans of spray paint, and $3 for the bin labels. The frames and letter S were free!

So what do you think?? Not too shabby, right? Especially when you consider the price for the just the Pottery Barn bins and calendar would have been close to $200. I’ll take it! :)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!



  • Gina (LadyGoats)

    Gorgeous! Love, love, love the “after”! I made a mail sorter out of a picture frame and some plywood but I don’t think it would hold as much as yours. My Pinterest Challenge was a living room Reno! Come check it out here.

  • stephanieharrand

    I love this! You’ve done such a great job remodeling your home :) And you’re so crafty! I’m pretty crafty myself but can never think of any good ideas like this! 

    • Dawn Sailors

      Aw, thank you! Are you on Pinterest? So many great crafts there. I think I get too many ideas… :)


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