Covering up an incredible eye sore in my entry way with a barn door closet!

Jan 28 2016
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Building a barn door closet. So I’ve had this incredible eye sore in my entryway since the very beginning of my house renovation. We can blame me and the epic lack of communication with my electrician remains a VERY sore spot for me because it apparently never occurred to anyone that we needed to discuss the location of the new panels SO they ended up right here, right by my front door. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.

(8/1/2019 OMG I can’t believe its been three years since this post came out! Since then my entryway has gone through a ton of transformations, almost as many as I have myself! I’m a single gal now and if you would like see my brand new, totally remodeled entryway Click Here!)

Horrible eye sore that I’ve been planning and scheming to get covered up this entire time. Outside the house it looks just as horrible, a nice electrical conduit welcome greeting for anyone coming in.

But, unless I win the lottery some time and want to hire someone to undertake the immense (and extraordinarily costly) task of moving the panels, all I can do is make the best of this ugly situation.

Of course, my plan began with the idea that I wanted to make a barn door closet, as I’ve got several wonderful old barn doors laying around 🙂 So, this is where I started.

NOTE: My final walk-through Electrical inspection was AFTER this was built and I passed without incident. On a related note MN’s electrical code is considered one of the harshest in the country and this wasn’t an issue. But, before building anything in your own home make sure and check your local state electrical codes. Thanks!

I went to my stash of left over 2x4s and 2x6s and managed to build the entire frame out of scrap lumber from the house renovation. A barn door closet has to first start with a good frame! Really, I just built a little room.

How to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rackHow to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rackHow to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rack

It is not the exact right way to frame in a closet, but it is sturdy and level (screwed to the ceiling joists and the floor) so I’m ok with it not being perfect in wall building standards – it certainly isn’t holding up the house or anything.

I used a 2×6 on the right side of the door frame to give extra support for my old barn door. Like so many things in the house this old door was actually the old wood shed door and, amazingly, this is the old wood shed that is now my entryway.

I just took down the wall between it and the house and added a floor as it all shared the same roof line and, suddenly, I had 200 square feet of more living space.

It used to be my Grandma would step out the front door, turn a step to her right and go right through this old barn door to access the wood shed, so, this old barn door is literally only about two feet from where it used to be 🙂 Here it is:

I got to work then covering the entire frame with leftover bead board. If you’ve every worked with ply bead before (plywood that looks like bead board) you know you only have two sides with a tongue and groove to work with so, to not have any seems, you need to keep your wits about you.

If I had just bought full sheets of new ply bead this would have been a much quicker task, however, I saw no reason not to utilize the scraps I had and, low and behold, it was enough to cover my entire barn door closet!

How to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rackHow to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rackHow to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rack

Some one, who shall remain nameless (me), forgot to take pictures after I covered the entire cabinet in trim! Amazingly, I had enough scrap leftover from trimming the house and out in the barn to do all but one piece of all of that trim! So, for a cost of all of $2 I grabbed a 6 foot 1×4 at my local lumber yard after work and completed all of the trim using my air compressor and brad nailer.

Then I got to painting! If you’re going to believe me when I say that painting bead board is easy then I have a bridge to sell you 😉 I did two coats and then hung up the barn door and my beautiful coat rack to finally complete our barn door closet!

How to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rackHow to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rackHow to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rack

Finally I have a place to hang my coats and leave my shoes after work at the end of the day!!

My dining room is to the left there in the picture so, inevitably, every day I would come home and my coat would be hung on a dining room chair and, pretty soon, it looked like my entire closet was hanging out around my dining room table.

Not good. Now, I come home to my barn door closet, have a spot for my shoes, have a place to hang my daily coat and, a place for my guests to hang their coats too! Yay!

How to DIY Build a rustic closet with an old barn door and coat rackHow to build a closet using bed board and an old barn door in your entry way to cover up an electrical panel, wood working, do it yourself, diy, tutorial


  1. January 28, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Your electrician was an idiot to put that right by the door!! Your solution was inspired and perfect!

    • January 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m so relieved to get it done, every day I walked by that it bothered me!

  2. Grace in VA
    May 30, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    I have read this several times, and still I shake my head. The electrician was a fool. You did a fabulous job of hiding the nincompoop’s screw-up.

  3. June 3, 2016 at 4:54 am

    Great job! I love the way you found a solution out of what you had. Visiting from Vintage Charm.

  4. July 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    you have mad skills! Love this solution.

  5. July 21, 2016 at 4:35 am

    I love anything with a rustic style to it! This turned out so great! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites. I’m featuring you this week.

  6. July 21, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    WOW!! I just can’t get enough of your amazing DIY’s..thinking I’m going to have to pop over for coffee one of these days and see them all in person! I’ve chosen your AMAZING barn door closet as one of this week’s features –

    • July 22, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Dawn thank you so much and you’re welcome any time for either coffee or wine!

  7. August 10, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    What a clever solution! Your a feature this week at Welcome Home Wednesdays! Congrats!!

  8. August 16, 2016 at 10:15 am

    What a great cover! I love this option! Thank you for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone cottage Adventures

  9. August 29, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    WOW…love it…all the hard work paid off…looks awesome!!!

  10. August 30, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Great camouflage and bonus storage, but, seriously, what was that electrician thinking? So glad you thought “outside the box”!!!!!!

  11. August 30, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    This looks great!! I love the barnwood door. Thanks for sharing on Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  12. September 8, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    So creative and cute! A perfect way to hide those panels. (visiting from Idea Box)

  13. September 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Love this! Found you on Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

  14. September 10, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Great solution to an unusual problem. I’ve never seen electrical panels anywhere but in a garage or a back closet. The mix of the old barn door and your coat rack is really nice. Thanks for sharing at Your Inspired Design.

  15. September 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Your closet looks fantastic, and I especially like your live-edge antler coat rack above the door. Did you make that yourself, too?

    • September 15, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Jen, isn’t that coat rack amazing?! No I wish I had made it though, I might have to try making one, it was a wedding gift from some of my cousins! Thanks!

  16. September 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    What a fantastic way to deal with an eyesore! I am so envious that you have several barn doors “laying around”. I should be so lucky! You really did a fantastic job. I could stand to take some lessons from you!

    • September 15, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      I do have a couple more and I’m trying to figure out what to do with them because they are just so cool 🙂 Thanks for coming by!!

  17. September 15, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    What a fantastic solution! Definitely no longer an eyesore! 🙂 Love, love the barn door!

  18. September 16, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I just ♥ stuff like this! You did an EXCELLENT job with it! BTW your floors are GORGEOUS! #smallvictoriessundaylinkup

    • September 16, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Kristine, thank you o much!!!

  19. Jann Olson
    September 18, 2016 at 3:19 am

    What a fabulous cover up! I still can’t believe the electrician did that. Just absolutely crazy! Lack of communication or not. Do you think he would like that in his home? You sound a lot like me and don’t want to hurt peoples feelings. I would have just accepted it as well, but really it is just unreal that he would think it was satisfactory. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • September 18, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      That is definitely me! When it happened it was like, “Oh well I’ll just have to make it work!” I figured it was all somehow my fault, I didn’t communicate well enough etc. I feel like I need to work on that! If it had been my husband he probably would have thrown such a fuss that the electrician would have come back and moved it lol. Who knows I guess, thank you so much for coming by! 🙂

  20. September 20, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I am all for putting those things in a closet too! That’s where mine is too! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  21. September 21, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Wow! Tarahlynn! I can’t believe that you would even have to say something about location…unbelievable. But it turned out to be a win win for you, because that looks terrific! Thanks for sharing and joining us at the Dishing It & Digging It Link Party. See you next week!

  22. September 21, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Wow…this is SO great! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  23. September 22, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Tarah, Yikes! My hubby is an electrician and he would never have done that! In fact, he would be livid if any of his guys make such a stupid mistake. I love how you prevailed through that creative mind of yours though. I especially love the addition of the horse shoes … My dad was a blacksmith and I was an equestrian when I was younger so horse décor has always been a part of my life lol xo

    • September 22, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you so much Carla, once I finally got the closet done and it all covered up I was able to “get over it” a little bit! I still have my Arabian gelding that my parents purchased for me when I was 11 🙂 He’s 27 now but he’s still such a doll and I don’t ride him anymore, but loving on him every day is so good for my heart. Thanks again!

  24. September 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    I can’t believe the electrician put the panel right by the front door! And I’m so impressed that you were able to make that closet almost entirely with scraps. It looks gorgeous. Thanks so much for joining us at the #happynowlinkup this week!

    • September 23, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      Thank you so much, with that darned panel out of sight now I’ve been able to move on from the angry lol!

  25. September 24, 2016 at 4:13 am

    Great idea and who couldn’t use more storage!! Thanks for bringing your post to Throwback Thursday This week!


  26. September 27, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    What a beautiful way to cover it! 🙂

  27. October 29, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I cannot believe your electrician did that to you! Great fix!

  28. October 31, 2016 at 4:28 am

    How amazing are you!! That is an awesome and now practical solution to your problem.

    Bloggers Pit Stop

    • October 31, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Thank you SO much Kathleen!!

  29. Char
    February 21, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Hi. Nice job but wondering what the building code is in your state? Panels are now exposed for emergency crews to locate to shut down in case of an electrical fire.

    • February 22, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Char, our final walk-through Electrical inspection was AFTER this was built and we passed without incident. On a related note MN’s electrical code is considered one of the harshest in the country and this wasn’t an issue. Thanks!

    February 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I agree completely with everyone else. That electrician is an idiot!!!!! Why did he not discuss the location of the box before he put it in. Most put them in the basement or in the back of a closet if no basement. I think maybe I would call and make him foot some of the bill to hide it.

  31. Dawn
    February 22, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Not sure about the building codes where you live, but where I live you cannot have electrical panels inside a closet like this. It’s something worth checking into the codes where you live.

    • February 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Dawn, our final walk-through Electrical inspection was AFTER this was built and we passed without incident. On a related note MN’s electrical code is considered one of the harshest in the country and this wasn’t an issue. Thanks!

  32. March 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    That turned out so nice! Love the bead board and barn door.

    • March 1, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you Stephanie! Did you get my email?

  33. March 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    This turned out so great! You are so handy! I love how an eye sore can turn into something useful and sweet.

  34. April 6, 2017 at 11:51 am

    That is a wonderful fix! I still can’t believe no one asked where you wanted those panels! That barn door is awesome and it is great that you can reuse parts of the house 🙂

  35. April 8, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    I had a somewhat similar situation in our basement. The electrical box is where it should be downstairs, bu when we finished the basement I did not want those ugly things showing. Unfortunately I have a very hard time building things (and I keep practicing), so it took me several weekends of begging to get a closet made to cover it.

    Congratulations on your carpentry skills, be proud lady.

    • April 10, 2017 at 1:15 am

      Thanks Leanna I was relieved it turned out, I’m not much of a wood worker so I always just kinda go for it and hope for the best!

  36. April 11, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    That looks incredible now TarahLynn and I love the hooks over the door too – great job !!

  37. June 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Oh My Goodness! I love it! I kind of wish I had something ugly to cover up and a spare barn door 😉

  38. July 5, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    This is so cute. And a great way to cover an eye sore. Love that you got to use the old barn door of your grandma.

  39. July 7, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    That turned out awesome! I wish I was as handy as you with construction projects. What a huge difference that made!

  40. July 11, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Great way to disguise those panels. Thank you for sharing at Ravenwould.

  41. July 17, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I love how you have transformed something ugly into a beautiful, useful space, Tarah! Thank you so much for sharing, and for being a part of Hearth and Soul!

    • July 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Thank you for coming by April, hope you have a good week!

  42. Gentle Joy Homemaker
    August 9, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Way to think WAY outside the box! It looks great… good idea. 🙂

  43. December 4, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    That’s really clever!

  44. December 5, 2017 at 11:41 am

    You did an amazing job on this and it looks really great, and very authentic #dreamteam

  45. December 6, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I can’t believe you had all that by the door. What you’ve done looks great and shows with time and effort what you can achieve 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  46. December 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    What a transformation! well done.

  47. December 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Really great job – looks fab now #dreamteam

  48. December 7, 2017 at 11:42 am

    you did a wonderful job there, and besides, the closet is always useful to store things. Thank you for joining The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned!

  49. December 11, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Ooh, this looks amazing, well done! It looks like a fab project. Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofBLOG x

  50. December 13, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Thank you for sharing on the Whisk It Wednesday link party at Carrie’s Home Cooking. I hope to see you there again this week! Carrie @ Carrie’s Home Cooking

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