Pottery Barn Inspired Shoe Storage

I’ve always wanted a really beautiful entryway.  I have had visions of a Pottery Barn picture perfect entry space since we moved into the house on Harrison.

I have loved this cabinet since I first laid eyes on it.  I can’t remember who makes it, but I’ve seen it on Pinterest a lot.  If it was Pottery Barn, it’s no longer on their website.  I really, really wanted something like this.  Instead, I have something like this…

This is what my entryway looked like last week.  YIKES!  I am pretty embarrassed to show you this, but this is what our guests saw when they first walked in the door.  Our first problem is that we are a family of pilers.  We pile our stuff on any available space rather than actually taking two minutes to put it away.

Our second problem is that we keep all of our shoes in a basket by the front door.  It works out great for finding shoes in the morning, unless your shoes are on the bottom of the basket.  Then it gets a little nuts.

Ana White Shoe Dresser


When Ana White posted the plans for a shoe dresser on her site awhile back, I knew this was a perfect solution for us.  It was narrow, so you couldn’t pile much on top.  And the shoes would be organized and hidden.  Perfect!  A few weeks ago, I finally got up the courage to build this piece.

Ana’s plans are pretty straightforward and easy to follow.  There were a couple of things I did want to illustrate, because I wasn’t quite sure how to do them myself until I got to building.  For the dividers in the shoe drawers, I sketched the rounded edge out on one piece.  I used my jigsaw to cut the curve, then I used that first piece as a template to cut the others.  They all ended up perfectly symmetrical.

Here’s a shot of one of the finished drawers.  They were amazingly easy to put together.

I used my Kreg Jig to join most of the pieces, with the exception of the 1×2′s attached to the back of the drawer.  I just put those on with wood glue and drywall screws.

Once I had both drawers and the frame built, I set the drawers inside to make sure everything lined up.  I can’t stress how important it is to check for square (A LOT) on this project.

I also used my Kreg Jig to attach the back cleat to the frame.  This is the part that will screw into the wall, so make sure you mark on the front of the cleat where your pocket hole screws are.  You don’t want to try to drill through screws when attaching this to the wall.

And because I can never make things easy, I decided to make a few modifications to Ana’s plan.  I really liked the look of that entry cabinet I showed you earlier.  So I added some mitered trim to my drawer fronts.  This is just a cheap ($2 for a 4′ length) molding I picked up at Home Depot.  I made mitered cuts…

…and attached it to the door fronts with glue and my brad gun.

I also decided to add an apron to the bottom of my cabinet.  To do that, I added about 3″ to the length of my side boards.  I used a 1×4 for the apron, but if you were using a different width of board, you’d need to adjust your measurements accordingly.

The last modification I made, was to attach a top to the cabinet.  I took a board that was about 3/4″ wider and 1.5″ longer than my top and routed the edge.  Then I aligned it so that there was a 3/4″ overhang on the sides and front, and I attached the top with wood screws and glue.  To make everything nice and neat looking, I attached cove molding underneath.

Once my cabinet was built and sanded, I gave it a few coats of Behr paint.  I didn’t use a primer because I wanted to distress the cabinet.  I didn’t want white primer showing through.  I used the Behr (Ultra, I think) because it has a primer built in.  I had it tinted to the Martha Stewart Silhouette color, and made sure to give it 3 good coats, sanding lightly between each one.

This was the trickiest part of the whole build.  Once I had a good coat of paint on my cabinet, we put the drawers in, inserted 1/8″ plywood spacers in the gaps and clamped the drawers in place. Then we drilled the sides and inserted 5/8″ oak wooden dowels for “hinges.”

Like this.  Once I had my dowels in, I realized that my drawers didn’t open wide enough, so we had to take out the dowels and sand down the bottom corners of my drawers.

Make sure you drill the holes for your dowels as far down and forward as you can, while still catching the corner of the drawer.  You may still have to sand down the bottoms of the drawers so they will open wide enough, but once the drawers are painted, you can hardly tell.

Once my drawers were all set, I cleaned up the cabinet, did some paint touch-ups  and distressed the piece with a sanding sponge.  Then, because the wood underneath was so light, I used a Minwax stain marker, in Early American, to go over the raw wood.  Then I wiped off the excess stain, allowed it a few hours to dry, and gave the whole thing a coat of finishing wax, like I did on my snack tray.

The last thing I did was to add drawer pulls and magnetic clasps to hold the drawers in place when closed.

I also added some webbing to the backs of the drawers to keep the kids from pulling the drawers out further than they need to.

And here’s the finished piece.  It was so hard to get a good picture of it, but it is really very pretty in person.  I love how it looks in the entry.  It’s too narrow to stack papers and soda cups on.   ;-)

The best part?  The shoes all stay organized…  and hidden!


Linking up to:

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Not JUST a Housewife | Home Stories A2Z | Someday Crafts | The Thrifty Home | Domestically Speaking | House of Hepworths | My RePurposed Life | Chic on a Shoestring | Tatertots and Jello | Miss Mustard Seed | 30 Handmade Days | The Shabby Nest | Fingerprints on the Fridge | Be Different Act Normal | I {Heart} Naptime | DIY Showoff | The 36th Avenue | Beyond the Picket Fence | Seven Thirty-Three

56 Responses to “Pottery Barn Inspired Shoe Storage”

  1. Kathryn says:

    AMAZING project!! Really changes the look of your entry.

  2. Nichols says:

    I’ve seen this in the real life. I can confirm, it is quite awesome. As I have been frequently known as a trustworthy source, you can rest assured of this judgment of awesomeness.

  3. That is absolutely amazing! You did a beautiful job creating this piece. Thank you for sharing. Visiting from Domestically Speaking. Hope you’re having a beautiful day. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  4. Tracy says:

    Oh wow, that’s incredible!! You did a great job, it looks fantastic! I just bought Ana’s book and I’m dying to start building, but it seems like there’s a mountain of know-how I need to cross. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Kathleen says:

    This is amazing! Way to go for building your own version of what you wanted. It really looks beautiful in your entry way.

  6. vikki says:

    Love love love this idea. The wire shelves in my bedroom walk in closet are starting to fall off the walls and I was trying to think of a cool idea to replace them. I may wind up doing this. It is now in my never ending Pinterest board.

  7. GORGEOUS! I am seriously copying you. I’ve been eyeing IKEA’s shoe storage but this is definitely more my style. Putting it on my t0-do list. I’m featuring your shoe storage in the Power of Paint Party Spotlight this weekend. Thanks for linking up.

  8. meg says:

    this is AWESOME!!! so beautiful! you are super talented; i can’t imagine being able to build something like that! and i love the way you decorated the top as well. i’m in the process of decorating our entryway and shoes are our biggest issue! great job!!!!!

  9. Anne says:

    Oh I am so doing this!!! Thank you for the heads up on the plans and for the extra detail you show here. YAY now my 50+ pairs of shoes/boots will be neatly stored away…

    new follower :)

    • The inside measurements are on the shoe drawers are only about 14″ deep by 46″ long, if you build according to Ana’s plans. You might want to consider building a little deeper (taller) drawers to accommodate boots. Just a thought. :-)

      And thanks for following!

  10. irene says:

    I love it! I’m a family of pilers too, so our basket is full as well, I don’t think I could build this though. You did a great job.

  11. Jenni says:

    This is so beautiful! Amazing job! I think you could sell these!!! Thanks for inspiration that we CAN do something like this ourselves.

  12. WOW! Way to go. Love your modifications; it’s really a beautiful piece.

  13. I love this. I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blosgpot.com

  14. Wow, I can not believe you made that! I am in awe! I love the decor too, especially the barn door. :)

    Would love if you came and linked up with us. We’re giving away one free week of ad space for one lucky feature, and our blog gets thousands of hits per day! Hope to see you there!


  15. Stacey-Lee says:

    I love the way this turned out, much better than your inspiration piece and great that it is narrow to stop miscellaneous items gathering on top.

  16. Stacey says:

    This is wicked cool! LOVE it!
    Would love if you could pop by my party hapening now to link it up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  17. Wow love this! Very impressed you made this from scratch!

  18. Teri Larsen says:

    Really cute! Shoe solutions can be tough to find – and sorely needed at my house….especially in the winter! Thanks for sharing…

  19. Ruth says:

    Your cabinet is absolutely gorgeous!! You did an amazing job.

  20. LUCY says:

    Holy cow…it looks AMAZING and what a great tutorial….just awesome…thanks for taking the time to share…xo

  21. Umm, pretty sure I’m in love with this! What a brilliant idea and it is so well executed. Great space saver and it looks great. Nice job!

    • Thanks, Taryn. It’s worked out really well for us so far… Now I just need to get my youngest to put her shoes INSIDE the cabinet rather than on the floor. :-)

      I LOVE your blog! Thanks for stopping by!

  22. Sherry says:

    Perfect Solution! What a beautiful piece of functional furniture!!! Great knockoff too. If I didn’t already have a shoe soluction in my entry I would copy this in a heartbeat. Your blog looks beautiful and I’m gonna go poke around a bit. Thanks!

  23. Stephanie says:

    Now you need to build one for me!!! This so describes my front door area…we are currently using a Target~ bookshelf to hold all the shoes and an accompanying rattan wicker basket (huge) for all the rest of the shoes! It’s just a mess! Thanks for the ideas!

  24. kristin says:

    WOW this is amazing! We are pile people too, drives me crazy. OK now you just need to make one for us :) Love it!

  25. This turned out beautifully…and looks wonderful in your space, too! So functional…you did a great job on this!

  26. Lou Ann Bremers says:

    That thing is amazing. I’m sending it to my married daughter to look at cause at 29 she has so many shoes there isn’t hope for proper storage. I gave her a black piece for Christmas a couple of years ago and it has cubbies but it isn’t near big enough for all her stash of shoes! A couple of these would be a great addition to her new home when she and her hubby get one. I wonder how high heels go in?
    Also, I look at Ana White’s work and dream of starting something. I hve a couple of things on my wish list and I’m added this piece to those. BUT, I’m such a newbie…WHAT IS A CLEAT? I guess that once you start building you learn these things but these terms are what keeps me from starting! Thanks for the great info!

  27. MJ says:

    So impressed! I love this piece! I was actually wondering where you found your hardware – I am looking for something similar for a dresser that I just re-painted. :)

    • The hardware came from Hobby Lobby, BUT it was such a pain to work with. I made a template from one of the handles and drilled all my holes. Turns out, each handle was unique. The holes were not in the same place on every one, so my holes were off. Lesson learned… now when I work with hardware from HL, I drill the holes for each handle individually. I love the finished look of them, though, and Hobby Lobby’s prices are great!

  28. Stephanie Call says:

    So so so so amazing! I LOVE it! What was the total cost for this project?

    • I’m not really entirely sure on an exact cost, Stephanie. I didn’t keep really detailed records, but by my estimations, it was about $75 once you included paint and handles. Definitely under $100.

  29. Stephanie Call says:

    P.s. I’m pinning this :)

  30. Ashley says:

    Love the shoe holder! It’ s amazing! But I also love the wreath holder! Did you make that? If so, have you posted about it? It’s exactly what I’m looking for!

  31. Trish says:

    Stinkin’ genius!!!!! I love this idea.

  32. Johanna says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you made that! One day — when I learn what words like “Kreg Jig” and “mitered cuts” mean and actually get up the courage to not only go to Home Depot and pick up the wood + tools but to actually attempt any woodworking — I will get to this. My husband and I are “pilers” too, so this rack would be perfect for us. I like yours more than the one that inspired you!

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