Covering up Our Incredible Eye Sore - Barn Door Closet!

So we've had this incredible eye sore in our entryway since the very beginning of our house renovation. We can blame me and the epic lack of communication with our 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 our front door. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Horrible eye sore that
covering up our incredible eye sore barn door closet, closet, diy, doors, outdoor living, woodworking projects
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.
covering up our incredible eye sore barn door closet, closet, diy, doors, outdoor living, woodworking projects
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 2x6 on the right side of the door frame to give extra support for our old barn door. I was planning out this closet to always incorporate the beautiful coat rack we were given as a wedding gift as we literally had no where else to put it. So, we had to cut the barn door down and I had to make the door opening only 68 inches tall. Anyone but me and anyone shorter then me will be ducking to get in here from now on but, because I'm our electrician for everything but installing panels, I'll be the only one in here so, no biggie.
covering up our incredible eye sore barn door closet, closet, diy, doors, outdoor living, woodworking projects
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 we had and, low and behold, it was enough to cover our entire barn door closet!
covering up our incredible eye sore barn door closet, closet, diy, doors, outdoor living, woodworking projects
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 our entryway. We just took down the wall between it and the house and added a floor as it all shared the same roof line and, suddenly, we 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:
covering up our incredible eye sore barn door closet, closet, diy, doors, outdoor living, woodworking projects
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 1x4 at our local lumber yard after work and completed all of the trim using our 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 our beautiful coat rack to finally complete our barn door closet!
We are stoked!!! Finally we have a place to hang our coats and leave our shoes after work at the end of the day!! Our dining room is to the left there in the picture so, inevitably, every day we would come home and our coats would be hung on a dining room chair and, pretty soon, it looked like our entire closet was hanging out around our dining room table. Not good. Now, we come home to our barn door closet, have a spot for our shoes, have a place to hang our daily coats and, a place for our guests to hang their coats too! Yay!

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Paula Bois-Brady
    on Oct 3, 2016

    Did you have an electrician come in to secure and protect all the loose wires?

    • GrandmasHouseDIY
      on Oct 3, 2016

      Hi Paula I did all of the electrical in the home besides this panel that was installed by an electrician, so I secured the wires before it was inspected. The majority of the "loose" wires you're seeing there are coax for tv.

  • Shari Coppinger
    on Oct 29, 2016

    Putting the panels in a closet is strictly against electrical codes in many states. I know here in Mass. and NH it is a code violation. Perhaps you could warn people to find if this is the case in their state before they follow your idea? Which looks really great by the way. I was told that in case of emergency anybody should be able to see the location of the panels .

    • Kathy Grassley
      on Apr 14, 2018

      If I had an electrical emergency where I needed to cut the power fast, I'd hate to have to dig through a bunch of coats which is one of the reasons the codes are there. It's a cute idea but I think a faux closet just deep enough to hide the panels would be safer.

  • Mike Williamson
    on Jan 3, 2019

    Nice job hiding the breaker box.

    I love the live edge wood plank with the horseshoes, above the door!

    I'm looking for a piece or wood like that. Can you tell me where I can buy something like that?


Join the conversation

3 of 146 comments
  • Jim1824
    on Jun 26, 2017

    I'm not an electrician, but I'd say you have bigger problems than ugly electric panels!!

    • GrandmasHouseDIY
      on Jun 26, 2017

      Hi Jim, I installed this closet before the last inspection of all of our electrical throughout the house. Minnesota is one of the most stringent states when it comes to the electrical code in the country and we passed fully. Thanks for your concern though!

  • Aiokersonalicea1
    on Jul 4, 2018

    You did a wonderful job.

    If it had been me, there would have been a fight with the electrician. He/She should have known better. All the electricians I have ever talked to would like to have a long talk with them. They left you in a very dangerous situation with ALL those loose wires.

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