A new light & coat rack for the rear entryway

This rear entryway was my big project this last weekend.  When we moved into our house, the kitchen was tiny and had no cupboard space.  So we put a cabinet I had fixed up to use as a linen closet in the kitchen to use as a pantry. The landlord had our kitchen remodeled shortly after we moved in, but even with the extra cupboard space we decided that we wanted to keep the pantry.  With 5 adults living in the house, we figured it would be helpful to have some extra storage space for canned & dry goods. There wasn’t a good place for it in the kitchen, but in the rear entryway it would fit in the “coat closet” which was just a nook with a hanger bar and a high shelf.

This left us with a couple issues.  There was no light in the rear entry way, and now no place to hang coats.  Since I build both of those, I wanted to make a really rad industrial looking light and a rad coat rack made from bike parts and scrap metal pieces.  Well I ended up using a light fixture that was given to me in a tub of scrap metal.  It just seemed like the perfect light for that space. Even the colors matched.


I’ve made a few switch boxes. When I want to put up a light fixture that you’d normally wire into the wall, but I can’t wire into the wall (because I’m a renter), I add a power cord with a switch box that can be mounted to the wall. If you don’t mind some exposed cord or a switch box on (instead of in) the wall, you can put a light fixture just about anywhere like this.


In the rear entryway there is only one outlet that I use for the battery charger for my drill.  Since I would be using that outlet for my light and I still wanted to plug in my charger, I added an outlet to the switch box. The only real issue with this was that the box I picked up at the thrift store to use for this purpose was quite brittle. It looked pretty sturdy, but the wood split really easily. The entire top broke apart when I tried to drill a hole for the outlet, so I had to make some alterations to the original plan. It didn’t go together as easily as I expected, but I got it figured out. I just ran a sturdy lamp cord from there to where the light would be, holding it to the wall and ceiling with wire clips. Then I attached and hung the light fixture. Voila! We now had light for our pantry and I still had a place to plug in my charger.


I really wanted to make some fancy coat racks, but it was just too easy to grab the hooks I’d salvaged from somewhere, screw them to the boards I’d salvaged from somewhere else and screw them to the wall.  It kind of fits with the saying, “The cobbler’s kids have no shoes.”  I always have all these ideas to make these fantastic things for our house, but when it comes time to actually build something for the house, I often end up making something pretty basic and utilitarian while I sell the coolest stuff I make.


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