The challenge: Piia and Chad Huson were weary of tripping over piles of shoes and picking up jackets in the front entry of their Shakopee rambler. Their three boys play hockey and lacrosse, and the family had only one small closet to store their stuff, so most of it landed on the floor.

Both parents work full time, and Chad coaches hockey; the home’s entry had become a continuous revolving door, requiring equipment bags and coats to be at everyone’s fingertips.

“We didn’t know where to start,” said Piia. “And we were tired of seeing the mess.”


Ikea to the rescue: The Husons heard about the Ikea Home Tour Squad, which travels to U.S. cities to solve homeowners’ design challenges using Ikea products and offering them DIY tips. Last spring, the couple submitted a three-minute video to Ikea describing their organization issue, showing the space and offering a snapshot of the family’s personality. “Two young guys from New York came and interviewed us, and we got picked,” said Piia.

The Huson family’s storage troubles were relatable, said Rocky Brewer, director of the Ikea Home Tour Squad. “Plus their family was so charming in their submission video that we couldn’t pass it up.”


Going shopping: In July, the squad visited Shakopee to show the Husons how to corral clutter and create designated storage areas. The home’s front door and the attached garage door both open to the large entry foyer. So that space had to be multifunctional as a drop zone, mudroom and coat closet for the family, as well as providing a welcoming sight for guests.

The Ikea team shot “before” video of the disorganized, messy entryway and measured the space. Then Piia and the boys joined them on a shopping trip to the Bloomington store to pick out storage and organizational units.

Piia favors bright primary colors, so she chose the yellow, red and orange metal cabinets and decided on black for the boys’ cubbies. After delivery, the family helped with assembly and installation.


How they maximized space and function: A combination of Ikea cabinets and bins were used in the entry makeover.

The Stall tall shoe cabinet with flip-down drawers holds up to 18 pairs. “It’s really sleek and fits most entryways,” said Brewer. Lixhult multi-sized and multicolored metal cabinets are grouped together along a partial wall. One of the units is outfitted with an electronic charging station.

On the opposite wall, Stuva black cabinets provide a cubby for each boy to store backpacks, school supplies and art projects. Stuva storage benches below hold large sports bags and equipment. Chad hung a dry-erase calendar to mark hockey practices on the wall next to the cubbies.

The coat closet is organized with upper and lower plastic bins for out-of-season clothes and wet boots. Hooks by the front door provide a place for hanging coats and bags.


The big reveal: Finally, the Squad videotaped the “after” entryway. “Now we can close the cabinets and hide the mess,” said Chad. “And it helps keep it all in one place.” Piia likes the sleek Scandinavian style.


Practical prize: For starring in the how-to video, the Husons received Ikea storage units, dry-erase calendar, as well as design and installation services. They are required to pay taxes on the $1,087 cost of the merchandise. “It was a lot of fun,” said Piia. “And the boys are happy I’m no longer telling them to pick up their stuff.”


See how they did it: Watch the entry makeover video.


Get organized: Brewer shared entry/mudroom decluttering tips.

• If you don’t use it, lose it. “When we do makeovers and work with families to clear their spaces, they discover they have stuff they never use and don’t want,” he said.

• Identify what you need to store, and measure the space before venturing on a shopping trip. “Think about how the room will be more functional and how to make that happen,” he said.

• Create designated spots for shoes and coats that end up on the floor or in other rooms.

• Add a handy shelf or flat surface nearby to drop keys, billfolds and cellphones for easy accessibility.




To submit before and after photos of a redecorated or remodeled room or house for consideration, send uncompressed jpeg images to Please include your name and phone number.