Start with three ready-to-assemble, unfinished cabinet units. Two identical units with glass upper doors and solid lower doors provide hideaway storage and display space for the living room, while their backs serve as hanging space in the entry for peg racks made using cabinet knobs. The center bookcase unit offers storage in the entry behind solid upper doors and in baskets on the lower shelf. The back of this unit provides display space for artwork in the living room. It also would make a great spot for a flat-panel television.
To create the room divider, replace flimsy cabinet backs with sturdy sheets of plywood. Offset the units to create a wider and more stable base, and screw the units together side to side. The base units measure a stable 24 inches deep.
Paint the divider, varying the colors to break up the size of the piece; for example, use teal for the center cabinet and dusty brown for the end units on the entry side. Use a focal-point color for the interior of the upper cabinets on the living room side to highlight a collection.
Pack the cabinets with small baskets that make smart storage units. The entry cabinet makes a perfect spot for a magnetic memo board, baskets for mail and pencils, shelf space for extra bags, and containers for keys and cell phones. Cabinets on the living room side offer pretty display space above and baskets for DVDs and CDs below.
Tip: Have an electrician run electricity to the center cabinet so you can install art lights on the living room side and plug in a phone charger in the entry cabinet.