Has anyone converted a front hall closet into something open like this? We're debating doing something similar with ours, but I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons. I like the look of it from the Pinterest photos, but I know my day-to-day reality won't be an empty bench with fluffed pillows, so I'm curious how this plays out in the real world with real kids.

More info:

My biggest goal in thinking about making the switch is getting a drop-zone area for my purse and kids school bags, and having an accessible spot for kids to put away or put on shoes/hats/mittens/coats etc. so that they can be more responsible for that sort of thing eventually. It would also be a nice staging spot for their stuff as I think ahead to getting them both out the door for school down the road.

In our front hall closet currently, we keep a bunch of extra coats and other random stuff that just kind of ended up there. (We already have day-to-day coats on another coat rack by our stairs, but the kids can't reach it so it doesn't help with them getting coats independently.) We could move the lesser-worn coats from the front hall closet to an extra closet upstairs, and get them as-needed. As I think through the other "stuff" that's in the closet (vacuum, light bulbs, outdoor flags, basket for shoes, winter boots, etc.), I think it's all stuff that could be accommodated either elsewhere in the house or in some sort of shelf or prettier basket in an open closet setup. So I'm not that worried about losing storage space for the stuff that's there if we were to switch things up.

What I am worried about is that it will end up looking like a big mess of kid stuff in our entry way. There's some comfort in being able to pull the closet doors closed as-is. However, we're pretty tidy in general, and I (optimistically) think if I configure it to provide decent basket/shelf storage still, it could stay neat and the benefits of the bench and hooks that kids can reach would be worth it. This might be overly optimistic though?

Anyway, if you've done something similar - or considered it, and decided against it, I'd love to hear how your take on it!