Vibrant Living: How to Design a Functional and Stylish Entry
on Wednesday, July 7, 2021
It’s one of the hardest-working rooms in your house — and most of the time, it’s not even a room unto its own! Your entryway should help you get organized as you’re heading out the door and help you stay organized when you get home. It’s got to stand up to mud, dirt, and wet shoes and paws. It should welcome you and your guests into your home and reflect your tastes, all while providing a location to put down your purse or briefcase and take off your shoes.
How on Earth can one sort-of room do all that?! Let’s take a look at the essential elements for an organized, functional, and attractive entryway.
Slim console table.
If you have room, use a narrow table as a place to put things down when you’re coming or going. It’s also a lovely spot to keep a vase of fresh flowers or a healthy green plant to brighten up your day.
A bench or chair where you can take your shoes on and off is functional and welcoming to guests. You can store shoes (and other things like reusable grocery bags) under a bench in containers, or stand wet or dirty shoes on a shoe mat. Add a throw pillow or two for style and comfort.
Baskets for storage.
The idea is to reduce clutter and make it easy to find what you’re looking for as you’re heading out the door. Containers can go on your console table, on the floor, or in a cupboard if you have one. Place them in cubbies to hide shoes or sports gear. Sort the mail, and put papers that need to be signed and returned to school in one that you keep on the console table. Dedicate one for gloves, one for scarves, and one for hats. You can mix together wooden crates, woven and wire baskets, or fabric bins — just don’t bring in too many disparate elements, which can feel cluttered and disorganized.
Hooks at different heights.
Hooks are so useful and versatile — and if you don’t have a front-hall closet, essential! Stock up and screw some into the side of your console table, on the wall, or on the back of your door to hold keys, coats, backpacks, bike helmets, dog leashes, etc.
Some floating shelves or built-in shelving are another great addition to your entry area. They can hold the aforementioned baskets or be used to feature decorative elements. A high shelf running around the space near the ceiling can store less-used items. And a cabinet or armoire counts as shelving, too!
Sturdy, all-weather rug or runner.
An area rug helps define your entryway as its own space. Choose something washable that can handle muddy shoes, running kids, pets, and a lot of foot traffic. Look for indoor-outdoor mats or wool rugs in dark colors or bold patterns to hide the dirt. Remember, durable doesn’t have to mean boring — use this as an opportunity to start a theme or as a jumping-off point for a color scheme or decorative style. For example, if you purchase a blue rug with a nautical theme, hang a ship’s wheel, some brass décor, and continue the blue scheme in paint and throw pillows to create a cohesive look.
Changing the floor in your entryway to tiles or bricks means it will likely last longer. Plus, your new rug will look great on them. If you are going to tear up the existing floor, consider adding radiant floor heating to help dry up the dampness. Stay away from material like marble and porcelain that can be slippery.
A mirror makes an excellent focal point for your entry. Besides being convenient for checking yourself out before you head out the door, it will make the space look bigger, too.
More than one type of lighting.
There’s probably an overhead light in your entryway, but what about task lighting over your storage or ambient light to set a mood? Or lighting that makes you look good in that mirror? Sconces framing artwork, a lamp on the floor or table, recessed lighting, a pendant light centered in the ceiling: There are so many choices! Just be sure the switches are conveniently located.
If you’re super crunched for space, consider turning the area under the staircase, or even just a corner of the living room, into a sweet little entryway into your home.
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