When we first set foot into what would eventually be our downtown flat on Queen Street, I knew that, should we decide to make this place home, changes would need to be made. The yellowed and peeling paint, the garishly gold leaf shaped hardware on the kitchen cupboards, the western wheel style light fixture that absolutely did not fit with the character of the house… it was bad. Still, we saw the potential and were willing to put in a little elbow grease to make the place work for us. But the first thing that needed to be remedied was the entryway.
I still remember walking up the worn brick steps, waiting eagerly for the property manager to fit the correct key into the lock and open the door to our future. Instead of catching a glimpse of the gorgeous space that surely awaited us, however, we were greeted with the view of a door to a coat closet. Immediately to the left was another door that led into the apartment. This was it! Except that when we danced and shimmied our way around each other in the comically small space to get through the second door, there was yet another awkward little square hall space with an additional three doors leading off of it, one in each direction. It felt like one of those old game shows where you have to chose the right door to win the prize. We soon discovered that the door to the left opened onto the street facing and light flooded living room, the door straight ahead concealed a small room that we would eventually turn into the girls’ play area, and the door to the right lead into the dining room and rest of the flat. Have I lost you yet?
Thankfully, the rooms that we found beyond the slew of doors were charming enough to make us want to live there in spite of its’ minor flaws, but we knew right away that all of those doors would be coming down.
Once they were removed, we were left with a much more open and inviting space, and I was left with the task of creating a functional and attractive entryway for our family. Even though we were short on square footage, I still managed to design a space that we were happy to come home to each and every day.
Entryways, being the place you leave and enter on a daily basis, certainly need to be functional and work hard for you in order to make your daily life run as seamlessly as possible. But they should also be welcoming, not only for guests, but for you as well. Read on for my tips to creating the perfect entryway for your home!
- Use hooks to hang the bags, back packs, totes, hats, and umbrellas that you use every day. Get those things off of the floor to keep your home feeling fresh and uncluttered. If there are hooks hanging right on the wall when you walk in the door, it is much more likely that these things will stay off the floor and be at the ready to easily grab the next time you need them. Be sure to only hang up the things that are used every day though- I would recommend one bag and/or coat per family member. An overflowing jumble of items will feel messy and chaotic. Instead, store extra items out of sight in a closet or armoire.
- Designate a drop off area for keys, sunglasses, change, mail, etc. A hall table or credenza works nicely for this, but since our space was so tight, I opted for a narrow ledge just inside the door instead. Use pretty bowls and dishes to corral and house these smaller items.
- Keep a basket nearby for shoes. Once Lucy started crawling, we instilled a no shoes in the house rule. Our floors have stayed so much cleaner as a result, and it’s nice always knowing where the girls’ shoes are rather than having to hectically rummage through the house when we are rushing out the door.
- Have a spot to sit. Whether you have a chair, bench or ottoman, it’s always nice to have a place to comfortably sit when you are putting on or removing your shoes.
- Use flowers and other decor to make the space pretty and interesting. This is the first thing your guests see when they walk in the door and it will leave a lasting impression. Even more importantly, it is the last place you see when you leave in the morning and the first place you see when you enter in the evening. Your entryway should leave you feeling calm and prepared to start your day and relieved to arrive back home at the end of it. Fresh flowers, even a sprig cut from the yard and placed in a bud vase, will do the trick. A mirror or some artwork on the walls will also help to pretty your space. Displaying items that are both functional and attractive, like your collection of hats or a worn leather bag, are always a great way to warm up the space as well.
Regardless of the space you have, putting in the time to create a pretty and functional entrance to your home will absolutely pay off, so get to work making your entryway work for you!