The entryway in our apartment can hardly be called an entryway. It’s a 4’x3’ pint-sized speck of space that really has been useless…until now! Despite its small footprint, the functionality of this space really needed to pack a punch. An entryway in a home is probably one of the hardest working spaces a home can have. It’s the first space we encounter when we walk through the door and the place we unload our junk – think hats, jackets, bags, keys – just to name a few.
The problem with our entryway or lack thereof, is the tight spacing. The swing path of the front door is essentially all we have to work with. That’s it folks. We tried a few different options (as seen below) and even mocked some up in the past but none ever seemed to fit the bill when it came to functionality.
This shelf situation lasted the longest but probably only out of laziness or from being stumped as to how to solve the problem. Then one day I was just so fed up with it and took everything off the wall. As with most projects – starting with a blank slate is really the first step. It pushes the reset button on the space and allows my brain to reset too in terms of design. Without the distraction of “stuff” I hate staring back at me, I can start brainstorming on a solution that I’ll love in the end.
I patched all the holes and gave the wall a fresh coat of paint. Then I made a list of the issues.
Clutter was the #1 issue and biggest driving force behind the entryway re-do. What I learned from the last time around that I tackled this space is that we’re not a family that can handle “open shelving”. Some are, some aren’t. We are definitely in the AREN’T category. Unless I constantly policed or tidied up the shelf, it was a constant catch all for “stuff”…receipts, business cards, candy and/or candy wrappers, change, pens, pencils…etc. It was a nightmare.
The 2nd biggest issue was ease of convenience. Over time I’ve found that unless it’s easy, kids and ahem…grown men, won’t use it. It was amazing to me how many times I found jackets strewn all over the house – on the couch, backs of chairs, on the floor (!!!!), when our coat closet was literally an arm’s reach away! Apparently small kids and grown men have trouble opening doors and reaching for a hanger to hang up their coats.
With all my issues written down, I set about to solve them once and for all and give our tiny entryway a whole lot of functionality too. What I ended up with is hooks and baskets. No more open shelves! I determined that clutter will always be but I can handle the clutter so long as I don’t have to see it J. Below is the end result – ain't she pretty?
I installed a set of 3 hooks that people of all ages can use with ease – no more hassling with hanging our coats in the coat closet. For whatever reason, hooks are so much easier for kids and even grown men to use. The thought! We still keep additional coats in the nearby closet but for the ones we use more often, these hooks have been a saving grace. They’ll come in handy too for guests who need a quick and easy spot to store their coats while they’re visiting without having to ask where to put it. Using the hooks in our entryway have worked so well that I’m thinking of using them in the bathrooms too instead of towel bars – another things certain people in our household have trouble using!
To tackle all the other clutter that seems to accumulate at the front door, I hung up a woven basket that I picked up from the bath section at Ikea to corral wallets, receipts, cards, loose change – all of the above! As I said before…as long as I don’t see it, I can deal with it. The basket conceals the mess and is big enough to hold every day essentials like wallets and keys. I still keep my keys inside our coat closet with my purse, but for my guy who likes to empty his pockets at the door, this has been a perfect solution for him. When it starts getting out of hand, I can easily sort through the contents and purge what isn’t needed. What was once a daily battle is now something that only needs to be managed once a week. A win-win.
Once the issues had been addressed, it was time to add in some personality! My favorite part of any project. I added a couple of address numbers above the hooks because they were right next to the hook section at Lowes and I liked how modern and sleek they looked next to the almost aged look of the hooks. I painted the numbers a deep navy blue which ties in the brand new Target rug I found at Goodwill (score!). Goodwill is like Target’s clearance center in case you haven’t been lately.
The sunburst mirror added to the opposite wall lets us ladies (or guys too) do a last minute quick look when we’re headed out the door and it’s gold color coordinates with the aged hooks on the opposite wall.
Here's a look at the new entry in relation to the coat closet that I organized almost a year ago. The systems I installed nearly a year ago are still working well for our family so now with the functionality of both these spaces give us no room to make excuses!
Making these small changes has really added so much value to this tiny space and allowed it to really work for our family. Living in such tight quarters makes every bit of real estate so valuable and when it can function the way our entryway functions now it makes the time and money spent very well worth it.