Whether you live in a downtown studio apartment or a historic country colonial, that just-inside-the-door area is a hardworking space in your home. Bright or neutral, ornate or spare, practical or decorative… No matter the square footage, here’s how to create a smart and organized entryway.
STEP ONE: Start with a console table
You can buy one, repurpose one from another space in your home or spend a few fun hours DIY-ing a skinny table from plywood, pre-turned table legs, plumbing pipe or other affordable home improvement store finds.
Before you buy (or build), consider the function of your table. Will it be merely a decor focal point in a large hallway that also features a coat closet and other organization solutions? Or will this table be the do-it-all hotspot of your open-space living style, home to keys, mail and more? Take these factors into account when you decide the dimensions and placement of this anchor furniture piece.
STEP TWO: Add lighting and artwork or mirrors
A soft glow creates a warm and inviting experience to welcome your guest. A single lamp is plenty for most entryway consoles, so electrify with something you love for its shape, color or quirky motif. If your table is narrow, consider placing a floor lamp alongside.
Make a style statement without giving up any tabletop acreage. Choose a framed canvas, prints or wooden wall decor that expresses your personal style. Mirrors can help spaces feel larger and brighter.
STEP THREE: Create storage
Everyone’s entryway is used differently, so make sure to carefully consider your storage needs for the best result. It can help to take a “mock walk” from your front door, through the entryway, to a destination such as your work desk or couch. Is the lamp easy to reach and turn on? What will you leave on the console table — keys, mail, a hat or other accessories, a briefcase, shoes? How many other people will be walking this way and how often?
Once you’ve analyzed the space, shop for on- and around-the-table storage solutions in the following categories to suit your lifestyle.
- Canvas boxes or bins
- Trays or decorative bowls
- Wall hooks or a coatrack
- An umbrella stand or boot tray
STEP FOUR: Add unique touches and go green
What personal items would make you feel most relaxed and happy to be at home? What might be a welcome sight for friends or family? Think framed photos, trip souvenirs, pretty rocks and shells, or other small-scale decor pieces. Pick two or three favorites to top the table. And whether you prefer fresh blossoms, succulents, easy-care plants or faux florals, leafy accents add energy to your space.
STEP FIVE: Arrange and rearrange
Storage bins and plants can go on top of, beneath or beside the console. A tray or bowl for keys may be too large or too small (swap out) or difficult to reach (move in front of decor pieces). Find ways to add seasonal accents, such as decking a houseplant with holiday ornaments or creating floral arrangements in seasonal colors. With a little time and effort, you can make your entryway work for — and delight — you every day.
Bonus Tip: Make space for an outdoor shoe and boot area to avoid moving dirt and germs from the outside to indoor spaced. A shoe tray or designated rug or runner is a simple way to define the space. Place a basket of slippers and “indoor shoes” nearby to encourage the practice of switching shoes.