Sadly, not all homes come standard with ample square footage for a mudroom or foyer, although we feel they totally should! Unfortunately, we don’t get a vote, so our next best option is to give you awesome ideas on how to more efficiently use the space you do have.
Your home’s entryway is one such space that is often underutilized, if not downright neglected. But it’s the spot that serves as the catchall for just about everything that comes through the door. That includes shoes, coats, scarves, handbags, keys, mail, pet gear, and who knows what else!
By designing your entryway to be functional and not just that place you walk through every day, you can utilize overlooked space in a way that’s attractive and useful. Seriously, who doesn’t love the words attractive and useful when combined together?
Feature Ideas for a Functional––and Attractive––Entryway
Consoles are excellent at creating a focal point for your home’s entryway. It can be placed against a wall adjacent to the door, or in front of the door, per your layout and personal tastes. A console is basically a table that’s placed against a wall or attached to it, with legs at the front for support.
The main purpose of placing a console in the entryway is to provide extra storage for bags, keys, phone chargers, and more. However, it can also be used to display ornaments, fancy items, and whatever else floats your boat. Likewise, sideboards also provide additional storage and help to define the entryway space. At Inside Weather, our Latte Voss Sideboard is a great option.
If consoles are not your cup of tea, you can install a floating shelf on the wall. It will serve pretty much the same purpose as the console, without taking up any floor space. Kind of nice if you want to use the floor space for something else.
If you have room for it, every entryway design could benefit from sitting space. A good option is an entryway bench.. You can choose a narrow bench or a wide one, depending on how large your entryway is.
An added benefit to benches is they allow enough space for a couple of people. You could also put bags, groceries, and boxes on the bench when you enter the house, ready to grab once you’re settled in. Or you could even get a storage bench so that you can hide all kinds of fun things.
Accent Chairs and Stools
You may be noticing that we highly suggest a place to sit down to create an inviting entryway. Maybe it’s for putting on or taking off your shoes, maybe it’s just to catch your breath after a run. Accent chairs are perfect for this purpose, as they’re stand-alone and make a statement. Get an accent chair that matches your home decor and accentuate the chair with faux fur throws or cushions. You can do the same thing with a stool!
Storage Boxes and Baskets
Storage boxes play an important role in any entryway. You can use them to store hats, gloves, scarves, spare socks, and other handy things. It’s easy to find space for a storage box in your entryway, especially if you include a console. Just place the storage bins under the console, or under a bench if you go that route.
Lighting can play a big role in creating an aesthetically pleasing space. For your entryway, you can go with a variety of lighting options. Pendant lights look excellent in a foyer, hallway, or entryway. Sconces mounted complement a console setting, and lamps are also great options. With lamps, you can go for a floor lamp, or a table lamp placed on a console or shelf.
Mirrors are a wonderful wall accessory, especially in entryways. They are a go to for interior design because they reflect light and make the space seem bigger than it is. More importantly, it gives you a chance to take a final look at yourself before going out and make sure there’s no spinach in your teeth or anything crazy going on before you greet the public.
You can go with vertical floor-to-ceiling mirrors, framed tall mirrors, round mirrors, rectangle mirrors; the possibilities are endless. For smaller mirrors, you can arrange them over the console table to bring the focus to one area.
Pretty Trays and Bowls for Keys
Most people have a lot of things in their hands when they enter their home. These include keys, glasses, phones, wallet, spare change, etc. Instead of letting those things clutter up on the top of a console, put a small tray or bowl on the surface to catch small items. This will keep them organized and make it easy for you to keep track of them.
To keep your mail in one place and keep it organized, one of the easiest ways is to include a mail organizer in your entryway. That way you can put the mail where it goes as soon as you enter the house. You can get a proper organizer designed for just such a thing, or you can DIY it and use a simple tray or decorative box to put the mail on or in.
While the focus here is on creating a functional entryway, it doesn’t mean you should forget about décor items. On the console or floating shelf, you can add small ornaments or knick knacks, vases, or candles to give your entryway that personal touch.
Plants offer a pop of color and freshness no matter where you put them. With plants, you really can’t go wrong. Add a large potted plant next to the door, console, or bench. Or you can opt for smaller plants and place them on top of a console.
Another option is hanging plants that can be mounted on the wall or hung from the ceiling. Plant pots can also be used to make a style statement, sans the plants entirely!
Flowers play much the same role as other plants. Adding a vase of flowers––whether fresh or artificial––to a console table, add a pop of color and breathe life into an entryway. Just make sure you switch out the fresh flowers as needed, because you definitely don’t want to see limp flowers when you enter the house.
A wall hook is an easy way to maximize any unused space. For the entryways especially, hooks can be very useful. You can hang bags, coats, umbrellas, scarves, hats, heck, even belts if you want. You can also use the hooks as a design accessory and hang décor items from them, like plants or artwork. If you’re looking for additional ideas on how to use vertical space, we cover the topic in great detail.
For your entryway, opt for tiles that can withstand moisture and water without deteriorating. However, if you don’t have such tiles and can’t install new tiles, you could use waterproof wallpaper to cover the floor. You can choose from hundreds of style options and protect your floor at the same time.
Artwork and Framed Pictures
Personal touches are what make a house a home. Give guests a glimpse into your life as they enter your home by adding framed pictures or wall art in the entryway. Depending on the length of the entryway, you can arrange the frames in any pattern or order.Alternatively, you can hang artwork instead, like paintings and other wall hangings, or even place sculptures as a floor item. Hanging artwork behind a console also draws the eye as a focal point. Get creative!
Entry Mats, Runners, and Rugs
Entry mats are extremely functional and useful, especially if you live in an area where it rains or snows a lot. They allow you to clean your shoes and wipe off the dirt from outside. To utilize the rest of the floor space in your entryway, you could add a runner or rug, maybe along the console, for a more decorative look and to add a bit of color to the area.
Shoe Racks, Boot Trays, and Slipper Baskets
Different ways to say basically the same thing! Many people like to have shoe racks in their entryways. They allow you to take off your outside shoes and switch to your indoor slippers as soon as you enter the home.
Or, instead of a shoe rack, you can consider a boot tray instead as a unique and fresh idea. Add some pebbles or stones in the shoe tray to make sure your boots don’t sit in a puddle if you live in snowy areas. For the indoor slippers, a jute basket––or any basket really––can be used.
Functional entryway ideas abound! If you’re feeling stuck, you could always browse social sites like Pinterest for inspiration. Save those ideas and you’ll have them on hand when you’re ready to start shopping!
Sideboards are versatile pieces that can be used in almost any room to help keep your space organized. Check out our article on bedroom organization hacks for tips to help you rest easy!