Informal Entryway Checklist

Since Fall is here and the cold weather's on its way, we really need to get our entryway working for us or the mess that comes with hats, scarves, wet shoes, bags, etc. will take over our house. Our coat closet is actually up the stairs and down the hall from our entryway so although it has nice storage, it's not a good "catch zone" for our house. Here's a pic of our linoleum-clad, sickly-lit entryway before we moved in:

We did some damage control and here is is now:

There's fresh white paint on the walls, wall to wall seagrass (we had leftover from our family room and figured it was better than linoleum but turns out it's SO PRACTICAL in the entry!!) a little bench for shoe/ accessory storage and for sitting on (great for putting shoes in my little guy--- needs new fabric) a newly painted over cheapo mirror, a small plate ledge we had hanging around the house for keys, sunglasses and some pretty things, and hanging over the entry is this caged lantern from Bellacor:

But, we're still not finished and it doesn't quite work for us yet because we're missing some key elements. Obviously, I want it to feel pretty & happy & stylish (and I'm not there yet!) but it's the functional I'm focused on right now.

Here's a CHECKLIST of what I think makes for a great entry:

1. Mirror: Obviously, mirrors are functional in entryways so we can check ourselves on the way out the door, but they're also a great opportunity to add some style & personality to a small entryway. (WE went for budget & used a cheapie mirror we already had but one day I'll find the perfect one! Love this one in Betsy Brown's entry below)

2. A spot for keys & sunglasses, and little things that make their way in. We don't have enough space for a table so I'm listing some space-saving ideas. I thought I was being very original when I thought of using a vintage soap dish on the wall:
And then I found this image from Martha who did it first!! ;) ah vell!

3. A spot for something pretty: It can be the smallest surfaces ever. In our house I hung a little ledge that we've had around for years. I actually like how small it is because we don't junk it up the way we would a whole table.. Here is is now (below) sans- soapdish. (The red mirror in the reflection has been moved too.) But it's a great spot for a small vase of flowers:

4. Hooks for coats & bags:
I'm going for something like this:

We don't plan on keeping the hooks full of coats, hats & bags all the time, but want to use the hooks more as a stop-gap to keep from tossing everything on the poor little bench or the floor. Hanging for a while before they make it to the coat closet is much better!

5. A Spot for wet boots:

We don't have a little tray yet either but I've even seen people use baking dishes that work & look adorable! I plan on keeping it hidden in the storage bench unless needed.

6. A place for scarves, hats & mittens: Again, for us, this'll be "the bench" but there are lots of great options out there like hooks or baskets or pretty boxes:
7. And finally, I think it's important to have some type of hidden storage. This can be tough to get in small spaces. But this hidden storage is a great space for quick clean-up and those odd items that accumulate in entryways like a bag for returns or things you need to bring out to your car. We use "the bench" for this but if you absolutely have no space for a storage bench or small dresser or any piece of furniture, then you could use pretty boxes piled up:
Anyway, I'd like to finish up on the entryway pretty quickly so I'll be posting pics as soon as I'm finished! Also, I have that huge wall that goes up to the ceiling & am considering lots of options to add something pretty & personal & to set the tone for the house. Maybe fill it to the brim with old prints (but I don't have enough yet) or maybe even have it painted with something??? Any ideas?? (check the top pic to see the space again!) Would love your help!!! (Wallpaper unfortunately won't work unless it's only on 1 wall because the entry walls continue right into the living room upstairs. If you think it would work on just the one wal, let me know! I'm not really big on accent walls but who knows?)
ps- my email is down right now because I've made a new website & during the crossover time before it launches, I have no email -arrgggg-- so if you sent me something & I didn't get back to you, email me back this weekend (it should be up by then)... Sorry & thanks!!!


Janell @ House of Fifty said...

So many great tips! I would love a large mudroom....someday, but I can use many of these ideas in my current tiny space.

I mentioned you in my post today...come over and check it out.
Have a great one, Janell

{northern cottage} said...

Good morning! We must be on the same path - we like lists & have a similar entryway set up - check out my post from the other day - great minds think alike! Love those hooks you have listed -- Have a great day!

Tammy@InStitches said...

I can't wait to see it when you are all done, it sounds like it will be perfect !

Pauline Wiles said...

Sounds great, look forward to seeing how you work all that into a smallish space...

LindsB said...

It looks great so far- I love what you did with a small space, it actually looks larger than I'm guessing it is.

I cant wait to see what else you come up with!

Katrina said...

I like the freshness of the white. What about framing tonnes of old maps? Love that look :)

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

Love it, Lauren.

My mom said she saw some boot trays at Tuesday Morning this week... I need to go check them out.

Yansy said...

I love what you've done so far. I can't wait to see the finished room.

Tracy Watier said...

Good ideas all, Lauren, and I really love that lantern.

laura @ so alaurable said...

I like Katrina's idea of framing maps.

Have you thought about getting a large piece(s) of your favorite fabric and putting it on stretcher bars? It would be like the effect of wallpaper, but you can easily change it up.

Fargerike Dagny said...

Like what you've done so far :) Am looking forward to seeing the finished result!! :D

Have a greta weekend!!


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Great ideas...I remember needing that especially with kidlets and snow and mud!

Now, we would do well with a shower or faucet to rinse off the sand...and a place for flip flops. Currently they are all over the house...with the sand!

paula said...

love what you have done so far. the soap dish idea is brilliant.

Ness Lockyer said...

I love your 'cheapo' mirror and the little ledge. It looks so pretty.
Ness xx

Jennifer Sergent said...

Lauren -- I'm jealous that you even HAVE an entryway! Our front door opens right into the living room. Love your ideas, great post! (and happy anniversary!)

-- Jennifer Sergent/ Washington Spaces

alterego said...

Hi, Lauren! Love your blog! We met last month at the Pear Tree Cottage seminar (we both looked familiar to the other). Anyway, thanks for all the inspiration. I saw something ages ago on a design show that I thought was brilliant for the entryway: if you are able to use a table and it has drawers, cut small holes in the back of the drawers to thread the cell phone charger cords through. Use small trays (or drawers if you have enough) to separate each family member's personal items and you'll always have a set place to charge your phone that is inconspicuous. I don't have anything as organized or exciting in my entryway- yet, but I thought it was an idea worth sharing. Thanks again! -Rachel M. (I can't get my computer to allow me to change my name from "alterego")