Welcome home! Our front entry. Nothing special. But, at least it's tidy!
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Ah, the entryway. Here, we find ourselves either rushing out or excitedly returning home, thoughtlessly casting off the day's residue before greeting loved ones or plopping down on the couch. Because we spend so little time here, the front entry is often overlooked and prone to accumulating clutter.
While this area is intended to be a drop off point for jackets and shoes (and also boots, parkas, and snow pants if you live here, in the Great White North!), it’s also the first part of your home people see. If your home were a book, the front entry would be the introduction—it sets the tone and lets people know what to expect from the rest of your house. So, it’s important to keep this space tidy!
In this post, I'll share tips and tricks from our home and beyond to help create and maintain a clutter-free entryway.
But first, a breakdown of our own humble entryway. Our front entry sits in a narrow enclosure typical of century-old Toronto semis.
We furnished it with a long, narrow console table from cb2, which seems to just fit in this space.
Those are my go-to, super comfy, work shoes down there, the Cole Haan Pinch Weekender ($90). You you may remember me raving about how comfortable these are in my Antonia Saint NY shoe review.
My handy husband, Eric, whom you may recall from such posts as DIY Mid-Century Modern Chair Reupholstery and the Father's Day Gift Guide, 'made' our makeshift coat rack. He drilled individual metal hooks into a piece of chair rail moulding that is similar to the style of moulding used in the rest of our home. This was meant to be a temporary solution until we found a set of hooks we were really into. But, it's been three years now, and we still have bigger fish to fry around here!
Because our front entry is so narrow, there wasn't room for a bench with the console table already there. So, we added one just outside this area in the form of a repurposed vintage streetcar seat, which we reupholstered.
I know, this looks like a bad upholstery job. But, I wanted to keep the original vinyl seat underneath (which was pretty lumpy). So, this was the best I could do! I think it adds character, no?!
We've had this bench since our care-free, pre-kid days of Industrial loft living. We did away with most of our larger-scale furniture from that era, as it was better suited to a wide-open loft than the narrow, semi-detached home in which we're currently situated.
We've shifted to more of a Mid-Century Modern/Minimalist aesthetic, but Industrial decor will always have a special place in my heart and that bench serves as a reminder of our old life!
Admittedly, our entryway is nothing special. My favourite front entries are those with over-sized circular mirrors hung above long wooden benches (as you'll see below). But, we just don't have the space for that in our home and you've gotta work with what you've got!
Now for the tips and tricks from our home and beyond to help achieve and maintain a clutter-free entryway.
1. Less Is More
Isn't this entryway gorgeous? What makes it so? And, where are the jackets? Only two pairs of shoes? Image via: Instagram.com/almostmakesperfect.
Minimize what you keep in the entryway. The front entry is the first part of your home people see when they walk through the door. To make a good first impression, keep it clutter-free! If you don't have a closet in the front entry, consider storing the bulk of your outerwear elsewhere (i.e. the mudroom, basement or bedroom closets).
We have a rule: each member of the family is allowed just one jacket and one pair of shoes in the front entry at any given time. The majority of our shoes are stored in the walk-in closet upstairs and in the back entry/mudroom.
2. Use A Storage Bench
Image via: Lumens.
A storage bench is one of the best and most versatile pieces of furniture for a clutter-free home!
In the entryway, a storage bench serves a dual purpose; it gives you a place to sit while you put on your shoes and provides storage for footwear and other accessories.
You may have noticed that our entryway bench doesn't have any built-in storage.
A storage bench would have been a lot more practical here. But, there's something to be said about incorporating unique pieces where you can! And, as mentioned, we have just a handful of shoes in the entryway at any given time.
Shop this idea:
Songmics Bamboo Shoe Bench Rack ($53.99).
Sauder Oak Storage Bench ($125).
CO-Z Storage Bench ($105.99).
Collections Etc. Wooden Shoe Cabinet Storage Bench ($79.99).
3. Add A Basket Or Two (Or Three...)
Image via: Christopher Sturman.
Baskets are a great way to store shoes, umbrellas and miscellany in the entryway. If you must keep more than just a few shoes in your front entry, storing them in baskets prevents things from looking too cluttered and reduces your risk of tripping over scattered shoes!
Bonus if the baskets can be kept under a bench for added concealment! Image via: Instagram.com/jennykomenda.
Baskets are the perfect intersection of home decor and organization! You can read more about how I use them in the living room, my son's room and to freshen up our decor.
In our entry, we use a wooden vessel as an umbrella stand (my husband brought it back from vacation in Malaysia).
Shop this idea:
Tidy Rope Co. Cotton Rope Storage Basket ($22.99).
INDRESSME Extra Large Storage Basket With Handles ($27.99).
Household Essentials Tall Round Storage Basket With Handles ($49.99).
4. Designate A 'Landing Strip' And Keep It Tidy
No front entry is complete without a 'landing strip' on which to off-load your keys and the mail, as you first step into your home.
You can further delineate drop-off zones with a tray that's just begging for your keys. Image via: 204 Park.
Image via: Decouvrir L'Endroit Du Decor.
No space for a table? Even a picture ledge will do!
Image via: Instagram.com/femte.til.venstre.
Shop these ideas:
Umbra Hub Wall Mirror 24" ($93.99). As mentioned, I'm a big fan of round, over-sized mirrors in the entryway. But, due to our layout and the fact that we already have an oversized mirror directly across the entry, in the living room, alas, it was not to be!
Sauder Entry Table ($45.56).
Roomfitters Sofa Console Table ($51.99).
KOOBOU Elongated Rattan Vanity Tray ($34.50).
O&K Furniture Floating Wall Shelves - Set of 2 ($39.28).
5. Keep Flat Surfaces Clutter-Free Using Wall Units
Another way to keep your entryway looking tidy is to avoid letting things pile up on flat surfaces. One way of doing this is with vertical storage.