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Help me save my sad, cluttered entryway!

Our entryway is a sad, sad sight.

Right inside the door there’s a small – about 4′ X 6′ – room, which leads directly into the living room.

And it’s a mess.

This is how our front entrance looks on a good day:


Pathetic, huh?

Last year we put up a few hooks for coats, but one of the kids hung a backpack stuffed with about a dozen textbooks on the hook and it tore out of the wall, bringing down chunks of drywall and leaving behind a jagged hole.

The antique coat rack we borrowed from family is charming, but not quite burly enough to handle the outerwear of a family of seven once winter is in full swing.

And since everybody kicks off their footwear the moment they come in the door, it usually looks like a shoe factory exploded in there.

This week I’m saying “no more!” We’ve lived here going on two years now, and it’s time to get that entryway in real shape. Here’s some inspiration I’ve found around the ‘net:

Inspiration 1: Soggy Mitten Solution

I can never quite figure out what to do with wet gloves and hats. Leaving them scattered around on vents to dry is messy; tossing them in a basket or storage bench means they stay soaked. This cute and easy DIY project via blogger Lisa Pratt looks like a great solution and one I might have to copy! I’d probably put ours in the stairwell by the side door (our home was once a duplex, so the entryways are wonky) to keep them out of the way and give me some extra space.

Inspiration 2: A Place to Sit

This bench from Pottery Barn is certainly inspiring, but where would I put something like this? There’s really not room immediately inside our front door with all the shoes and whatnot, but I could put some seating just inside the living room (immediately off to the left) where there is currently a stark blank wall. Check it out:

It would be a nice way to cover up that hole left by a wooden-sword-wielding kid who has yet to come forward and identify himself. One problem, though: the vinyl ends at the doorway, and I don’t want the kids trudging dirty, wet boots over to the bench. One of our plans for this fall is to either replace the (horrid) vinyl in the entry and (awful) carpet in the living room, or possibly refinish the hardwood beneath (if it’s in good enough shape to salvage, which is uncertain at the moment.) So maybe there’s a way we could extend the entry flooring, or some other clever solution, and just use that whole walkway as an entrance. A runner comes to mind, but so often they look strange to me, and become tripping hazards. Other ideas?

Inspiration 3: Deceptively Simple Storage

This beauty from Better Homes and Gardens is actualIly just a bookcase stocked with four metal buckets: inexpensive and easy. It would be a good way to store extra scarves, mittens, and hats that aren’t being used at the moment, but I’d still need a place for shoes. Maybe I’d go with two buckets on the upper shelf and then a row of boots on the bottom?

Inspiration 4: All Tucked Away


Whenever I need storage ideas, I head first to IKEA’s website to see what kind of dirt-cheap bookshelves or cabinets I might be able to score if I’m up for a drive to the Chicago suburbs. But I often have a hard time visualizing the end product when looking at the rather stark photos on their website. So when I ran across the Hemnes Sofa Table I wasn’t quite sure how it would look with baskets or whether it would work for my needs. Google Images is my friend. After searching for “Hemnes + baskets,” I found a link to Little Rose Cottage, where blogger Amy had taken photos of her Hemnes table, complete with, wait for it, baskets, in her living room. I’m thinking this set-up would fit perfectly against my barren wall, and would also provide plenty of space to hide boots, shoes and other gear away completely. The grass baskets look like they would be nice and breathable to allow for drying, but I might also go with the even-more-breathable banana fiber PJAS basket, which also looks a little sturdier. I also like that the Hemnes sits several inches off the ground, which means we could put it over that vent on the living room floor. And I’d put smaller baskets in the upper slots for mittens, hats, and scarves.

Then there would be plenty of room in the immediate entryway for a small bench, coat rack…and maybe an errant scooter or two. Compromise is a good thing.

Ahh, so many inspiring options, but just one entry to re-design. What’s your favorite option? Do you have an entryway remodel of your own to share?

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