Interior Design

First Impressions – Entry Spaces

In today’s post, I share how to create beautiful and functional entry spaces. In many homes, the entry space serves as a dumping ground for mail, coats, backpacks, shoes, and various misplaced household items that need to be put in their proper place. After reading this post, you will be able to create a welcoming space with a functional system that will improve the flow of your daily life.

Entry designed by Jess Bunge and Photo by Sara Tramp

Ideal Entry

Take a moment to envision what your ideal entry would look like-an entry that looks good, feels good, and might even boost your mood when you walk in the door. Once you’ve done the first step, now you are ready to find “homes” for the items you use the most: bags, shoes, jackets, dog leashes, keys, sunglasses, etc. Take a moment to jot down an inventory of the items that frequently come and go in your home. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • Mail
  • Coats
  • Umbrellas
  • Bags & Backpacks
  • Reusable Shopping Bags
  • Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Keys
  • Hats
  • Hand Sanitizer & Masks
  • Scarves
  • Dog Leashes
  • Baby Gear
Leather mail and magazine pouch by Darrell Standing on Etsy

A place for everything and everything in its place

Now that you have your list, you will want to create a clear “home” for each item in your entry. You will want to store daily-use items in easy-to-access areas. Here are some great ideas for creating a functional entry space:

  • Shoe Storage – Ikea has great storage options, but you could also use a basket or place shoes under a bench. The key is to limit the number of shoes in your entry way. If you live in a cold or wet climate, add a boot tray for wet, muddy shoes.
  • Hooks – Use hooks for bags, backpacks, coats, hats, keys and even dog leashes.
  • Tray or Bowl – Use a woven tray or wooden bowl as a catchall for wallets, sunglasses, or keys.
  • Labeled Bins or Baskets – I have two baskets, one for outgoing items and one for items that need to be brought upstairs.
  • Inbox – Use a tray, bin, or wall-mounted pocket to collect mail, action items, and school forms.
  • Bench – Having a spot to put on and take off shoes will help keep your house tidy. Choose a option that can store shoes underneath for double-duty functionality.
  • Umbrella Stand – I found an attractive container to store umbrellas.
I love this colorful and practical umbrella stand!

Elements for a Stylish Entry

Rug – Consider adding a simple, stylish doormat to help keep your floors clean. You can choose a beautiful dhurrie rug or a more durable water hog but remember that it is one of the first things people see when they come inside.

Lighting – Add a table lamp or pendant with a lower wattage bulb for a cozy, inviting vibe.

Personality – Add photos or fun art that showcase your style.

Mirror – A mirror will reflect light and gives you the opportunity for a quick check before heading out the door.

Plant/Flowers – Adding a natural element freshens up your space.

Once you have your entry set up, you will want to maintain the space with these simple tips:

  • Put mail, bills, and action items in your inbox immediately.
  • Put away extra shoes daily.
  • Hang hats, bags, and coats as soon as you walk inside.
  • Rotate out seasonal items.

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