Make a Fresh Start in the Entry
It’s the first thing people notice when they visit your home, and it’s the only part of your home some people (like neighbors and delivery drivers) will ever see. Doesn’t it make sense to put your best foot forward? Having a neat, chic entryway makes coming home a pleasure — and gets you out the door with less stress in the morning. Your entryway works hard, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play.
Give your entryway a fresh start by checking these 10 essentials off your list.
1. A clean, clutter-free space. The first (and most important!) thing to do is clear away all of the stuff cluttering up your entryway and giving the space a good cleaning. Rather than keep all of your shoes and coats by the door, try keeping only the one or two you use most often, and store the others elsewhere. Likewise, clear away old mail, papers, and other items that don’t belong. Clean the floors and remove scuff marks from the walls.
2. A place to perch while taking off and putting on shoes. Being able to sit down while getting your shoes on or off is so much more civilized than awkwardly balancing on one foot — your guests will appreciate it! A bench or chair is a good choice for a larger space; a small stool or ottoman tucked beneath your entry table works well for tight spots.
3. Shoe, bag, and coat storage. If you don’t have a coat closet near the door, wall hooks or a coat rack and a boot tray are a must. A basket or shelf for holding bags is a nice touch as well. If you do have a coat closet, adding hooks inside the door and a shoe rack on the floor will make it even more functional.
4. A place for mail and keys. This can be as simple as a floating shelf with a few tiny hooks beneath it, or as elaborate as an antique chest with drawers — the point is to have one place where you always stash these key items. If you have a large drawer, use drawer dividers to keep it from turning into a junk drawer.
5. A mirror. A must to check for crazy hair and spinach in the teeth on your way out the door!
6. Artwork. Choose a piece of artwork that inspires you and place it prominently by the door where it can give you a mood boost as you are coming and going.
7. Right-sized rug. Traditional doormat-size rugs (roughly 2×3 feet) are appropriate for some entryways, but if your entry is a different size or shape, you may want to look beyond the traditional. A larger rectangular rug (such as a 3×5 size) works well to fill out a larger foyer. If you have a long hall, a runner will give you ample room — I am especially fond of the Safavieh Chatham rug in blue, and the Safavieh Dhurrie in green, both shown above. Patterns like the hexagon print rug (shown above) and stripes, like the Surya Calvin rug, work well in the entry because they manage to hide dirt while being stylish.
8. Proper lighting. Make sure your entry is inviting and cozy by providing ample lighting. A working porch light outside your front door is a must, plus an overhead light on a dimmer switch or a pair of table lamps inside. Multiple light sources with lower-watt bulbs are more flattering than a single, bright lamp.
9. Flexible extra storage. Always try to keep a little extra room in a basket, bin, or closet, for unexpected needs. If you live in a climate with cold winters, for instance, think about providing room for those winter hats and mittens, even if you are planning your entryway in the summer.
10. Something fresh and pretty...like flowers! Even if it’s a tiny bud vase with a single bloom, having a little something pretty makes coming home a joy. Treat yourself!
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