The most important room in your home isn't the kitchen or family room. It isn't even a room at all. I'm talking about your home entryway. The entry is the driving force that determines what unnecessary clutter will funnel into the rest of your home. The more organized this space is, the less clutter you will have throughout your home.
If you have an older home, then it's possible you could have the bones of a nice foyer, hallway or mudroom already there for you to utilize. For newer homes and condos that have a contemporary open floor plan, however, you may have to get a bit more creative with setting up an entry.
Here are 5 tips on how to maximize the efficiency of your home entryway:
1. Cater to your needs. Really think about what you do in this space. This basic tip applies differently to people from different regions. I tend to see Southern homes not having such an emphasis on removing your shoes before you enter the home as homes in Wisconsin or other places that have more variable weather. People in the Southwest probably don't need an umbrella stand permanently by their door like people do in the Northwest. For me, I use my entryway to remove and store my shoes, jacket and keys, as well as sort mail. Don't include any unnecessary elements in the design or it will just pile up as clutter.
2. Include a console or chest with drawers. Instead of throwing your keys and wallet on top of a console table, try having a designated drawer that you stick them in. This trick will lessen the tabletop visual clutter to make your space appear cleaner while still keeping your keys and wallet in a safe space that you can easily access.
No room for a table in your space? Add a floating shelf that is above eye level to store your wallet and keys. This will allow you to store your wallet and keys out of your line of sight and as an added bonus you can hang hooks underneath to hang coats.
3. Add seating. A place to sit while putting on or taking off shoes is a smart addition to an entryway. Don't go overboard. Unless you have a really large family where you need to help children get their shoes on, try to limit your seating to 1-2 person capacity. I tend to gravitate towards un-upholstered benches in entryways. They are typically more durable and require less cleaning maintenance
4. Anchor the space. Unless you have a mudroom that is in a different room separated from the line of sight of other spaces, I recommend creating visual difference in your entry. You can do this by adding a different type of flooring to the space, adding a patterned rug, painting the door or an accent wall in a bold color or hanging an over-sized piece of artwork. These elements will act like a punctuation mark at the end of a sentence — it marks the end of the long hallway and provides a clear destination.
5. Add a wastebasket. This is my favorite tip - it is so simple, yet so effective! Drop a wastebasket by your entry so you discard of any junk mail, receipts, catalogs and other paper waste right there and then. That way, this waste wont even have the chance to make it into the rest of your home. To keep it classy, try using a wicker or wire basket that will hid the contents inside while still adding a bit of style to the space.
Not sure how to incorporate these functional tips in your space? Contact me and I can help!