interiors & styling

Form vs Function : Entryway Edition

Form vs Function : Entryway Edition - roomfortuesday.com Hey guys, how are you hanging in there? I’m ready to kick off the week with a positive attitude! I’m back with another post on form versus function, since the bathroom storage edition was such a big hit last time. Our current entryway is a work in progress and we haven’t started renovating that area yet, but I have been brainstorming ideas and it made me think about how important it is to have an organized entryway. I thought it would be fun to continue this series with an area of the house people commonly struggle with from an organizational standpoint. It’s a space that can easily become cluttered and unorganized, which isn’t ideal- given it’s the first thing you see upon entering your home. From taking off your shoes, dropping keys & mail, to packages piling up- I’m sharing my tips for keeping things in order and looking nice. Rather than letting this space turn into a “catchall” for all kinds of stuff, I’m spilling my ideas for organization no matter the size of your entryway. Click through for the post!

Form vs Function : Entryway Edition - roomfortuesday.com

#1: Ground the Space with A Piece of Furniture

Think a bench, a table, or a piece of furniture that helps to “ground” the space while also being functional. This is the foundation of your entryway vignette. In our first home, the mudroom was the perfect place for a bench and hooks to hang dog leashes. However, if you don’t have that kind of designated space in your home (we haven’t since our first house), the entrance space in front of your door is also a great option… you just have to work on a smaller scale. In our current home, that is the negative space in front of our staircase, pictured below. I selected this marble pedestal table as my starting point.

Form vs Function : Entryway Edition - roomfortuesday.com You can add lamps, a tray for keys & mail, and artwork as you go, but start with your big piece of furniture first. A console table in your entryway is a great solution for hiding (and displaying) those everyday items you need. I’ll link some of my current favorites below…

#2: Find Functionality

Once you have your larger grounding piece, finding smaller trays and vessels is a great next step. I like to use a combination of things that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Think trays to corral your keys, spare change, and pieces of mail. Boxes or lidded vessels are awesome for closed storage. Sometimes we’ll stash things like chargers, coupons, or gift cards out of sight. It’s totally personal preference what you decide to hide in closed storage versus what you prefer to keep out for convenience and easy access.

Form vs Function : Entryway Edition - roomfortuesday.com

You’ll also always find greenery or flowers of some sort in my entryway, just because they make me smile… along with a candle!

#3: Mix It Up

I think the name of the game is experimenting with different items until you get it right. What combination best functions for your family and looks great in your dedicated entry space? No two solutions will be the same! Maybe you need multiple cubbies and baskets to store shoes and backpacks, or perhaps a couple baskets tucked under a console table are sufficient storage for your family. Maybe hooks totally work for your small space? Think about how you want the space to function and design it around your life, so it works well for you.

Form vs Function : Entryway Edition - roomfortuesday.com

It’s always great to know your keys, jacket, and umbrella are always in the same spot, so you aren’t running around trying to find things.

#4: Swap Things Out Seasonally

As the seasons change, I find myself needing (and wanting) to restyle areas throughout my home accordingly. During the winter months, I utilize a boot tray (we get a ton of snow here) and I leave my favorite snow boots out for easy access, so I’m ready to take the dogs out into the snowy yard, but in the spring, summer, and fall- my boot tray is tucked away in our garage. I swap things out seasonally based on functionality and my aesthetic preference.

Form vs Function : Entryway Edition - roomfortuesday.com Here’s a list of what I keep out versus what I hide behind closed storage… but most of this just depends on how much space you have to play with and how it’s organized. My solution will probably look different than yours, and that’s ok!

  • shoes // YES & NO (I keep snow boots out in the winter, but nothing else… mainly because I don’t want a puddle in my closet)
  • coat // YES (only during the cold months… we use a coat rack & hooks)
  • umbrella // YES
  • keys // YES (but I keep them corralled in my vintage hand “tray”)
  • bags // YES & NO (I have a bag hook, but I mostly keep them in my closet)
  • mail // YES & NO
  • dog leashes // YES (but we typically keep those on a hook in the laundry room)
  • candle // YES (I burn a lot of candles)
  • chargers // NO (those live in closed storage)
  • a box cutter & envelope opener // NO (in closed storage, but comes in handy for packages & mail)

Form vs Function : Entryway Edition - roomfortuesday.com

Does your home have a mudroom or designated entry area or did you style a vignette near your front door, if not? What items do you prefer to leave out versus keep in closed storage? I’d love to hear in the comments! After ordering this chandelier for our staircase / entryway, I’ve been dreaming of tiling the entry, reworking the staircase, and adding even more function… although I’m pretty sure none of that will be happening anytime soon. Regardless, it’s fun to brainstorm! I hope we all have a better week. This is your friendly reminder to STAY HOME if you can (if you missed my COVID-19 thoughts, read this post).

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  • Reply
    Peggi
    March 23, 2020 at 7:12 am

    Great topic! We have the tiniest entry; seriously, the front door has to be closed in order for the coat closet to be opened. I’m grateful for the closet though, and I installed a pretty mirror and vintage rug. Our drop zone is the kitchen which isn’t ideal. Consequently, we’ve each unofficially claimed a living room chair for our backpack/purse. 🙈 We have a landing to the basement where Joe’s backpack hangs; the guy has a lot of park gear! Possibly, I could use some of my “free” time to get more organized. (Now that the internet knows what a slob I am.) Stay safe and sane, friend!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 23, 2020 at 10:56 am

      I wish we had a closet near our entry- that sounds so helpful! I have a purse chair in my office, so I can relate. Haha! I had no idea dogs needed so many things until I got dogs of my own. It’s true. Hope you had a good weekend and are keeping healthy :) xo

  • Reply
    Colleen
    March 23, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Hey Sarah 🤗 as Peggy stated hope you are all well, safe and sane and I’m really digging this post! Our very first home ( 21 years ago) had the tiniest of entries and it was crazy trying to rally kids and dogs into a 3 ft by 3 ft space so we out grew that home pretty quick. However, our priority in our next home was a decent sized entry we could all enter at the same time and have some great organization and welcoming features to greet our friends and family. My must haves for a first entry is full length mirror ( I know it’s vane but I had to make sure my skirt wasn’t tucked into my pantyhose before I left for work as mornings were always craziest 🤣) And I could not live without my beautiful Bernhardt Bench I purchased some 18 years ago with lifting lids for storage on piano hinges. It’s a timeless, beautiful and incredibly useful piece of furniture that I will never part with and has kept our entry organized and beautiful for all these years. Actually when we downsized last year my number one priority in a smaller home was a large entry that accommodated my bench or no deal 😜 what can I say I love my bench and we ended up with the most spacious, useful entryway we have ever had. I’m not the most organized everywhere in my home but my entryway is my pride and joy and I have my full length mirror, my bench, a console and a wonderfully huge closet. This is hard to find in a small home but I feel very lucky we found a home that could accommodate my front entry Type A behavior 🤪
    Stay safe and healthy everyone!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 23, 2020 at 10:48 am

      Thanks, Colleen! Wishing the same for you :) Your Bernhardt (one of my favorite design brands) sounds dreamy and so functional. Why didn’t I think of a full length mirror? That’s really smart! Your entry is the kind of dream of having someday. Hope you have a good Monday and are keeping healthy! xox

  • Reply
    Danna
    March 23, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Love your ideas on entryways Sarah! Your marble table is so pretty!
    When we bought this house in 2001, they didn’t have mudrooms or back hallway entries. Our back door (from garage) opens into our living room/kitchen so no good place to put a bench or table. Alas, we have always used the bar stools as a place to hang backpacks, purses, coats, etc. This has always been a problem. Couple of years ago, we put an old air force metal locker at the bottom of our garage stairs to hang and store shoes, bags, et. It has worked better but not ideal for leaving a computer bag or purse.
    I dream of the day we have a mudroom, entry, etc. In fact, I think it is one of my most pinned rooms on Pinterest! Ha! Have a good Monday! Love your positive spirit!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 23, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Thank you, Danna! I’m in the same boat. Our home was built in the 90’s and our garage opens into a hallway that leads to the dining room and kitchen. Someday we’re going to turn the laundry room into a mudroom (and relocate the laundry), but until then… it’s not ideal, but we’re trying to make it work. Hope you have a good week :) xo

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    March 23, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve never lived in a house with an entry/foyer or mudroom so we’ve always had to make do. We moved into our current home a little over a year ago and after living here a few months I decided to get two simple metal hall trees with shelves for shoes at the bottom. A black one sits outside the front door on a big screened porch and is the catch-all for wet jackets, umbrellas, dog leash and Crocs that are worn mostly outside. A white one sits inside the front door and gets most of our coats, jackets and shoes. The 27×12 footprint takes up most all the available space behind the door – you’d think it was made just for us!

    We almost always first go to the kitchen – so a tray for keys is on the peninsula between the kitchen & eating area. I usually toss the keys in the tray and immediately open the mail while standing at the peninsula – most of it ends up in the nearby trash can.

    For now my purse and any bits of mail that need attention end up at “my” chair in the living room because my laptop is always on the table there. Eventually the laptop, my purse and in/out tray for paperwork will live in our guest room/craft room – but right now that room is still in a state of chaos from the move!

    And of course there will be refinements as life goes on and our routines change.

    Thanks for being a bright distraction during this stressful time. Stay safe!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 24, 2020 at 1:17 pm

      It’s fun learning about everyones system and drop areas in their homes. Lots of us have designated “chairs” (myself included), which I think is pretty funny! I hope you’re staying healthy- I’m so happy to be here to provide a bright spot for everyone :) Thank you again for showing up to read!! Hang in there!! xo

  • Reply
    Brittany
    March 23, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    A few months ago I picked up an IKEA Hemnes shoe organizer I found on Facebook Marketplace for my shoes and some odds and ends. I just ordered an entryway organizer from a carpenter on Etsy. I’m so excited about it – I’m planning on putting my winter coat, car keys, mail, and glasses on its various shelves. I’d love to be neat and store my coat in my coat closet, but my cat runs into it every time she hears me open the door. Then I have to fish her out, lol. Next entryway improvement is to get rid of the wretched boob light!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 24, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      I love that, Brittany! It sounds like you’re making awesome progress :) Haha!! I love that your cat runs in there, so funny! Goodbye boob light!!!!

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