Often, one of the most awkward spaces of a home is the entry way. Whether it’s from your front door or your garage these spaces weren’t built to be lived in and therefore are seen as an afterthought. But when you really think about it, your entryway is the most used space in the house as you enter and exit your home, but even more important than that, they are the first impression of your space to the guests that arrive at your door. We we think of building an intentional home adding thought to our entryways is a great place to create the feeling of home.
Practical Needs In Your Foyer
There are two things that every entry way needs in your home, that’s storage and a place to sit to take off and put on shoes. The reality is that not all homes are built with this in mind. Our home, for example, was build in the 60’s which means that the main living areas have all the space. The front entry, garage entry, and closets do not have any space. So creating an intentional design for our entries has taken some imagination and is an ever changing process. (This will especially become true when we start having kids).
For storage, you ideally want a place to hold shoes that are taken off and a place to hang coats. It doesn’t have to be fancier than that. You can just designate an area that’s out of the way for shoes to go or add baskets or shoe shelves to place them. My new favorite thing is a welly wall. These are hooks designed to hang your welly boots on after it rains but works for all shoe types. These are mostly seen in mudrooms and not in your front entry. The garage is another great place to build a welly wall.
When it comes to storage you might just need to add some hooks to the wall. In our last home we found beautiful vintage hooks to hand our coats that we now use in the laundry room for hanging hangers that are used to let wet clothes dry. Now we have a closet in the front entry to hang guest’s coats and small hooks by the garage door to hang keys and purses to grab and go. Eventually we hope to add a welly wall back there and more hooks for hanging jackets.
Designing Your Entryways
When we designed our entryway I knew that I wanted wallpaper. It was the perfect size wall and was a chance to add a wow factor without overwhelming guests. Because the wall is behind them, most people don’t notice it until they’re leaving which is a great image to have them leave with, letting them see our wild side.
While our front door needs replacing, we decided to paint it until we’re ready for a new door. So the front of the door is black to match the black shutters on our home with a sign and foliage to welcome friends and family. On the inside the door is painted the same color orange (Moroccan Sky) as the arch in our family room. This pulls the colors from another room that you can see from the entryway and gives it a cohesive feel.
Because our entry is small, and right up against the stairs, there is little room for seating to be able to put shoes on. However, the use of our stairs, the edge of the couch, and a small chair can all be used to put shoes on or take them off. Eventually, we’ll find the perfect bench to replace the chair in the corner with under storage to hold shoes and make this space feel just a touch more cozy, but we haven’t found that perfect piece yet and don’t want to rush the process.
Embrace the Process
My design philosophy is the same as my life philosophy, go slow.
You won’t create the home of your dreams over night. And even if you do, you’ll always want to make changes and add things. A home, like a closet, is never finished. However, by going slow you get to discover pieces that you love and that fit with your style, not low quality products that fit in with the trends. More importantly, as you design your home slowly, over time, you’ll create something that is so you, no other home will be anything like it. And that’s the kind of homes I love helping build. A space that feels restful, welcoming and creative. Something that can’t just be recreated because it’s been so uniquely built.
Go slow. Find pieces that are unique, high-quality, and that you love. Pull elements of color, texture, or shape from other rooms to create cohesion. And remember that there is no right way to do this. By owning your unique vision and standing firm in it, you’ll create something magical that others will want to recreate themselves.