Monday, April 23, 2018

Creating a pretty & functional entryway

Happy Monday dear ones.  I do believe that painting my laundry room linoleum was a catalyst project for many others.  That happens, with happy projects though, doesn't it?  (If you missed the laundry room post, do pop over and check it out, here.)

Today, I am sharing what I've recently done to streamline and pretty-up our entry space, while keeping it functional.  I think we can probably all agree, that shoes and shoe storage are such common issues for each of us.  I know in our home, we have four adult-sized people and we all have many pairs of shoes to manage.  As a mom, I've tried really hard, even from babyhood, to keep kid shoes at minimum!  (That is more than half the battle.) I can remember pouring over websites when they were in elementary school, hunting for ONE pair of shoes that would work for my children for nearly any event and buying them each a pair.  Not only did that save us money, it made my life so much easier. I mean yes, there was the occasional, "I can't find my shoes MOM!!" moment. But that happens with ten pairs of shoes too, ya know? (Dare I say, happens more often?) (Somehow they were always located... and it was rare, because the shoes always had a designated place and there was only the one pair to manage, after all.)

Anyway, moving on to adult sized kids... The laundry room had become a dumping ground as of late.  Once painted, I refused to let them use it for shoe storage and pushed everyone back to using the hallway system. As an organized person, I'm working to teach my kids that if they have more than two pairs of shoes here, it's probably time for a quick trip to closets with the extras anyway. This habit will help them manage their own households one day, which is really the entire point. I find that if I give them extra space for more shoes, they take it, so logically, giving them less space means less shoes.  Guess what? This actually works, with only a tiny bit of gentle re-training on the subject.  Once I reminded them that the Ikea shoe storage cubby was where our shoes were going from now on, I noticed that shoes started being stored back in there, and extras were getting put away.  Yipee!

Most organization comes from Mama training and saying, "Oh, could you do this instead please?" anyway, right alongside keeping "things" at a manageable amount. It's up to use to lead the charge and keep home a haven.

 One thing my boys were doing that was driving me a bit bonkers, was bringing shoes into the kitchen to put on so they could sit down.  Sometimes a certain teen boy who runs... was also bringing in mud chunks and track turf so I evaluated the entry way and decided it needed some tweaking.  I ran out and hunted for an inexpensive thrifted chair and brought home this beauty, above.  (You can see the before at the bottom of this post... I painted it with leftover dark gray chalk paint from the laundry floor project.)  It has been such a huge hit, that I'm not sure why didn't add a place for them to sit years ago.

No matter how much space you do or don't have for a designated entry space, you can almost always add tiny seating, a few hooks on the wall, and a storage basket someplace for odds and ends.  Add some cheery artwork or framed photos and you've got a welcoming space.  It doesn't have to be expensive or massive in size. It certainly isn't about that... it's about determining your family's needs and solving those problems.  For us, installing a long runner-type rug was key.  It's pattern is forgiving, easily vacuumed an really delineates this space for guests and such.  (It was also a long-ago Ikea purchase.)
 I also added a tray that is a perfect spot for a pair of sunnies now that the garden is calling. (Because pretty is important too.)
This overhead cubby system was a great purchase several years ago and the slide-out baskets work well for the hidden storage of small cluttery-type things like hats, sunscreen, gloves and such.  I use a chalk label tag (I believe I found a pack of three at Michaels, years ago) and tied them on with string. They are easy to quickly change for seasons.

*This cubby system was purchased years ago on Amazon, here. 
*The baskets were purchased at Marshall's. (If you do this, make sure and jot down the cubby dimensions before you head out.)
These Ikea shoe drawers tip out and believe it or not, they hold two pairs of men's size 12-13 shoes! Since I have two of those men-sized shoe wearers in this house, it was a great find.

This is the Hemnes shoe cabinet, (found here) and I switched out the knobs for something rather pretty, below. (I believe we found them at Marshall's and that's a great spot to find affordable knob packs!)

Here is the thrifted chair, before... I painted it using my leftover, Valspar chalky finish paint in "Opera gown" and really loved how the feminine lines of the chair paired with the masculine color of the paint.  At first I tried white and it was just too "sweet."

Now our entry way is the whole package... a pretty and functional spot for all.  Especially the boys.  And mama's happy because it's tidy and streamlined... you know what they say. If mama's happy..... (wink... true!) Do you have a great entry way that functions well for your family or is yours in need of a few tweaks?  What have you found to work the best for your family's needs?  I'd love to  hear from you in comments.



  1. The entrance into your home, whether it’s a full foyer or slim space of wall, is the first to greet your guests – so it should be fabulous, functional, and fit for you. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.
    house cleaning services nj :)

  2. My entry needs some work. My home doesn't have a foyer of any kind so you just walk right into the living area. And with 4 kids and a husband the shoes are out of control at the front door. We've tried baskets, but the visual clutter is still too much for me. I will have to check into the Ikea shoe storage. As always, thanks for a great post. I still love your paint choices and plan to try the Rice Grain in our living/kitchen area.

    1. Oh that's so hard.. but not impossible to work with! We have had homes and apartments in the past with that set up. I've seen some solutions where you use a small cubby shelf jutting out from the wall, rather than flat against it, creating a sort of defining line for the space. You can then use baskets and add a place for coats with a coat tree if hooks are out of the questions. I think it's about creating zones where there aren't any. I'm happy to help you further if you ever wanted it... (also my new job is soon to launch a virtual organizing option so you could always convo with me further for more details on that!)

  3. I like what you did here.
    We have an entry closet so costs and shoes go in there. If more shoes start to pile up I tell them to take to their rooms. I did purchase a four cubby from wal mart to use as a landing zone for mail and give everyone a bin to put their extra things I find lying around.