Our current entryway has seen a few different iterations in the 10 years we’ve been here. Nothing we’ve tried has really worked or functioned as we would have liked. Today, I’m sharing our entryway in its current state and the design ideas I have planned for it.
This is a project we are hoping to tackle this year but with the loss of my job and COVID-19, we are pivoting slightly for the time being. While we’re all in this waiting game, I recently talked about how I am using this time for design and seeking out inspiration for our various home projects. Really trying to nail down the details and the look we’re after. It’s something I don’t always flesh out all the way and so I think this will be good.
A look at our CURRENT ENTRYWAY + DESIGN IDEAS
Our entryway in its current state
Our entryway is quite small and a little tight when you come through the front door. There are two issues you run into immediately upon entering. The first is the coats hanging on the wall behind the door and the second is the wall separating the hall from the living room.
Too many coats
Our entryway has gone through many iterations, and one of the many design ideas we’ve had was adding additional hooks on the walls for everyday items. Our entryway closet is on the smaller side and not super functional. It’s basically a cavernous hole where things go to get lost and are forgotten.
So, for the jackets and hats we use every day I thought it made sense to have a place to put them within easy reach. Before they were being thrown on the banister and weren’t making their way into the closet. Adding the hooks to the wall allowed us to create some order and keep the space from looking like a complete mess.
But, the problem is that these hooks are storing a lot more than originally intended. Seasonal items are not getting rotated out and the hooks are overflowing. When trying to enter through the front door, it’s hard at times to open the door all the way. The coats and hats hanging on the wall behind the door are preventing this. It’s especially annoying when trying to lug groceries in. I’m the sorta person who tries to carry everything in all at once. And, if the door can’t open all the way, it’s incredibly hard to get through.
The second issue is the wall that separates the hall to the kitchen from the living room. It extends just a little too far into the entry making it difficult for more than one person to maneuver around when coming and going.
Moving furniture in and out of the house is also a challenge. It’s hard to keep the edge of this wall from nicks and scratches. It is constantly taking a beating. The most recent damage is from our living room sofas which tested our marriage that day for sure. 🙂
Small Front closet
We do have a closet in our entryway but it isn’t anything to get excited about. It’s your typical, basic closet with 2 shelves at the top and a rod for hanging. The shelves at the top hold games and baskets for hats, scarves , and gloves. But this is where the little functionality this closet holds, ends. My husband has quite a few jackets and coats and while most of them fit, it doesn’t leave much room for accommodating our guests when needed.
Shoe storage is what we are lacking. My husband also has quite the shoe collection and our 45″ wide x 29″ deep coat closet just isn’t equipped to handle all of them. I tried adding a simple shoe rack at the bottom to give us some extra vertical storage but it doesn’t really work. The shoes fall off and some fall behind and are lost in the dark.
And, with this being the only storage closet on the first floor, we’ve also tried to store brooms and mops in here. A big ask for our tiny coat closet.
Flooring and Mouldings
A year or two after we moved in we updated the vinyl flooring that ran from the entryway into the kitchen to a porcelain tile floor. And while I loved the tile when we first installed it, I think both Mike and I are wishing we had gotten bids to do hardwoods to match the rest of the first floor.
The tile has held up well but I regret not taking the time to seal the grout. One of the projects I’ve slowly been working on is cleaning the grout. I’ve had some success with two different remedies but they are both tedious and are slow going. Keeping Moose out of the kitchen while I work on this project has also been a struggle.
We also have transition issues between flooring. A family friend of my in-laws did the install and a mistake I made was not going over transitions with him. We were left with uneven floors in two areas that we are still trying to figure out how we want to address. Which at this point may just be with new floors.
One of the few design ideas I am happy with in our entryway is the addition of the crown and base moulding. The base that was there originally was really small and there was no crown to speak of. When we demoed the floors, we pulled out the old base and updated it to a beefier, more traditional one and ran crown along the top. It makes the entry feel grand and more complete.
I don’t love our stairs but they are better than when we first moved in. When we closed on the house, one of the first things we did before moving in was pull up the old green carpet runner that ran up the stairs.
There are some nail holes that need filled and a chip in one of the treads from the drop of a heavy piece of furniture. I don’t love the color of the wood, but until we decide to stain the rest of the floors in the house, they will remain as is.
I have considered doing another runner up the stairs. Something that aligns more with our style, but this is not top of our to-do list.
Furniture and Finishes
I mentioned above that we’ve tried several didn’t ways to bring functionality into this small space, but nothing seemed quite right.
We’ve tried hanging a small ledge on the wall with a mirror above it to catch keys. Tried various pieces of furniture by the door for more storage. Hung various pieces of art and mirrors trying to get the right look. And, added hooks for everyday items that don’t ever quite make it into the closet.
Currently, all we have now is a metal boot tray for corralling dirty shoes and a basket to hold Moose’s harness and leash and other supplies.
The 3 biggest updates we would like to make in the foyer that will really make the space more functional and complete are removing the wall separating the hall from the living room, redoing the coat closet, and updating the tile.
Removal of wall separating hall from living room
The update my husband is most excited about and would do tomorrow if I would let him, is removing the wall that separates our hall from the living room. By removing we will gain more room in our entryway and also open up the living room a bit.
We do not believe it is a load-bearing wall but I want to have someone confirm this just to be sure.
One of the things we do need to investigate though is the return air vent in the wall. If it’s providing any air circulation to the second floor we may need to rethink this plan or do some rerouting.
This wall is also holding up an update I want to make in our living room. I want to install custom built-ins on the wall that runs perpendicular to it. Until we decide the fate of the hallway wall though, this will have to wait.
Design New Entryway Closet
Our current coat closet is not as functional as it could be. With only two shelves and one rod, it is mostly wasted space. If we can update this to be more functional, this would be the biggest win in our small space.
One of the design ideas Mike and I have is to remove the closet and put a custom built-in cabinet in its place. One with various forms of storage. I’m still working out the design but I think I would like something that is a combo of hanging, drawers, and enclosed shelves.
Shelves at the top behind cabinet doors for stowing items away like games and seasonal accessories. Two large, deep drawers at the bottom for flats and tennis shoes. And in the middle, a combination of hanging for coats and storage for taller shoes and boots.
I would also like to be able to store our Dyson stick vac and swifter mop but I may be asking for too much. 🙂
Updating the Tile in the Entryway
The third update we want to make in the entryway is to update the tile and fix the transition between the entry and living room.
If we’re able to remove the wall, I’m not sure what kind of flooring we’ll find under there. I don’t think the hardwoods continue underneath. My guess is it’s just a subfloor that we’ll need to patch. So, then the question becomes do we continue with the hardwood or do a different tile?
I would LOVE to do a gorgeous and classic black and white tile like the one shown here or this modern combo here. But because the space would open up into the living room and it’s such a small area, I wonder if it makes more sense to continue the hardwood floors. Or maybe not. I’m still undecided on this one and will need to consider the kitchen and dining room when we do.
EntryWay Design Ideas
Adding detail to the walls
Along with making these updates, I have some design ideas for the entryway to give it some style and personality.
One of the changes I want to make is adding some kind of treatment to the walls going up the stairs and into the second-floor hall. I’m considering doing some kind of paneling like the one shown here or adding wallpaper.
My search for wallpaper led me to a couple of options at an unlikely source. I rounded up my favorites in a recent post. I like the idea of a blue ticking stripe like the one shown here for a classic look and feel. But, I could also see a bold, fun print like this one to bring some personality and style into the space.
relocating the living room tv
Currently, our living room tv is on a console in front of the wall we want to remove. If we take the wall down, I want to relocate the TV to the bit of wall we have just past the stairs. There’s enough wall there for us to mount it on the wall which is something we would prefer and have done before.
We would need a much smaller console under it though to hold any components. The wall deadness into a small opening into our kitchen. Anything that sticks out too far form the wall will encroach on the walkway into the space.
Add additional storage
The last design idea I have for the entryway is to add a piece of furniture by the front door for additional storage.
Everyone needs something by the front door to be a catch all for keys, sunglasses, mail, extra change, etc. You can use a wall shelf or ledge, a table, a bench, or another piece of furniture that fits within the space you have.
We’ve tried a few different things but the pieces I liked the best were ones that had drawers for extra storage for tucking things away out of sight. We have a small buffet with one large, deep drawer that used to live in our living room before we purchased the new sofas.
We temporarily moved the buffet over by the front door and I really liked the scale of the piece and the extra storage we had with the drawer. It made the opening to the living room from the entryway a little tight with the wall though. It wasn’t horrible though and something we could make work for the time being.
Designing an entryway for function and form
When considering the updates we want to make and the design ideas we have for our entryway, the function of this small space will be top of mind when we do update.
But because the entryway is also the first chance we get to welcome our guests into our home, the form will also be important to consider. It is the first opportunity we get to showcase our personality and style.
It will also set the tone for the rest of our house as it links to all the other spaces. Both on the first floor and on the second. It will be critical for creating cohesion throughout our whole home.
The next step in the process will be to take the design ideas I have for our entryway and the updates we want to make and create a mood board and plan. Sourcing finishes and nailing down the designing details.
What’s most important to you in your entryway? The function or the form or both?