Entryway storage ideas – 13 tricks to boost this tiny space's functionality

Give this small room a starring role with entryway storage ideas that expand functionality and even add a decorative flair

A built in wooden storage unit at the entryway
(Image credit: The Main Company. Photo credot Chris Snook Photography)

With clever entryway storage, you can make this part of your home work harder, whether it's a grand entrance or a small space. Of course, the priority is always to make this a welcoming, beautiful first impression, but along with prettying it up, do consider using this space for storage to keep your home organized and tidy.

More often than not, apartments and even many houses have small, cramped entryways, making it difficult to find the space to store everyday things, but it can even be difficult to include the right storage in a larger entryway. Yet, with the inclusion of smart closets, built-in units, cubbies, baskets, floating shelves, rails and ladders, the everyday mess of jackets, shoes, socks, keys and more can be contained. 

If you're looking for smart, new entryway ideas to maximize this space, then our experts have you sorted. Take a look and get inspired.

13 entryway storage ideas that will make this space work harder

;Entryway storage can often be on the smaller side so keeping it tidy is key,' says Juliette Thomas, founder and director of Juliettes Interiors. 'If you have a small entryway cupboard, think practically and store bulkier items you need less frequently at the back to save you from making a mess when rummaging around; such as thick coats. For everyday items like shoes, jackets, and dog leads, keep them at the front of the cupboard for easy access. There are also some fabulous storage boxes and organizers available for smaller items like keys.'

1. Choose a cabinet that complements the home's decor

An entryway with blue ceiling and a blue storage unit

(Image credit: Living with Lolo. Photo credit Life Created)

If you want to set the tone for your home straightaway then create an entryway that makes a statement. Paint the walls or ceiling and bring in a stylish sideboard or a cabinet that fits right into the home's scheme. 

If you have a narrow hallway or entryway, then choose a slim unit with tip-out compartments. These will work well for many other storage needs, such as holding documents, keys, plastic bags, and other small and flat items. To make it look high-end, switch out the knobs for a stylish upgrade.

'This space was designed to have a pop of glam,' says Lauren Lerner, founder, and principal designer at Living with Lolo. 'The grasscloth sideboard with brass details and the statement chandelier make a strong statement and set the tone for the rest of the house. We balanced out the glam by adding in a rug with natural woven fibers.' 

2. Go for a small yet statement-making storage unit

A entryway space with a storage console painted in pop art colors

(Image credit: Maestri Studio. Photo credit Nathan Schroder)

The clever storage unit in this home makes the most of the small footprint. In an area that is already dominated by a wall panel and a tall chair, the designer placed an eye-catching console to match the space's vibe. A great idea to borrow if you have a small hallway or entryway. 

'The entryway console was sourced from Poland,' says Eddie Maestri, principal architect and creative director of Maestri Studio. 'We loved how the hand-painted front gives a bespoke and playful vibe to the otherwise formal feel of this entry.'

3. Consider a floating shelf at the entryway

A small entryway with floating shelves

(Image credit: Brad Ramsey Interiors. Photo credit Jack Gardner)

Usually open, floating cabinets offer plenty of use in bathrooms or even by a bedside; excellent choices for cramped entryways and hallways. The fact that they float off the ground means they have light visuals, it's easier to clean under them and they do not take up much space. Plus, the open units will make sure you keep them tidy, as they're constantly in view. For entryway or hallway storage ideas, this design works well. 

'Most of the time, beach houses don’t need a lot of storage at the entry,' says Brad Ramsey, founder, and principal designer at Brad Ramsey Interiors. 'They merely require a place to offload beach bags, sandals, and sunscreen bottles, so an open console with space around or below it usually works great. I love to use the entry to thoughtfully give a taste of the rest of the design aesthetic throughout the house. It’s like a sneak peek of what’s to come.' 

4. And paint it to give it a chic look

The entryway with a pink painted cupboard

(Image credit: Taylor Edwards Interiors. Photo credit Jenn Verrier)

Add another layer of interest with entryway or hallway paint ideas, along with a vibrant storage unit. If you love color and have a wonderful palette indoors, set the scene at the entrance and give your guests a taste of what they will encounter as they move inside. Plus, the paint will help the cabinet stand up to a few accidental dings, that won't show thanks to the bright hue. 

If you have a dark entrance, consider adding gloss paint to the unit, so it sparkles and shines, whatever time of day it is. Install a sconce or a pendant above and keep the scene as bright as possible. 

'We used Farrow and Ball's Dead Salmon in this functional mini entryway's custom floating cabinet,' says Taylor Edwards, founder of Taylor Edwards Interiors. 'This muted, fleshy pink paired perfectly with a piece of Maureen Meyer’s beautiful work reflecting on her daily life amidst a year of lockdown.'

5. Even a simple wall hook can do the job

An entryway with wallpaper and a wall hook to hang coats

(Image credit: M. Lavender Interiors. Photo credit Janet Mesic Mackie)

Wall hooks make tossing boots, hats, coats, and more quick and easy enough that even the laziest resident can make the effort. Hang one at the entryway wall but if the space is limited, consider hanging a hook along a staircase wall or a passageway wall. 

'We wanted to create an entry space that was bright and whimsical, so we used lots of bright colors and overlaid the plaid patterns from the floor tile to the walls to the accessories,' says Mark Lavender, principal designer and founder of M. Lavender Interiors. 'We added more layers to the client’s artwork collection, particularly the skateboard with the message – Don’t be a Jerk. It acts as inspiration for every time you leave this home and go out into the world. The foyer of this home was very small and there was no space for a chest or other storage furniture in the space, so we added this heart-shaped backplate to a formal piece of cabinet hardware to create this hook for the vibrant plaid tote bag to act as a place for keys, flashlights, etc.'

6. Choose a customized unit to fit into a small space

A small entryway with a customized unit to fit the small space

(Image credit: Studio AM Architecture. Photo credit Haris Kenjar)

Tuck in a freestanding piece that will not only allow you to display personal items, decor pieces, or fresh flowers but will also be practical to drop smaller items such as keys and mail as you go in and out of the house. If you have an interesting entryway or hallway flooring, then show it off by choosing a storage unit that is open from below. A light unit like this will not hamper sightlines and give the space a seamless look.

'This Altura cabinet was customized with an open back to catch mail coming through the slot, keeping this entryway clean & organized,' says Aaron Mollick, co-founder of Studio AM Architecture

7. Baskets are the easiest way to add storage to a space

An entryway with a console and storage baskets underneath

(Image credit: Living with Lolo. Photo credit Life Created)

Sometimes the trouble with closed storage is that after you’ve tossed things in them, you forget what ended up where. This is where storage baskets come into play. Choose cane or mesh baskets, and can keep your items reined in yet visible. 

'This space was designed with a young family in mind,' says Lauren. 'The baskets under the bench add lots of toy storage, so they are accessible but not visible. The gallery of frames allows for the family to display family pictures.'

8. Bring in a clean-lined, elegant console to up the ante of the foyer

An elegant, gold-tinted unit at the entryway

(Image credit: Maestri Studio. Photo credit Jenifer McNeil Baker)

Entryways in apartments are tiny and mostly immediately open up to a major room in the home. In this aspect, remember to choose a storage unit that works great for both spaces. A cabinet that stands in a transitionary space should ideally complement the design of the main house. In doing so, it can be a storage unit or even a display shelf. 

'This piece by Bernhardt was selected to compliment the elegant lines of the foyer while being a continuation of the serene color palette of the home,' says Eddie. 

9. Go for a storage bench

A narrow entryway painted in pop colors and a storage unit in bright tones

(Image credit: AMC Design. Photo credit Heidi Marfitt)

'If you keep your entryway organized, it will make everything that much smoother – and storage is key to this,' says Ann Marie Cousins, founder of AMC Design. 'To keep the space clutter-free, and enable enough room for you and your guests to use it, opt for built-in storage. Consider storage benches or opt for baskets and caddies to hide items away in open shelves. It is essential to keep the entryway clear of bulky items so if possible, hide your shoes, umbrellas, and coats behind cupboards or under the stairs. Also, choose an eye-catching hue for these units to add personality to this small space.'

If you need just enough storage to stash your keys when you walk in, you could consider a picture shelf instead of a full shelf or a bench. Picture shelves usually have a depth of just a few inches, and can also beautifully display frames, books, or small knickknacks.

10. Hide storage under the entryway seat

A entryway unit with storage under the seat

(Image credit: The Main Company. Photo credot Chris Snook Photography)

Make the most of this space with a multipurpose unit that offers hats, coats, and hallway shoe storage solutions. With open and closed storage, hooks, and more, the unit will double as a complete one-stop place for all your organizing needs. Plus, it will allow you to settle down, take off your sneakers, coats, caps and more in peace.

'One of the benefits of a bespoke entryway storage design is that it can be completely customized to suit your everyday needs,' says Alex Main, director at The Main Company. 'Floor-to-ceiling cupboards provide helpful storage space, ideal for busy family households with lots of coats and shoes, to avoid trampling mud through the home. Hooks, hardware, and bespoke shelving can also be added to create a unique and practical space that can accommodate all of your belongings.'

11. Or go for a bespoke, freestanding seating and storage unit 

A built in storage unit by the entryway

(Image credit: Jessica Lagrange Interiors)

Custom, wooden cabinetry can bring warmth and a sense of individuality to the entryway. If you live in a rental and cannot afford to go in for a built-in unit, then a ceiling-to-floor freestanding one can be useful and practical. Hide coats, and bags and keep the entry uncluttered. Plants and textural baskets can add an organic touch. To make the unit look less industrial and more decorative, think of interesting entryway or hallway lighting ideas to illuminate the setup.

'There will always be keys, letters, and missed parcel delivery notes; so why not get some wall storage, with some hooks and a shelf to keep things you don't want to forget close to the door,' says Charlotte Sitton, founder of Organised by Charlotte.

12. A window seat will offer storage and great views

A built-in window seat by the entrance

(Image credit: JL Design. Photo credit Leslee Mitchell)

Keep in mind that your entryway isn't a place for only storage. It can also have a lovely socializing angle to it. After all your house, your rules. Try using this space creatively while adding functionality. If the entrance has a nice window, add a window seat with storage underneath. Don't want to spend big bucks on building a seat here? Move the living room daybed to this area, and offer comfortable seating, views, and storage.

Add handleless cubbies and drawers for tucking items away. Add fun cushions and a throw to cozy up the spot.

13. A simple table can be useful too

A entrance with a distress wood tall table

(Image credit: Joshua Smith Inc. Photo credit Lisa Romerin)

Tables are a smart and stylish storage idea that create an understated focal point, yet serve a practical purpose. If you don't want to add heavy storage in this area, choose a slim design, eye-catching, and impressive. Perhaps a distressed wood table or an ornate and carved one will do. Add interesting entryway table decor for the perfect finishing touch. 

What can I use if I don't have an entryway closet?

An entryway with a wallpaper in pink

(Image credit: -JL Design. Photo credit Reagen Taylor Photography)

If you're looking for entryway storage ideas but don't have the space for a closet or cabinet, then worry not. There are several ways you can include storage in this space. To start with, you could consider installing floating shelves on the walls, for a natural, minimalist vibe. Wall hooks or even knobs are a great invention, and allow you to hang coats, hats, umbrellas, and keys easily. Don't want to busy up the walls? Place wire racks, baskets, to even hat stands on the floor, and move them out of the way when not in use. That apart, if you're looking for creative ideas, you could prop a ladder or a rail and use them as units to hang things on.

If you're ready for a reno and want to give your entryway a smart, clean look, consider hidden units behind wall paneling. This will not only give the space a stylish look but also add oodles of functionality. 

Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.