Many entryways you see either in the flesh or when scrolling Pinterest for design inspiration evoke a sense of order and serenity. Whether the space has a minimalist esthetic or is adorned with bright patterned wallpaper and accessory overload, there's a hidden asset to any successful entryway that you may not even realise is the secret to its success and that’s storage.
Whatever the vibe or color scheme of an entryway, as designer Kathy Corbet tells us: “First impressions last, which is why a well-designed entryway is essential in every home.” Ensuring your entryway is clutter free is the easiest way to guarantee a great first impression. We have top designers at our disposal with their top tips for avoiding any storage mistakes in your entryway.
1. A DISORGANISED CONSOLE TABLE
Catherine Wilson of CCW Interiors tells us that an organized entryway is important because it acts like a “visual sorbet or that palate cleanser as you exit the world and enter your home.” Even if a console table feels like the best idea for storing mail, keys and other everyday essentials, if not organized properly it can become a dumping ground and somewhere for your belongings to pile up. Add decorative pieces like photo frames or trinkets you bought to dress the piece and suddenly it’s a chaotic mess.
To solve this issue, Wilson says to study your lifestyle and what your family need - not want - by the door and streamline what is kept on your console table. From there look at how you can hide the few necessary belongings with some pleasing entryway storage. Designer Peter Dunham says “a few beautiful straw baskets for beach towels, shawls, or dog leashes can tuck under a console and look inviting yet tidy.”
2. BUILT-IN BENCH STORAGE
If you have a bench in your entryway, you will likely end up using it as somewhere to dump coats and bags which looks untidy and takes away from the functionality of the bench as somewhere to sit. However, a bench with built-in storage isn't necessarily the answer. Designer Alexandra Kaehler warns “the problem is that in order to access it, you can’t be sitting, or have anything sitting on top of it, so it really isn’t as convenient as it seems in theory.” Instead the designer recommends opting for built-in storage with baskets or hooks above or below your seating area so your belongings are hidden and you don’t lose the functionality of your bench.
As built-in storage can impose on a space, Wilson says “if you paint the built-ins the color of your walls and trim, it’s a neat, cohesive, and clean look which provides necessary hidden storage.”
3. OVERFLOWING BASKETS
Though baskets seem to be the answer to all your problems, beware, lots of open baskets are not as tidy looking as hidden storage, or at least a basket with a lid. New York based Principal Designer and Founder of Arsight, Artem Kropovinsky, tells us that “abundant storage loses its merit if not maintained.”
Kaehler reminds us that “open baskets tend to collect clutter, unless they are up high or tucked into a closed shelf, they tend to look messy. She says “putting your outdoor accessories (hats, gloves, dog leashes, etc.) in baskets, inside of a closet is much cleaner and still very easily accessible.”
Wilson is in agreement. “In most cases, built-ins that span wall to wall and baseboard to crown seamlessly fit into the foyer,” she says. “Since they blend in and work to hide all your stuff, they make the area feel bigger and tailored.”
4. BULKY SINGLE-FUNCTION FURNITURE
When it comes to entryway storage it can be tempting to buy a catch-all piece of furniture which is big enough to store everything you keep in your entryway, but offers nothing in terms of esthetic to the space. If you’re browsing furniture like this as we speak because you think it will solve all your storage issues, please stop. Kropovinsky speaks from experience when he tells us that “especially in confined entryways, oversized furniture can overwhelm the space.”
Gray McElveen Walker of Gray Walker Interiors in North Carolina advises you opt for “storage pieces that look more like furniture. Don’t go with overscaled bulky pieces, keep them clean and sleek.” By using multi-purpose furniture you will gain a piece which serves you practically, but also adds visual interest to the space without overpowering the rest of your furniture or accessories. This could be a table with a liftable top or a modest stool that you can store belongings in.
5. LOTS OF AESTHETICALLY WEAK FURNITURE
Though bulky pieces of furniture are to be avoided, it’s also about balance. Gideon Mendelson, Founder and Creative Director of The Mendelson Group warns against going for small pieces of furniture which aren’t substantial enough to hold enough belongings and that end up forcing you to buy lots of small pieces. “Incorporate furniture, but do so thoughtfully,” Mendelson says. “Since this space typically doesn't have a lot of furniture, the pieces you choose have to be strong enough to carry the room.”
This could mean opting for a console table in a strong color which is substantial enough in size and creative value to hold the must-haves of your entryway while adding enough visually.
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Katie is a freelance lifestyle writer who has recently finished an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London. Before writing for Livingetc, Katie has gained bylines with The Caterer and The Telegraph and has interned at several lifestyle magazines including Grazia and Red. When not scrolling through Pinterest for interior design inspiration, Katie can be found writing about women's issues, trying out new beauty trends for her blog or seeing a West End show.
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