Ever since I graduated college and started living in my own apartment, I’ve had a fascination with interior design. I suppose this isn’t surprising; decor is kind of like fashion for your apartment. And I love fashion. If you follow me on Pinterest, then you probably already have some ideas as to my aesthetic for interiors, but I thought I might start using this blog as a way to share some of my thoughts on how to make a space both beautiful and functional (and what better place to start than the entryway, right?). Partly because I feel like all this pinning should be put to good use, but also because I feel like a lot of media focused on interior inspiration falls short when it comes to function.
Sure, I really like the super clean, simple look, but when I actually think about living in this type of space, I often end up saying “wait, but where would I put all my stuff? I’d ruin the whole vibe of this room the second I move in”. As with fashion, decor should aim to be stylish, comfortable, and functional. No one wants the Christian Louboutin equivalent of an apartment (damn sexy but so uncomfortable you want to cry after five minutes of standing).
So I’ve put together a short list of seven things I think every entryway needs. Don’t have an entryway? No problem, you’ll still want these things close to your front door.
Everyone likes to take one last look at themselves before they leave to make sure they don’t have broccoli in their teeth or unruly flyaways that need to be taken care of. Instead of running back to the bathroom before exiting, just have a mirror by the door. If you live in a studio, then your entryway probably overlaps with your bedroom, and you should make it a full length mirror for outfit checking purposes. If you can’t afford a mirror from an interior decor place (seriously, when did they get so expensive?) then you can find some cute options that are easier on your wallet at places like Target, Home Goods, and even Walmart.
Whether its a chair, bench, or ottoman, or even the fact that your dining room table is 3 feet away from the front door, it’s a good idea to have a place to sit near the entry as a place to put on and take off shoes. Or, you know, sit and wait while your roommate hogs the mirror.
A Table or Shelf
This one seems like a no brainer – you need a place to put stuff down when you come home. Otherwise you’ll just always have mail, keys, sunglasses and other knickknacks on your kitchen counter, desk, or other area that would ideally be kept clear. Depending on how many people you live with and how big your space is, you can opt for anything from a small shelf below your mirror (or a mirror with a built in shelf like this one) to a larger table or console like the one pictured here. It’s up to you.
A Place to Put Keys/Mail
Once you have the table or shelf to put your keys on, it helps to have a little decorative bowl or basket to hide your keys and other knickknacks in. There are certain items that just don’t look good laying around in your apartment, and keys are one of them. Mail can also be organized in a more attractive way, though I don’t know if I would consider that quite as necessary, since mail doesn’t normally stay in one place for long.
Real or fake (can I get a ‘woop woop’ from my fellow black thumb readers?), plants help make your entryway a transitional area from outdoors to indoors. Bringing a little bit of green into the picture is a nice way of enjoying what nature has to offer, while still enjoying the air conditioning. Plus, if they’re real plants they’ll help clean the air in your apartment or house. Greenery for the entryway can range from anything to a small succulent or two, to a faux bouquet of flowers (if you like a more colorful option), to a larger tree or palm (if you want to play with height and scale). Plus, if you like to cook with fresh herbs, why not keep one or two of your favorites in your apartment and save on the grocery bill? We’re killing multiple birds with one plant here, people.
A Place to Hang Coats/Bags
I’m extremely guilty of pulling a Miranda Priestly every day and flinging my coat and bag on whatever chair/couch/bed/desk/counter I’m closest to when I take my coat off. Unfortunately this isn’t the best way to keep your apartment organized when you don’t have an assistant, and it also drives everyone else crazy. Make your life easier and get a couple of hooks to hang coats and bags on. With a studio, it might be a better idea to just get one of those sets of hooks that you can put on the back of your door. Other solutions are mirrors that have hooks on them, or just getting a set of hooks that can be drilled into the wall. I suppose if you really want that stuff out of sight, you could get some kind of armoir (if you don’t have a coat closet already), but it all depends on the amount of space you have to work with.
Don’t forget little things like your winter gloves and hat, scarves, umbrella, rain boots, gym bag, disposable grocery bags, and other things that just make sense to keep by the door. If you don’t have a closet (and didn’t get an armoir for coats that could also hold this stuff), then you can either opt for a table or bench that also has storage in it, or add decorative baskets/storage bins underneath your choice of table or bench.
And that’s it! For smaller spaces, where you don’t actually have an entryway, it’s great to opt for pieces that act as more than one of these items, like a mirror that has a shelf attached to it or a table/console that also hides stored items. It’s all about finding the pieces that work for your space, style, and stuff.
What do you guys think? Did I miss anything you consider a must to have in your entryway? Let me know in the comments!
For your pinning pleasure:
The photos used in this post are not my own and originate from the following websites (in order of appearance): Coco Lapine Design, @megtimjakebay, My Domaine, My Domaine, West Elm, Cali Vintage, Architecture Art Design, One Kings Lane, Domino