13 Ideas for Creating a More Organized Entryway
Your entryway may be the space your family utilizes every morning to organize belongings and get ready for the day ahead, but for guests, this room is also a reflection of your lifestyle, giving them a taste of what lies beyond the front door. With that in mind, it's easy to see why this area of the house needs to be both functional and representative of your home's overall style.
Curating a functional entryway is easy once you've taken stock of the space's existing features and your family's organizing needs. Because the entryway, mudroom, or foyer is home to some of our most important everyday belongings—keys, coats, bags, and more often than not, mail that accumulates during the week—getting a rein on clutter is important, as is building in features that will help you corral it.
In any season, having a system for organizing outerwear and shoes is key. Our numbered entryway approach can streamline these items for a busy family on the go, while our take on a drying rack for shoes, the pebble-filled tray, will help prevent messes from being tracked into your living spaces. Once the basics are covered, it's all about incorporating accessories to further maximize the space, like sleek umbrella organizers, mirrors, and shelving, or even a freestanding clothing rack with baskets for extra storage.
Here, we're sharing the most functional elements of any entryway or mudroom, including tips and tricks from Kevin Sharkey, executive vice president and executive design director for the Martha Stewart brand. Put these tips to work and you'll have an entryway that's both functional and cohesive with the design of the rest of your home.
Create a Custom Entryway Console
This entryway console is built from two unfinished wood cabinets, which we painted a soft green. We added wooden legs to elevate the pieces and make room underneath for more storage; you can also mount the cabinets on the wall or stack them. To optimize space stick self-adhesive metal hooks inside the doors, and adjust the shelves (each cabinet comes with two). Next, designate a cubby for everyone in your household—even your pets. Reserve one for mail and general use.
IKEA "Ivar" Cabinets, from $70 each, ikea.com; Benjamin Moore Paint in "Southfield Green," from $10.99 per pint, benjaminmoore.com; Waddell Square "Parsons" Wood Table Legs, $3.50 for 6" leg, homedepot.com; Kara Kosaka "Tipping Point" Limited‐Edition Art in Muted Rose, $198, minted.com; Michele Varian White Stoneware Sculptural Vase 64, $400, michelevarian.com. Made Goods "Breck Box," $600, jungleeny.com; Iittala "Nappula" Candle Holders, $94.99 for a set of 2, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Kevin's Elegant Entryway
Smart Closet Storage
Outfit your foyer closet with smart storage solutions so it's ready for every coat and accessory. To neatly store bags, mount hooks on the inside of the door. Then get double the amount of hanging space with a closet rod extender. Suspend longer coats on the upper level; use the bottom rod for shorter ones.
Stop grimy shoes in their tracks by setting a boot tray next to the front door. But go the extra mile for guests by offering everyone a pair of slippers.
Bag the Small Stuff
Don't let smaller items get lost in the shuffle. Organize your entryway closet by looping clear plastic bags around a hanger or two for easily lost items like gloves, hats, and scarves.
Streamline your entryway with boldly numbered hooks and corresponding cloth baskets for family members or guests. Using stencils is a smart way to ensure painted numbers look flawless on your walls.
Small Space Solution
If you want to brighten your entryway, create a "window" using basic bevel-edged mirrors. To start, prime and paint a floating shelf the same color as your walls to give it a seamless built-in effect; then install it three feet off the floor (standard height for a console). Add a grid of mirrors above, leaving about an inch around each to mimic windowpanes. For a flush, bracket-free look, attach the mirrors to the wall with construction adhesive made for mirrors.
Install Stylish Lockers
The last time you had a locker, it may have held your algebra book and pictures of Shaun Cassidy ripped from Tiger Beat. These days, though, lockers can serve as catchalls at home for your kids' mountains of stuff. You can also stylize them to look more inline with your space so they don't look as if they belong in a high school.
Family Mudroom Organizer
If sports equipment, bags, and shoes are constantly underfoot in your home, give everybody a separate space for such gear. Assign a sturdy metal storage bin to each member of the household; use magnets and a photo to mark who each one belongs to (don't forget the family dog!). Slide the bins underneath a bench in the front hall, or line them up in a mudroom.
Recycling may save the planet, but it ruins the corner of your room until collection day. An easy-to-make sorting station near the door will help you get in order and can keep odors at bay.
Bucket Umbrella Stand
Transform an inexpensive flower bucket into a nice-looking umbrella stand by painting the bottom of the bucket with glossy oil-based enamel paint. Mark the bottom third of a tall galvanized bucket (available at garden centers) with painters' tape; prime and paint this area and the bottom of the bucket, and let dry for at least 24 hours.
Magnetic Hall Organizer
Metal mailboxes offer a stylish way to organize a front hall or a mudroom. The hooks provide a perfect perch for raincoats, scarves, and umbrellas; hats, gloves, and mittens fit nicely inside the box. These boxes get a crisp look when spray-painted white. A bonus: They're magnetic, so you can easily adhere favorite images and notes to them.