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A successful entry eases the transition from outdoors to the inside of our homes — and vice versa. A well-designed entry can provide a place to hang coats and store shoes; a designated spot for keys and other little necessities; a place to sit while taking off or slipping on shoes; hooks for hanging bags, backpacks, hats or the dog leash; and a mirror for that final check before leaving the house. The following examples offer ideas and inspiration for making the most of your entry.


Entry 1: Carmel Building & Design, original photo on Houzz


Now, here’s an entry that provides nearly every function on the list and more. A chair offers seating, the cabinet features hooks and shelving for storing items, and a chest of drawers with a mirror above becomes the place to keep those things that are frequently in hand when leaving or entering the house.

To assess the best solutions for your entry, notice which items are consistently brought into and carried out of the house during each season of the year. This will help you identify the furniture and accessories that will support the patterns of your household.


Entry 2: Patrick Sutton Associates, original photo on Houzz


Certainly not every entry has to meet every function on our list — merely the ones required by the occupants and perhaps frequent visitors. In this home, an armoire provides a place to hang garments and a drawer for storing items, next to a slipcovered chair for sitting. Slipping a couple of baskets under the armoire would add storage for shoes and other items.

If getting out of the house on time is an issue, consider placing a big clock in the entry as a helpful reminder. (This is particularly smart with kids!) A boot tray set just inside the door is a reminder to take off shoes before entering.


Entry 3: KMSalter Design, original photo on Houzz


A compact entry calls for compact solutions. Here a slim shoe cabinet can store multiple pairs of shoes while providing a small surface on which to set keys. Another multitasking solution is the mirror with hooks along its edges.


Entry 4: Joan Heaton Architects, original photo on Houzz


If wall hooks aren’t to your liking, simply place a free-standing coat rack inside the front door. Here, a long bench allows for baskets to be placed underneath. Hooks line the entire perimeter of the room above the wainscoting, and a charming antique urn for umbrella storage completes the look.

A bench not only looks welcoming, but provides function and design to this hardworking area of the home. Select a bench that not only supports the various functions of the entry, but also accentuates the style of the home.

It’s amazing what just a few items can do to change how an entry functions. Sometimes one well-designed piece can meet all of an entry’s needs.


Entry 5: Sealy Design Inc., original photo on Houzz


Built-ins are another solution. This custom closet keeps all the essentials behind closed doors and inside a deep drawer. Facing the closet doors with mirrors is a functional move that also helps the space appear larger.


Entry 6: Diane Burgoyne Interiors, original photo on Houzz


In creating your well-functioning entry, consider how it will help set or tie into the design of the rest of the house. Rugs, pillows, mirror, paint, wallpaper, lighting and art — each item has an opportunity to be an expression of the people who live in the home.