As we move into the fall and then the winter with its coats and packages, a good landing strip increases in value as the key to a well-functioning home. It's a place to put things when you come in and a place to put things that you want to remember to take with you when you go out. We've learned that you don't need very much space to have one that works. While it's nice to have a small hallway to spread out in or a closet nearby, here's an example of how to make even the smallest of areas work effectively. Let's break it down.
- Hooks: Three attractive and well-placed hooks are ready to take your coat, handbag and umbrella and provide enough room to accommodate a few guest items as well. A leash, or a roomy bag for errands and groceries, hung here is easily accessible but still looks neat.
- Door mat: Winter weather often means wet weather. A green mat catches umbrella drips and wipes off dirty shoes and boots while the dark mat acts as a visual border to differentiate between the entry point and the rest of the home. It's a subtle detail but one we think is important and that underlines that this point is your barrier between your home and the outside world.
- Bowl neatly catches keys and pocket detritus. It's large enough for a cell phone and a few envelopes.
- Flat surface: (here the green surface next to the bowl) holds packages, the book you have to remember to return to the library or a shoe that needs a trip to the shoemaker for a new heel. The place mat, in bright green, acts as a visual spotlight and ties this space to the doorway.
- Vase of flowers: while not essential, acts as a bright smile to welcome you home. Try a single posy in a wall hanging vase if your space is limited.
- Art or Mirror by the front door: is pure pleasure. A piece of art or something whimsical here is like a little wave goodbye connecting you with your home and personalizes a functional space. You might also want to try a mirror here, as a last minute place to check your makeup or make sure you're not walking out the door with food in your teeth.
Think you don't have even this much space for a landing strip? Don't forget a space that many people overlook: the back of your door! Put up a hook or two, install a flip up or flip down shelf (a Wooly Pocket might be another way to go), put down a mat or paint a small square or rub down a fun decal on the floor and you're good to go.
Take a good look at your entry point. What can you do to up its effectiveness?
Image: Red Paper Record's Flickr, used with permission