If they're poorly planned, entryways can be easily overrun by piles of mail, shoes, and jackets. It's important to have a system for filtering all that stuff at the door, but a small or unconventional layout can sometimes limit your organization options. Here are five ideas for five different types of spaces.
The Multitasking Entryway (for people who need double-duty space)
If you need your entryway to double as another "room" in your home, look for furniture that can serve two purposes at once. You can create a home office slash mail-sorting station by putting your desk near the door. If you need extra seating for parties, keep a bench in your entry hall that can easily be moved into the living room when you need it.
The Fully Stocked Entryway (for an apartment with a foyer)
In an ideal world, an entryway has a doormat to wipe shoes on, a shoe rack or cabinet, an area to hang jackets, a sorting station for mail, an umbrella stand, and a spot to put your bags, gloves, and scarves. All this stuff can overcrowd a small space, so only apply the full list if you have enough room.
The Wall-Mounted Entryway (for a small apartment with no formal entry)
If your door opens directly into your apartment, or you've only got a tiny sliver of space before the room transitions, a couple of coat hooks and a wall-mounted entryway organizer might be a good solution. Look for an organizer that can hold your keys and sort your mail. (For ideas, click here.)
The Hidden Entryway (for an apartment with a coat closet)
If it's big enough, a coat closet can contain most of the things that a foyer holds. An ultra-functional entry closet might contain a shoe rack, an umbrella stand, a couple of drawers for hat and glove storage, and a clothing rod for coats. It's a good idea to keep your mail sorter outside the closet, so that you don't forget to keep up with it.
The Tech Lover's Entryway (for people with lots of gadgets)
People who carry a lot of digital devices—iPods, iPads, Kindles, cell phones, BlackBerries, etc, etc—need a place to charge their gear. A charging station near the front door acts as a reminder to plug in when you get home and pick up when you leave. For a list of options, click here.
For more entryway inspiration from Apartment Therapy, click here.
• Entryway with Bench from Cafe Mom
• Organized Entryway from Chez Larsson
• Vitra Utensilo in Jack's Tiny NYC Apartment
• Antique Coat Closet in Christy and John's Logan Square Bungalow
• Charging Drawer in Chris' Houston High-Tech Home
Photos: Angela Ferdig, Benita Larsson, Jill Slater, Sarah Coffey, Chris Nguyen