Help with Landing Strip in Small Apartment?

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Q: My second floor apartment has its own private entryway, which is nice. There's a window with a bit of stained glass, a basic ceiling light and one electrical outlet. The apartment also has very little storage space, so we're looking to find a way to use the entryway for coat, boot, hat and glove storage. The rest of the landing strip will have to be upstairs.

There's a little space behind the front door--only about six inches right by the door, but there's about a foot and a half of depth right by the stairs. The walls are 100 year old plaster, so I'm not sure about hooks or anything else going on the walls or how much they'd be able to hold.

The stairs also have two sets of ugly pipes on the walls. Any ideas on how to disguise them a little or make them blend in more? We'd like to do something creative with all that wall space, if only we could think of something.

Sent by Mary

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.