How Can I Use This 2-Story Apartment Staircase Entryway?

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Q: I've been living in the most wonderful one bedroom apartment on the second floor of an old house for the last year, and would really like to find a way to take advantage of my large -but slightly awkward - entryway, which consists of a rather tall staircase and high ceilings.

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 I currently don't have much here at all (a few 3M hooks for hanging up my dog's leash) and an extra bike that doesn't fit anywhere in the apartment. At the top of the staircase, there's a small alcove and I've installed some hooks for coats and added a small table to put mail/sunglasses/etc.:

That's ok, but I'm wondering if there's any interesting way to utilize the vertical space (of which there's a lot) for some sort of storage. Ideally, I'd love a place to keep bike helmets and accessories near the door, as well as items like umbrellas and backpacks. It just seems to narrow to put all of this next to the door. I've been thinking about something like Ikea's Grundtal shelves, but not sure at what height to add them (or where).

I'd love people's thoughts on better utilizing vertical space in an aesthetically pleasing way for this sort of entryway, which is typical for apartments here in the midwest. :)

Sent by Hazel M.

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(Image: provided by Hazel M.)

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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.