Hilary Swank Has the Most Organized Entryway — Here’s How to Copy It

published Apr 26, 2023
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Photo of Hilary Swank on a graphic colored background
Credit: Rachel Luna/Getty Images

When I first saw Hilary Swank’s entryway into her sprawling Colorado home featured in Architectural Digest, I was taken by its natural textures and its quality of lived-in-ness. I can tell just by looking at the photo that it’s a working entryway full of boots, equipment, and bags. But the space strikes the balance between authentic and organized. While many people might not have as much space as Hilary (168 acres, to be exact), you can still create a functional and beautiful entryway with a little editing and some multipurpose items. 

Combining inspiration from Swank’s home with my background in professional home organizing, I’ve found a four-step method for recreating this effortless look. 

Edit your entryway.

Even though it’s tempting, I don’t treat my entryway like a closet. Instead, I identify the shoes and coats my family is using most frequently each week. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but I tend to keep no more than two pairs of shoes per family member on my entryway’s shoe rack. Any overflow goes into our closets. As for jackets, each family member chooses the one they are most likely to need on their way out of the door. The rest of the jackets, like the shoes, go in our closets. Because the entryway is the first thing I see when I walk into my home, it’s easy to edit frequently. My rule of thumb: If you’re not using it daily, it doesn’t belong in the entryway. 

Hang hooks.

There’s something elegant about the utilitarian beauty of a hook. Because each family member is keeping one jacket or coat in the entryway, I have a hook for each person, plus a couple for guests and bags. For a rustic look like Swank’s, this textured oak hook rack with 5 copper pegs from Home Depot (and under $30) does the trick. If your vibe is more warm and minimal, a shaker peg rail would work great. 

Bring on the baskets.

I don’t think I’m being controversial when I say that baskets are the MVP of home organization. Of course, there’s the danger of using baskets to hide items that really need to be edited, but when used well, baskets are a cost-effective and easy way to get the most out of an entryway. Swank’s home uses a variety of square, wicker baskets that slide easily onto her built-in shelves. When choosing a basket for your entryway, opt for something sturdy that can hold shoes and stand up to everyday use. The BRANÄS basket from IKEA is a smart option. 

Use a bench for a built-in look.

Swank’s entryway is lined in rich wood and equipped with plenty of built-ins to store those baskets. Luckily, a simple shelving unit or bench can get similar results. This bench/shelf combo from Target features hidden storage and accomplishes a rustic aesthetic. Open Spaces has a very on-trend entryway rack that can accommodate shoes and small baskets as well as a dish for keys. Even repurposing a thrifted bookshelf could work. When choosing a shelf or rack, just be sure that the size works with your space. The last thing you want when you walk into your home is a stubbed toe. 

Functional and elevated, Swank’s entryway proves that it doesn’t take a lot to have a working and joy-sparking space. With a few items (hooks, baskets, a shelf) and a commitment to frequent editing, your entryway can be a usable and beautiful welcome to your home.