My family keeps a basket in the entryway for seasonal essentials. In the summer, that’s where you’ll find sunscreen, bug spray, baseball hats, gardening shears and extra pairs of sunglasses. In the winter, we fill it with an assortment of hats, gloves, scarves, an umbrella and an ice scraper. Each spring and fall I spend some time weeding out the items and placing the unseasonal gear in a crate in the coat closet. This small act closes the door on the old season and gives me a minute to reflect on what’s to come.
A welcoming entryway is the first step to gracious hospitality. Whether you invite people over every week, or just welcome your kids home from school, it’s important to make those who enter your front door feel like they have arrived to a place of peace and comfort. Here are a few small things you can do to amp up the welcome factor at your front door and entry.
Put out the welcome mat. Sweep the debris off your front steps and give your guests a place to wipe their feet. I’m a believer in function over form. These mats serve a purpose and they don’t have to be fancy. We have active and busy kids, so I break so many design rules and place an industrial indoor/outdoor rug on the inside of the house. It actually blends in quite well with the flooring, it picks up a lot of dirt and debris and it’s easy to clean.
Light it up! Give a lot of thought to a well-lit front door and entryway. Especially as the sunlight wanes in the fall, it’s important for people to feel comfortable approaching your front door in early and late hours. A good outdoor sconce and bright driveway or walkway lights go a long way toward making your home look inviting. In addition to a nice bright indoor sconce in the entry, I also have a small table lamp which I tend to keep on until the last family member is home for the night.
Give guests a roomy drop zone. I think it’s really important for guests to have easy access to a place to hang their coats, whether it’s in your coat closet or empty hooks on the wall. We like to make sure several hangers are empty and available when guests drop in. Also, I need to give kudos again to my handy and handsome husband. He turned a drab entry with orange peel walls into the beautiful, welcoming space you see above, with board and batten panelling, new trim and useful hooks.
Creating a bit of additional storage is useful if you can pull it off in your entry. I found this small bookshelf as a floor model at Home Depot. I brought it home and immediately painted it gray. It adds status and function to this tiny corner of our home. The small ceramic tray on the top shelf holds keys and essentials. Also, this is where the seasonal basket lives all year long.
What can I do to improve upon my own entry? One thing I can do is further weed through our winter gear. We moved from Alaska and still have lots of Arctic gear. We almost never shovel snow here so it might be time to let go of the warmest of clothing. We live in the PNW, and I have often wished for an umbrella stand. Maybe I’ll add that to my Christmas list this year. Another item on my wish list is a beautiful new front door. But, financially, that’s way further down the priority list.
So what about you? How does your entryway stack up? Here’s your homework: Think about three small things you can do today to make your front door and entry area more functional and welcoming. Figure out how to tackle those items this weekend, or maybe even in time for trick-or-treaters tomorrow night. Send me photos if you’d like advice of if you’d like to show off your progress!