Our house is pretty open concept–when we had it built, we designed it that way on purpose. Because of its fairly small size (1600 square feet), we wanted as much of it to be livable space as possible. Hallways that connect rooms together eat up usable space, so we chose not to have any. This does pose design challenges though. One such challenge was that our front door opens directly into our living room, with no foyer to create visual separation. I always like the feeling of walking into a grand, separate foyer when entering a home, but that takes square footage that a lot of smaller homes just don’t have. We also didn’t have much storage for our shoes, hats, scarves, etc. There wasn’t even have a handy place to put people’s coats when guests came to visit. There is one small coat closet, but it’s already filled to the brim with our own coats and cleaning supplies. The one thing we did have was a big empty wall directly to the left when exiting the front door. We were able to turn this wall into an entryway unit that addresses all of my concerns with not having a foyer.
For the main storage, we used two HEMNES tilt-out shoe cabinets from IKEA. They are perfect for the space because they are so shallow in depth–only 8 5/8 inches. This means that they can be placed against a wall without eating up too much of the walking space in front of a door. I also like their design–the legs, table tops, and hardware give the appearance of a nice console table. The tilt-out drawers are useful for shoes, but we also use them to store hats and scarves, dog leashes, grocery bags, and gardening seeds and tools. Since the units are white, I painted the wall a warm beige to help them stand out.
Above the shoe cabinets, we hung a couple of picture ledge shelves, also from IKEA (yes, our house could practically be an IKEA showroom. We are officially IKEA-obsessed). The picture ledges are great for displaying photos, artwork, and small plants and decor items. Here I’m displaying some of my wife’s bird and nature photography, which I think looks beautiful and fits the forest theme I have going on right now. If you’d like to see more of her work, check out our Etsy page.
Below the ledge, we hung a row of black metal coat hooks from the hardware store. It took a while to do the math to get them evenly spaced and hung level, but I think they turned out great. They work well in terms of giving guests an accessible place to hang their coats and purses, but I also like to use them to hang decor-type items since we don’t usually keep our coats there the rest of the time. I also made this macrame plant holder by looking up some basic macrame knots and hanging the whole thing over the picture ledge with a large S-hook.
I’m really happy with how our entryway unit turned out. It’s compact and functional and I think it adds a lot of character to a wall that was very boring before. I also like how versatile it is–we use it for holiday decorations and it’s easy to change the decor seasonally. And even with the open concept of our house, it creates a little bit more of a foyer appearance without looking cluttered right next to our living room.