I’m so proud to partner with Jennifer Riner from Zillow.com today for a guest post. (Did you know that in addition to providing a wealth of information about real estate, they also have a great home design page?) She has brought us some pointers for designing a functional and pretty entryway.
3 Tips to a Well Defined Entryway
Foyers and mudrooms typically vary in design, although both are categorized as spaces that welcome outsiders into homes. Homeowners often designate a door for family and a door for company – presumably to keep guest entrances clean and uncluttered, or easy access from the garage. Correspondingly, back entrances typically feature increased stowage and sometimes, unfortunately, a lack of flair due to their hidden locale.
Homeowners yearning for well-designed back and front entryways should consider the following three tips that combine style and storage.
1. Install Practical Flooring
A well-designed entryway keeps exterior elements including mud, dirt and moisture confined and out of the rest of the home. Therefore, homeowners should provide practical flooring based on their locations and weather. For instance, residents of particularly wet climates like Seattle should avoid wood in the mudroom or entryway, as it stains and warps easily. For many homeowners, tile is the go-to choice year-round due to its smooth, nonporous surface. Porcelain is less porous than other ceramic tiles, and is a popular, albeit expensive choice for hygiene-conscious homeowners.
However, lesser known alternatives also provide resistance to pesky outdoor elements at lower costs. Consider installing sealed brick, traditionally an exterior material, to entryway floors for added character and resilience. All of the aforementioned materials are stylish enough to install in a back or front entryway. Allow the surrounding décor to determine the formality of the space, not the floor.
Home shoppers should keep seasonality in mind when considering moving to homes in Chicago, Denver or other cities with radical winter weather. Winter months bring snowy boots and wet gear into homes that take an extra toll on flooring.
2. Prioritize Organization in Back Entryways
For back foyers, homeowners should eliminate expensive furnishings or antiques and instead opt for practical pieces capable of holding heavy outerwear. Coats, boots, hats, gloves, backpacks and sports equipment should be placed in the mudroom or back closet to avoid added clutter in other areas of the home. A functional yet cozy idea is to add do-it-yourself (DIY) built-ins with cubbyholes for each family member. Use chalkboard paint above each resident’s cubby and write their names in cursive for a personalized touch. With spring cleaning right around the corner, installing designated shelves keeps seasonal wear safely stored for next year. If opting for a DIY unit, consider using beadboard to tie together shelves and walls. Beadboard is a fun, easy-to-clean wall covering often associated with cottage-like interiors. As a space designed to welcome guests out of the cold, cottage coziness is a suitable style choice.
3. Eliminate Untidiness in Front Entryways
For fancier foyers, opt for tables with drawers to hold keys, wallets and other knick-knacks. Adding bulky storage units to front entries isn’t recommended, as this area is intended to greet guests. Avoid displaying utility coats, snow pants and umbrellas – especially when they can drip and cause hazardous messes. Rather, use front coat closets for parties and gatherings with many coats and shoes. Homeowners who lack extra closet space can purchase stylized iron or wooden coat racks for draping jackets and hats. Treat front entrance coat racks as décor pieces instead of personal storage options.
As the invitation to the rest of the home, entryways should appear coordinated in order to welcome guests rather than confuse them. Homeowners can combat misconceptions regarding mudrooms and messy back entrances with designs that match their own styles. Similarly, creating storage in the front hall allows the home to look clean, even before guests gather their belongings to leave.
Do you have any tricks or solutions you’re using in your entryway or mudroom? We’d love to hear about them!