Thursday, December 5, 2013

Guest Post - Fabulous and Functional Front Door Spaces

If you're like most people, you would love extra storage space but you don't have the actual real estate to make it happen. But that's not necessarily true!

One of the most underutilized spaces in the home is the entryway – whether it's the front door, the side entrance from the garage, or the back door, the fact remains that the doorways you use are ripe for storage space renovations.

Think about it: how many times have you:
  • Been late to a meeting or social gathering because you couldn't find your keys?
  • Missed deadlines for paying bills or responding to mail because you have no means for separating the junk mail from the important stuff, and you've dumped it all in one pile to deal with a "later" that never happens in time?
  • Tracked dirt through your clean living room because you haven't created a place to store your shoes by the door and away from Fido's fangs?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you're in need of a front door storage space to serve as a "drop zone" for when you stumble through the door loaded down with items.

Fortunately, fabulous and functional entryways are within reach.

Foyer Facets

Here are some of the things you should include in your embellished entryway.

Door Mat: By placing this inside the house, you can effectively clean paws and pads while keeping your mats protected from the harsh, ever-present outdoor elements. It's okay to have a mat inside AND outside (and it reminds guests that you're serious about them wiping their feet!)

Umbrella Stand: Even if you don't use an umbrella all the time, avoid the time-consuming hunt when it's pouring by keeping your umbrella fashionably stored by the front door. Plus, when you get home, you'll no longer drop the dripping mess on your floor.

Smarter Storage

In terms of the storage pieces you can use, your imagination is really the limit. Just make sure they address your needs, and if you are short on space, go with multi-functional units like these:
  • Bench/Trunk Units: These provide a place to sit down and put on your shoes, as well as a way to keep them protectively stored inside when you're not using them.
  • Dressers with Drawers: Since these are taller furniture pieces, they serve as a place to drop your keys and mail, plus they have compartments for storing shoes, upcoming bills, take-out menus that pile up outside, magazines, etc. Assign the drawers to individual things and make sure everyone in the family knows what goes where.
  • Shelf Ledges with Hooks: Installing shelf units with hooks provides a flat surface for placing mittens, hats, and leashes, in addition to offering a means to hang up jackets, keys or even umbrella handles.
Entryway Extras

Depending on your individual needs, you might also consider including some of these aspects of storage/functionality in your drop zone.

Wall Clock: If time is money, we could all do with a bit more of it! Help yourself out by placing a decorative wall clock near your storage setup so that you're more likely to stay on track and on top of that valuable commodity that is so easy to lose.

*Tip: If you are always running late, set your clocks ahead (anywhere from 10-30 minutes) so that whenever you glance at it for the time, you will pick up the pace. Subconsciously, you'll register that you're running late (as usual) but the difference now is that you won't actually suffer the consequences because you'll always be on time!

Mirror: Mirrors are fabulous front entry pieces for at least 3 distinct reasons.
  • They enhance the spatial feel of a room by reflecting whatever light is available and bouncing it around the space. For many people, the entry is relatively dark once the door is closed, so any help you can get in the lighting department is great.
  • They double as wall art – no matter the size or level of decorative embellishment, they effectively utilize that oft-overlooked wall space.
  • You always have a means to check your hair or your teeth before heading out the door!
Lamp: And on the subject of bright ideas, add a table or floor lamp to the front door drop zone.

Lamp lighting is necessary when you have no overhead lighting available – you need to see when you walk through the door! Not only does it enhance the safety aspect of coming home (you can see immediately if something is amiss and you're by the front door for a quick exit if necessary), but if you have pets and children, turning on a light prevents tripping over and bumping into the little entities at your feet.

At the same time, having a lamp is a nice alternative when you do have overhead lighting. By selecting one with dimmer capabilities, you can choose just the right amount of ambience to illuminate your newly equipped storage spaces.

What are some of the ways you've created fabulous and functional storage spaces around your home entryways?

Jessica Johnson works for and contributes to the Extra Space Storage blog, exploring various aspects of organizing and storing possessions.

Big thanks to Jessica for contributing to the blog today... Hopefully we'll see her back soon with more great info! 
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