Home is where the slippers are…
When my dad started visiting and helping me with the kids on a regular basis it was the beginning of winter and he always looked cold when he came into our house. So, in true “Nonna-like” fashion, I started putting out slippers for him at the entryway to help make him feel more comfortable and at home. He probably laughed to himself a few times during those first few weeks of winter because the slipper basket changed every week and so did our entryway. The funny thing about all of this was that my dad’s visits helped me learn what exactly we needed to make our entryway work for us and our guests; what we needed to make us all feel at home.
The entryway of our home is a funny space in terms of the structural layout, so defining the space was a huge part of what I wanted to accomplish. We swapped out our entryway closet for a main floor powder room last year and when the winter came around, with all of the extra baggage (coats, boots, hats, mittens…) that comes along with it, I knew I needed some solutions.
I had been looking for inspiration for months online trying to find ideas for the perfect entryway, but in reality, I just needed to pay closer attention to what we needed in a more practical sense and then build off of that. The more I think about design and décor the more I realize that functionality, comfort and, dare I say practicality, all have to come first, the fun part is making all of those things work together and then the cherry on top is making them pretty. I was so caught up in searching for pretty ideas online that I wasn’t paying attention to what we actually needed.
When you watch how your family and guests respond to or move within your home it helps you understand the functionality of the spaces a little bit more because you aren’t the one experiencing it. You begin to notice when the flow is awkward or where things need to be to make the room function better. By placing furniture in different places, like trying a bench in the entryway and then trying it without a bench I noticed what changed; I noticed that my dad and other guests were looking for a place to put their shoes on and our boys were having a hard time with this too. So a bench became one of the key pieces we wanted to include Storage was also an issue as well, and doing this in the winter made it easier for me to see the exact amount of storage we would need in winter weather.
Putting it all Together
With the help of a handy husband, Wayfair.ca and one of my favourite Canadian small shops, Swell Made Co., I came up with a few simple solutions. The entryway came together with a few key pieces, the coat hooks, the bench and a dresser and then I decorated with throw pillows, pictures and plants to make the space feel warm and inviting.
The Handmade “Hall Tree”
We started with a handmade take on a hall tree (hooks and a shelf for pictures). My husband made this to fit the space using MDF, crown molding and six wrought iron hooks and it’s the perfect solution for coats, hats, puppy leashes, bags and, of course, family pictures.
The Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse Carnany Lower Wood Bench
We found the bench on wayfair.ca and gives the space the modern farm house feel that I wanted, it’s light, airy and inviting and fit so well into our home. I wanted something that would be useful; seating when we come in the door or when we are putting our on boots and things like that, but so too large that it overpowered the space.
The Lafever 4 Drawer Dresser
When trying to decide what kind of storage solution to include in the entryway I kept going back and forth between a cabinet, a dresser or a bench with storage. We chose the Lafever 4 Drawer Dresser because I really wanted something with accessible, closed storage and a dresser was the perfect solution. This dresser adds another modern element to the space and gives us the storage we need for shoes, mittens, bags and mail.
Pillows, Plants and Pictures
Ok so if you haven’t already guessed it I love the decorative elements of design… the make it pretty parts! For this particular space, I wanted to keep things simple when it came to décor and I knew exactly where to go for simple, but significant pieces. Swell Made Co. is one of my go-to shops when I want to add special pieces to a space. We added the “xoxo” and “palms” pillow cases as well as the “Be Kind” sign. I want people to feel welcome and loved when they enter our home and for us to be reminded that kindness is so important when we leave the house. Simple, but incredibly significant messages that I want to be reminded of when we enter and exit our home.
With love, from our home to yours.