Taking advantage of front and back entryways
One of my favorite lines of advice to home buyers is not to underestimate the importance of feeling good about coming home. The best way to accomplish this is with a clean, decluttered and purposeful entryway. Whether entering from the front door or through the backdoor, if a smile comes to your lips as you approach your mission is accomplished.
About thirty years ago, one of my clients almost bought a house because of the lilacs blooming at the front entrance. The house had nothing that he was looking for in a home but that smell as we walked up to the front door just made him feel sooooo good. It’s amazing how many times we hear the words “curb appeal” in regard to selling homes but this article is just about YOU the homeowner and how good you feel when you walk up to your home. It’s also about how you want your guests to feel when they approach your home.
A good rule of thumb when thinking about your front entry is to ask yourself “What’s the purpose of these spaces?” It’s a good time to take a good look at the entry from the curb to your front door. These spaces whether inside or out are the welcome mat for yourself, your family and guests. It’s the first glance your guests get into who you are. Do you want a place in front to sit and greet the neighbors? Do you want your home to feel inviting? Write down your priorities for these spaces, then dig in.
Entries can be usable spaces in your home that add to quality of life
Here is a list from Organized Simplicity that got me moving in the right direction:
1. Keep it all in your coat closet. If you’re blessed to have a large enough coat closet, add simple storage shelves inside to house your purse, your keys, your sunglasses, and your kid’s backpacks. Use baskets on all the shelves, labeled with each person’s name. Everyone is responsible for keeping his or her basket in order.
You might even want an additional basket just for receipts. In our family, my husband and I empty our wallets of receipts right at the front door so that I always know where all the receipts are when I update our bank accounts each week.
Use two large containers to house outdoor gear like hats, gloves, and pool toys. Divide the items seasonally and keep the current season’s box within reach, with the other container stored out of the way until it’s time to switch.
2. Keep it organized and out in the open. Your coat closet might be located elsewhere, or perhaps it’s so minuscule that it barely has enough room to hod one jacket per family member. In this case, use the space just past your front door. You probably don’t have much floor space, so think vertically. A system of pegs on the wall can store bags, coats and purses. Find a wall-mounted organizing system to hang your keys on and to store the day’s mail.
Find a simple chest of dawers and repurpose it for this area, or even use a small bookcase with baskets. Create the same system suggested for the closet – assign one basket per person, where everyone can toss his or her stuff…..
3. Create a hybrid system of both ideas. If you have a closet in your front entry, you don’t necessarily need to close the closet door to hide the clutter. If you’re short on entryway space, try removing the closet door and transforming the closet into more of a nook. You can still use the hanging space, but add a little bench seat with storage baskets and a row of hooks on the wall…
And don’t forget the back entry. Make it fun and useful for your lifestyle, especially if this is the way the family usually enters the home. If you have room, create a sitting or dining area outside your back door. Store all of your lawn gear, tools and barbecue gear in the same area.
Let me know if this inspired you to work on your entry and if it made a change in the way you feel when you walk into your home. If so, you have just created curb appeal which is #1 in attracting a buyer to your home when the time comes to sell.
Feeling good about coming home in St Louis MO
Pictured here is an urban home Skinker-DeBaliviere in St Louis MO that is using the front yard to invite neighbors and guests to join in a Kumbaya around a fire pit on a cool October evening. A little too far out for you? The owners of this home in University City love driving up to their home in the spring – and can you blame them?
Another urban front yard is this 2 family with a covered front porch. It’s my neighbors house in Skinker DeBaliviere and we love sitting out here during the good months of the year with a bottle of wine or a gin and tonic, some good cheese and an array of “hellos” that float up to us as our neighbors pass us by.Feeling good about coming home may be driving up to a classic home like this one in Webster Groves.Here is an idea of an entry foyer between townhouses shared by 2 neighbors. Both owners enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles so they put a dual purpose table in the hallway along with a cabinet to hold puzzles, gloves, hats and scarves for the winter.
Or feeling good about coming home may mean grabbing the bicycle and taking a ride through the park.
Don’t forget your back door especially if that’s where you come in. I have a rear entry garage so I walk in my back door. A couple of my favorite things greet me and always make me smile. My “singing vases” are the first thing I see. (We are going to be adding a mural to the large white space and are open to suggestions.)
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Additional resources for decluttering:
Karen Kingston’s blog
Apartment Therapy, Squeezing extra storage in Entryway