There are a lot of things in life that suck, especially the things that you’re kind of just stuck with and have no control over changing. Like the radio when you’re riding in someone else’s car. Or your best friend’s awful taste in men (Les is great, Morgan; I was making a generalization, not talking about you, I promise!). Or having a no-entryway entryway in a house that you don’t own. Especially when you have three kids and three adults living (most days) under the same roof. There’s a lot of stuff that goes along with all those people – shoes, wallets, bags and backpacks, coats and scarves, umbrellas, keys, whatever. A lot of stuff that has to be kept close to the door. WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN THERE’S NO COAT CLOSET OR ENTRYWAY, OR EVEN A SMALL HALLWAY?!
Well, obviously, hit up Ikea and Target and Home Goods. And get as creative as you can when you don’t have much to work with in terms of money, time, or space.
So that’s our “entryway” space. All 40-ish square feet of it. Not very entryway-ish, right? I know. “And where’s all your shit?” Fair question. Out of sight is where, because I came up with the most killer storage set-up.
First, I finally got rid of the gross black shoe cabinet we had before. Nothing against the actual shoe cabinet itself except that it first broke the first day we had it; it was black (way too dark for my taste, clearly); and it was too…something…heavy?…for our walls and was a toppling-over disaster waiting to happen. I replaced the tall black Hemnes shoe cabinet with a much shorter and deeper white Hemnes dresser from Ikea, which is exactly what I wanted to put in this space when we first moved in over two years ago. Side note: living less than 3 miles from an Ikea is a very dangerous thing, people. The kids’ daycare is literally right next door – I have developed the most incredible consumer self-control since living here.
The top drawer holds all of the adults’ “pocket stuff”. RJ is the only one who has a actual contained bin to hold his things because he’s a dude and not very neat/doesn’t care by default. His stuff is on the left. Mine is on the right. When Shannon moves in, her stuff will get the center spot, which is where my outdoor WOD gloves + WOD whiteboard live in the meantime.
My side doesn’t really have anything of mine that I use day-to-day, mostly because I don’t carry much with me and 99% of what I do carry with me can fit in my phone case. My side is where I store extra hair ties and a brush for Emma, and extra pairs of socks for both kids because getting out of the house each morning before 5:30 a.m. isn’t the easiest task in the world and someone ALWAYS forgets one of these two key items. Having them right next to the door v. all the fucking way upstairs makes grabbing them in a hurry a cinch. And yes, that drawer always looks like that. The stuff we keep inside doesn’t really slide around. It’s awesome.
The middle drawer holds the grownups’ shoes. I spent a whopping $5-ish bucks on a rubber “boot tray” at Target (here) to protect the Ikea particle board drawer bottoms in a successful-thus-far attempt to prolong the life of the dresser. As you can see, it fits pretty much perfectly. There’s enough room for each adult in the house to keep one main pair of shoes in this drawer. My flip flops and go-to work flats are super compact, so I cheat and stack those on the side. Shannon’s shoes usually end up in the middle, but she wasn’t here on Wednesday when I took these photos so her shoes get no blog photo love. Womp.
The bottom drawer is the deepest drawer, vertically speaking. It holds the kids’ shoes. Each kid has their own Ikea basket to hold their most commonly worn pairs of shoes. The baskets fit perfectly in the bottom drawer both horizontally and vertically, and despite what it looks like in the first photo below, they do not “drag” or get caught when shutting the drawer.
The two baskets on either end are these and the one in the center is this one. They’re so cheap that if you go this route with your kids, you could make them pay for their baskets themselves.
Small seasonal items – scarves, gloves, umbrellas – are kept in a desktop file holder from The Container Store (genius, right?). I bought three of these things years ago (and for way less than $20 a pop) and since I no longer have a traditional office set-up (or room for one), I had to find a way to repurpose them. The other two live in each of the kiddos’ rooms as library book holders.
That sticker on the hardwood is a special edition installation by one of our little live-in artists. They’re all over our kitchen floor, too. I can feel your jealousy from here.
Coats go on an over-the-door towel rack that faces into the half-bath. Not ideal, but it keeps them out of sight and off the floor. This particular one is over half a decade old from a Home Goods somewhere along the way.
The only items that don’t live in out-of-sight storage are the kids’ backpacks. Those are stashed on top of the black Ikea stool (they don’t sell that particular patterned cover anymore) each night when the kids come home from “school”. That lovely little DKNY purse on the banister is Madden’s. The other side is covered in Ninja Turtle stickers. Don’t ask – it’s a different story for a different day.
It’s been a few months since I overhauled this space and I’m still super in love with it. Shannon and I would like to eventually replace that “meh” circular mirror with a rectangular beveled mirror (like this one, but for not as much money and hung horizontally) and figure out a new solution for everyone’s keys, but overall this space is working really well for us. It’s definitely a lot prettier and more functional than it was before. Win/win, for sure.
The living room walls are Benjamin Moore Light Pewter (totally original since it’s not revere pewter). The back of the front door is Benjamin Moore Light Pistachio. Both look in real life exactly like they’re depicted in the photo: a grey so light you can’t tell it’s grey until it’s next to white, and a shade darker than a spoonful of Yoplait key lime yogurt.
Pretty much everything else not mentioned/linked in the post is from Ikea (frames, fiddle leaf fig), Target (small bowls), or Home Goods (lamp, candle, planter holding the fiddle leaf fig and planter under the black stool). The Washington, D.C. postcard is from the International Spy Museum gift shop. And yes, those are real .50 cal rounds on top of the stack of books. (I’ll wait while you scroll back up to look more closely.)
Also, the books are more than just decoration; they’re ones that have actually been read and they for real actually live in exactly the spot they were photographed. Not a single thing* inside or atop or surrounding the Hemnes dresser was styled for this post. This is exactly how this space looks on any given day, which means YES, there’s a lot of pops of pink floating around my house. Pink. FOREVER.
*Except, obviously, the opening and closing of doors and drawers. What you see above is how the space usually looks, in case you were about to get super literal on me.
Related: our front door DIY makeover, a tour of our living room (outdated but still fun to look through nonetheless), and my home “office”.