We don’t have an entryway.
I have dozens of pictures clipped from magazines of large, high-ceiling-ed entryways with sweeping staircases and homey benches. I have pictures of back door mud rooms with cute storage lockers or cubbies sectioned off for each child. I have pictures of old wardrobes converted to coat closets, of closet system installations, of change jars and old-fashioned telephones atop hall tables.
I had it all figured out, and then I bought a house with no front entryway, no back door mud room, and no coat closet.
We started with a coat tree. I hate coat trees. Thankfully ours never tipped over, but when I cleared all the coats off I found a purse I’d been looking for since last summer and a mysterious red jacket from Land’s End in size 18 months. If you’re the first to hang your coat up when arriving, it takes you ten minutes to uncover it again when you leave.
Not to mention the kids can’t reach it to hang up their coats.
I put together this little ensemble from Ikea for less than fifty bucks. Two basic coat hook racks, and a bench-shoe-rack thing from the bathroom section. We are not a no-shoes house, but with all our bedrooms upstairs it’s not practical to keep the kids’ shoes in their rooms. Having them right by the door saves time and hassle when we are rushing out the door.
At the suggestion of a friend, who is one of my two personal decorators, we flipped the couch to the other side and put the chairs against the wall (you can see the arm of the black club chair). This opened up more space in that corner for a cute little kid sized coat rack that Thomas and Ruthie ADORE. Just like he announced the new kitchen to every visitor, Thomas WILL point out his new coat rack every time you come over.
I may frame some of Ruthie’s art and hang it above their coats.
The milestone for me in all of this – besides the fact we actually hauled out a drill and did it – is that it looks nothing like what I always wanted, yet I’m so happy with it. I needed to adjust my expectations to fit my circumstances. I needed to let go of the picture in my head.
Which I did.
And now I’m well on the road to maintaining order in my home.