Design Dilemma: Defining an Entryway Where there is None
Some of us are lucky enough to have a foyer or entry hall where we can drop keys, take off our jackets, and transition slowly into our homes in anticipation of the warm comforts ahead. But many of us, unfortunate as we are, live in apartments or houses where a front door opens directly into our living rooms. No graceful transitions. No place to drop the keys or store the shoes. No nothing.
In this unpleasant situation, thereÂ ARE steps you can take to provide a sense of transition, however.Â Here’s what to bear in mind:
1) Create the illusion of an entryspace by using objects that serve as boundaries. Your main objective in creating an entryway is to provide an emotional and physical passageway for those entering your home. Furniture and objects that can help provide this sense can be as simple as a rug, but might also include a chair, a table, a coat rack or a hanging pendant lamp. In the photo below, the homeowner has used a rug, a storage bench and a key holderÂ to provide a sense of transition.
2) Make use of barriers to prevent a livingroom view from the front door. Preventing guests from seeing directly into the livingroom fromÂ the front door provides privacy, but also a pleasant sense of anticipation when entering a home. A good way to obstruct views is with movable barriers that could include see-through bookshelves, a folding screen, a hanging cloth panel, potted plants,Â or a low console table. Barriers of this type can effectively provide a transitional space without stealing much space from the living room itself, and it can add a sense of drama to a room. Below, a screen by O’Hare and D’Jafer provides a dramatic barrier in an entryway.
3) Create your own storage options. Look for furniture or storage bins that can be placed near the entry to provide a place for keys, coats and shoes. A storage bench is a great option for storing shoes while also providing a place to sit when taking shoes off. In very small quarters, simple hooks on the wall can help create storage for coats, etc.
4) Arrange the furniture in the living room in a way that creates separation from the entry. In many cases, this may involve creating tightly-arranged conversation groupings that faceÂ AWAY from the front door. Many people opt to float a sofa in the middle of a room with its back to the front door, thus creating a walkway apart from the livingroom conversation area.Â What you definitely want to avoid is lining furniture up against walls which will give a livingroom the feel of a doctor’s office waiting room. Below, two couches facing each other floated in the middle of the roomÂ backed by a console table createsÂ the feeling of aÂ ”room within a room,” successfully addressing the direct access entryway dilemma.