The Sort Of Entry

Like most people, there are things I love about my house and things I don’t love about my house.  I love the open floor plan which allows a lot of people to mingle and gather without it feeling overwhelming.  I love the way it flows.

I don’t love the fact that almost the entire main floor can be seen from the front door.

Have you ever noticed how frequently foyers are featured in design magazines, usually with some amazing statement piece that sets the tone for the house?  Often these entries are designed to shield the rest of the house from view.  When we were building our home I knew I would wish I had that kind of entry, but I couldn’t find a way to do it with our floor plan.  The dimensions of our lot gave us little choice about the footprint of the house and we did the best we could.  We ended up with a great house, but no real entry.  There’s somewhere to stand inside the front door, but you can see pretty much everything from that spot.

Which is fine, if it’s all clean.  But more often than not I feel like I’m opening my front door and the shoes, toys, socks and so forth is what sets the tone instead of a console table and an awesome mirror.

Here are some pictures of what you see if you turn your head from side to side upon entering my house:

If you knock on my door and the curtains are open, you can see through the dining room and into our kitchen eating area  (translate:  table must be clean).  When you enter the house, the dining room opens on your left with a clear shot of my kitchen counters  (translate:  counters must be clean also).

If you look straight ahead when you walk through the door, you see this:

To the right is the hallway leading to my studio/guest room with a closet and bathroom on the way.  The closet is currently our game closet which my youngest girls love to open and pull things out of ALL. DAY. LONG.  Getting that hallway clean and keeping the closet door shut is no small feat.

To the left is our family room, and for some reason everyone loves to drop things on the ground in front of this table, or on top of the table.  The table itself is a thrift store find which needs a coat of paint.  I don’t love the bookshelves but they’re sturdy and functional and I want access to some of our books in there.

Lastly, on the right is the living room.   {Happy sigh.}  I love my living room.  I can get it looking right in less than 2 minutes.   It’s the one view I have going for me (most of the time) when that knock is heard.

So there you have it.  In about three quarters of a second you can sweep your gaze across the areas of my home that get messy faster and more often than any others.  When everything is clean, I love that.  When it’s not, I really wish I had some focal point I could draw attention to instead of the clutter on the floor.

I’ve been thinking about that.  A focal point.  Is there something I could do to catch and hold the eye nearer the door?  Between the hallway and the living room sit the stairs.  All too often the stairs hold 2-3 small piles of various things that belong upstairs.  All too often I’m the culprit, placing it there while I tidy up so I can save time and take one big trip upstairs.  A few years ago my sister made me this awesome “H.”  I’ve had it in several places since then:  on my mantel, leaning against the fireplace, on a wall in the family room.  I made some changes to the family room so the H was without a home for a while.

Until now.

I hung it on the stairway wall, and I think I like it there.   I like the drama of the strong lines, and I like having something to notice.  From the front door it looks like this:

While I’d like to say that it makes the entry a little more interesting and attractive,  it surely makes me more motivated to keep the stairway clean.  It’s hard for me to justify a temporary pile on the stairs when in my brain the presence of the H means that it’s an area worth maintaining well.

I’m trying something on the edge of the dining room as well, with a similar goal in mind.

This little red bench is having an audition on the edge of the room near the front door.  I like it’s size but I’m not sure about introducing red in the dining room and I really love the red on this bench.  I saw a cabinet a while ago at an outlet store that I’ve been dreaming of ever since which would be a perfect statement and storage piece but that’s just an idle dream.   So the question is:  bench or no bench?  And do you think the H is an improvement?

Every day one of my housekeeping goals is to have the main floor tidy and clean.  With little ones home all day this usually proves to be a challenge, but it’s a good challenge.  We have days when other things take priority, and when that happens I’ve learned to shrug and open the door with a smile.

Tell me, do you have a formal entryway?  If not, what do you do to keep “the view” under control should someone knock?

Hopeful Homemaker


  • I like the H right there! I think that’s a cool idea. My big S currenlty has no home either so I need to do some re-thinking as well. I like the bench too – it would be a good spot to sit and put shoes on! xoxo

  • I love your house!! So cute. I’m with Emily. I love the H it does make a bold statement that draws your eyes to it. I also LOVE the red bench. So cute. The color is perfect! It will be a great place to sit to take shoes on or off. You are so talented with so many things…one of which is home decor. You are an amazing mother as well! Your kids are very lucky to have you! You are an inspiration!

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