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Solutions for a Small Entry or a Non-Existent Entry

by | Feb 6, 2017 | Decorating Inspiration, Entries/Mudrooms, small houses | 26 comments

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Jenna Sue Design in BHG

Do you have a designated entry in your home? Many houses we looked at when we were house hunting didn’t have separate entry. So even though ours is quite narrow and actually more of a hallway than a room, it is still fun to have at least a little space to work with. Now that I have a Dutch door I’m even more in love with our entry.

The challenge with small entries (and all small spaces) is how to make them functional and charming. Today’s post offers ideas that might inspire you with ways to add both character and function to a small entry.

Not to worry if you don’t have a designated entry at all, you’ll find inspiration for entries that open right into a living space, too. Furniture placement can sometimes help create the illusion of a separate entry and organizational accessories nearby can increase the functionality of your home.

Happy Monday!

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The Wicker House via City Farmhouse

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Home Is Where The Hart Is

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House Tweaking

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Design Sponge

No room for furniture? A wall-hung shelf makes a perfect landing surface for keys.

Theme Builder LayoutThe Inspired Room (townhouse)

Shallow cabinets, hooks, cubbies, and a small bench maximize space.

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Always Rooney

Even a simple set of hooks and a mirror will create entry-way functionality in a small space.

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via Design Sponge

Double-duty furniture (like this bar cart) help to create a designated entrance.

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Make the most of an open entry table with a rolling cart underneath.

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 via Wayfair

A hook and storage bench system offers a streamlined built-in look.

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4 Men 1 Lady

This is a bedroom, but corner shelves would be great in a small entry too!

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Do you have a small entry?

Related Posts:

Gather: Hook Rails

How to Get Organized in a Small House

Shop more small entry solutions in our shop!


  1. Theme Builder Layout

    Thank you for the inspiration. These photos show that any place can have a proper entryway!

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    It’s too bad homes aren’t getting entries because they really help keep the living room/rest of the house warm and insulated in winter.
    In our 17th century rental apartments, one has a huge entry, while the other has a small one. We put antique/vintage coat racks in both. You can see the Art Deco rack in the before/after on the kitchen, which is in one end of the larger entry. I will show the older rack soon. They hold several coats and hats, have a mirror and a small drawer and a spot for umbrellas. Very slim profile, too.

  3. Theme Builder Layout

    Sweet ideas. They’ve inspired me to at least replace our falling-apart coat rack and come up with better shoe storage by the front door!

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    Hi Melissa
    What great ideas – I live in a condo on the second floor and my entry is very small –
    I have been wondering what to do and have tried so many different styles and I’m always changing my ideas.
    I love the bench from Wayfair. Next year when we repaint the hall I will be doing something like this.

    Have a wonderful day

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    Our entryway is non-existent, so we just have some hooks for hanging coats and a little space for our wellies – a necessity when walking the dog in the Winter! Always nice to see ideas for styling small entryways x


  6. Theme Builder Layout

    Those are great ideas!

    We don’t have an entry – we open up into the living room but also right into a closet! Its kinda crazy. We actually enter through the kitchen door (as do our guests) since it is all one big space. I’ve got some plans in mind for making an entry of sorts in that space.

  7. Theme Builder Layout

    Great inspiration for rug, art and furniture placement to create simple (yet useful) and most importantly, welcoming entry.

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    The pic with the horseshoe above the door where you said “original source unknown” is from Sarah Hart’s home – I don’t know if she has a blog anymore but her Instagram is “homeiswherethehartis” :)

  9. Theme Builder Layout

    I love all these ideas for small entryways! My entryway is small and squished between two doors, with a built in storage bench that cuts off half of the space. I dream of a more open entryway someday when I will definitely return to these photos. I like the idea of a wall-hung shelf for keys, etc., and the cubbies for storage. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Theme Builder Layout

    Thank you for sharing these. I love to see options for small spaces. Great ideas for small older homes and apartments.

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    I love all these ideas, but haven’t seen a lot on what to do when your husband wears size 15 shoes, and so do your two teen boys! Then there’s my daughter with a more compact size 8, but WAAY more shoes that must always be by the door for quick fashion changes! In other news I have a big LARGE basket collection-with shoes thrown around, but not in, them.

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    I have zero entryway at either of the doors entering on the main level! I did hang some cute hooks by each door so we can hang a coat, and I have a boot tray by the kitchen door to catch snowy boots….but I sure do miss having a proper entry!

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    Do you know if Home is Where the Hart is has a blog? I don’t have Instagram.

    • Theme Builder Layout

      You can still see Instagram from the computer, even if you don’t have an account on your phone. There’s a link in the post below her photo. :)

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    I love your posts and am inspired by your Seattle home transformation…especially since i live in an older home with lower ceilings and boxy rooms. I can’t wait for the big kitchen reveal! By the way, have you ever revealed the painted exterior??? I hope I didn’t miss it. We are getting ready to finally pull the trigger and paint our exterior – brick and all. Yikes!!

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    Great practical post as usual, Melissa. I’m a lucky one because I have a very nice real foyer, 7×5-1/2, with wall and an arched opening to a hallway to the bedrooms on the right and completely open to the D’office/living room to the left and a sidelight beside the front door to let in light. I have a great shallow (11-1/2″ deep) foyer table which I’d found at World Market back when I didn’t have a real foyer and a dramatic one-of-a-kind octagonal mirror hanging over it. And my foyer shares the vaulted ceiling with the D’office/living room. So what’s my gripe? An almost 5′ wide and probably almost 2′ deep niche at the top of the vaulted ceiling that is at least 15′ high. Completely useless. My 5’7″ friend was just able to stand on the ladder I had and set a big Southwestern pottery vase up there but nothing has been done up there since and it’s been 4 years. My 5’3″ body even with a taller ladder can’t reach up with a long duster to dust and, even if I could and dared, at most I’d only be able to give a brief delicate brush to the front of the pot. I’d look for inspiration if I could find any but every pic I’ve found shows something so busy and with so much dust potential that I’m convinced I have the best thing going. I guess there’s always something so I’ll just delight in all the real inspiration you’ve given to those who don’t have a foyer at all..

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    I, fortunately, have an entry, but it’s super small. I have a vintage sewing table as you walk in, and now I’m inspired to add a fun lamp to the space to brighten it up a bit. Great ideas! :)

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    Love the pale pink additions! We just moved to Seattle from southern France, and are getting used to a completely new color scheme. I could never understand before why the Scandinavians used misty greys, whites and blues, but they look so much better here than our warm golds and greens.

    But the addition of a little pink is so welcome- makes any color scheme here look better. Love it!

    • Theme Builder Layout

      Welcome to Seattle, Nancy! I think people sometimes assume we’d want bright colors here, but it’s so much more pleasing to me to work with the natural lighting and colors of the area. I agree, those pops of pink are perfect as a finishing touch!

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    Don’t forget the Hunter boots! Lol

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    Love the corner shelves idea in the bedroom. That’s a great idea for any room really.

    Fun ideas for shelves all around.


  20. Theme Builder Layout

    No entry way in either the living room or kitchen. Front door opens into living space and door from garage opens into eat in kitchen. Trying to come up with solutions has been difficult because I don’t want what might become a cluttered wall in either room as they’re both small. You’ve offered great suggestions that show how separate pieces for hanging hats and coats and a bench to drop a brief case or tote bag can work without taking up much precious floor and wall space. Thanks !


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