3 Refreshing Entryways That Deal With Clutter
Whether you favor mudroom-style built-ins or a minimalist approach, your best bet for a tidy house begins at the entry
1. FarmhouseDesigner: Sarah Helf
Location: Milton, Wisconsin
Size: 67½ square feet (6.2 square meters); 7½ by 9 feet (2.2 by 2.7 meters)Homeowners’ request: A formal entry and mudroom with a relaxed feeling for an early-1900s farmhouse.Special features: Custom built-in storage with a bench for taking off and putting on shoes or for setting down groceries and school bags. “We were very careful with our measurements and the dimensions of items selected so you are not overwhelmed with furniture,” designer Sarah Helf says. “It was also important that the built-in be behind the door so that when you enter, it is not the first thing you see.” Door with window and vintage table lamp for adequate light. Narrow table for keys and other small items. High cubbies and shelves for seasonal storage.Why the design works: “We wanted the space to have its roots in classic farmhouse design but feel more up to date,” Helf says. “This approach worked well since we kept original elements of the home, like the oversized baseboards, distressed flooring and vintage doors. We also incorporated elements of the traditional into the modern touches, like the detailing on the built-in and the oversized pattern on the rug alongside a more modern metal chair.”Designer secret: “Just because your entry is narrow doesn’t mean you have to use a runner,” she says. “Using a runner in this space would have given the impression you are walking down a hallway. By increasing the scale of the rug, you not only anchor the furniture and balance the larger built-in, but you create a real sense of entry.”Also on the team: Wisconsin Cabinets (cabinetmaker); Rob Farrell of Radlund PhotographyJasmine rug: Birch Lane; Industrial storage console in mango wood and raw steel: West Elm; Marcel armchair in gunmetal: Restoration Hardware; Nicole robe hooks in bronze: Alno; Missoula small mirror: Uttermost; table lamp: HomeGoods; paint by Benjamin Moore: White Dove (ceiling), Balboa Mist (walls) and White Dove (trim and built-in)
Designer: Shannon Willey of Sea Green Designs
Location: Bridgehampton, New York
Size: 120 square feet (11.1 square meters); 6 by 20 feet (1.8 by 6 meters)
Homeowners’ request: A place to set down bags, put on shoes and hang up beach towels when coming in through the garage or from the pool, and make it fun and functional for children and grandchildren.
Special features: Custom built-in storage with mahogany bench. Beadboard panels. Shelf. Coat hooks.
Why the design works: “The built-in is stylish and functional, but the whole space works because of the details. Adding special touches to an area of the home that is used so often, but is often overlooked, really makes this space inviting,” designer Shannon Willey says.
Designer secret: “Pull details together by using colors that work together,” Willey says. “I used Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan on the walls, which is picked up in the ceramic pendants by Currey & Co. I also stained the mahogany seat in a complementary color to the oak floor, as well as picked up the tan-and-white theme in the striped rugs to make the space flow.”
Also on the team: Konner Development (builder); Delmo Guimaraes (woodworker); Michele Scotto Trani of Sequined Asphalt Studios (photographer)
Paint by Benjamin Moore: Manchester Tan in matte finish (walls) and Super White in satin finish (trim and panels); light fixtures: Currey & Co.; wall art: Yona Ozeri
Designer: Architect Francisco Garcia of The Building Workshop
Location: San Diego
Size: 70 square feet (6.5 square meters); 7 by 10 feet (2.1 by 3 meters)
Homeowners’ request: A bright, sunlit home with lots of windows and skylights and open floor space in which one of the homeowners can move comfortably in a wheelchair.
Special features: Custom floating shelf provides a spot for keys and mail while keeping the floor space open. Hooks for coats and bags. Open space for shoes. Boomerang-shaped windows in door. Extra-long metal door handle. Warm wood ceiling.
Why the design works: “The entry space shows off beautiful design details while practicing restraint and demonstrating a feeling of ‘less is more,’” architect Francisco Garcia says. “Even the window settings are a unique feature. The inset frame around the square windows [in the wall at right] extends twice the height, adding a very subtle design element that plays with shadow and shape, while maintaining a very clean aesthetic.”
“Uh-oh” moment: “The custom door is a critical aspect of this space,” Garcia says. “We went through multiple design renderings before landing on this one. When creating spaces that feel modern yet warm, it’s all of those little details that can make a huge difference. Rather than getting overwhelmed with the process, it came back to trusting our guts about what we really loved, and as usual, it came together beautifully.”