Help me makeover my (non-existant) entryway!
October 13, 2006 9:19 AM   Subscribe

My front door opens directly into my living room...and there is no coat closet. Help me find some furniture (or other ideas!) to hide the shoes, jackets, purse, dog leash, mail, etc...or failing that, at least to get it off the couch and catch-all desk!
posted by sLevi to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You should get a storage bench like this. I got one at K-mart about a year ago, but I don't see it on their website now. But doing a search for Hall/Parlour/Coathook bench may bring up more options.

It looks nice, and I've gotten compliments on it. It does not look as neat as the picture, at least not when you have two kids, twenty shoes, and a dozen jackets.
But at least everything is in one corner of the living room and not scattered everywhere.
posted by saffry at 9:32 AM on October 13, 2006

There's tons of foyer/entryway furnishings out there, from freestanding coat racks and all-in-one units to wall mounted hat/coat pegs and shoe cubbies

for starters, try:
Pottery Barn
posted by jamaro at 9:38 AM on October 13, 2006

Ikea has some great narrow shoe cabinets.
posted by Newbornstranger at 9:39 AM on October 13, 2006

I've been meaning to pick up something like this for my place. I don't have room for a big piece of furniture, but this would at least keep the mail from piling up on my kitchen counter and prevent the 10-minute scramble each morning as I try to locate my keys.
posted by vytae at 9:43 AM on October 13, 2006

I'm in the same boat. I have been looking at mission-style hall trees -- see here and here for two examples. We are currently using a simple hall tree, a desk, and a key cabinet -- and I do a nightly clean-up to put everything where it really belongs. What style of catch-all would fit in with your furniture?
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:36 AM on October 13, 2006

Ah, I feel your pain. My old place was just like that, and it sucked. My solution was to monitor craigslist until I found the most awesome coat tree/umbrella stand. Added benefit: the size and placement buffered the feeling of falling directly into the house. (I'm still working on the paper-mess issue.)

Hall trees seem to show up on c'list fairly often, and obviously you can find them new as well. Seems like it'd solve a lot of your space issues...

on preview: MonkeyToes beat me to it!
posted by Vervain at 10:38 AM on October 13, 2006

D'oh. Sorry, I meant that we use a simple coat rack. Hall trees on the brain. Vervain, thanks for the craigslist tip.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:30 AM on October 13, 2006

Hmmm...I do like the mission style hall tree ideas. Is there anything so I don't have to look at the jackets? Like a very small armoire? With a mail shelf and catchall drawer?

Right now the living room has no particular style, just leftover just-out-of-college furniture. I lean toward Asian styling and simple, clean lines.
posted by sLevi at 12:34 PM on October 13, 2006

I have the same situation. We put up a simple shelf with coat hooks, in the area right behind the door as there is about a foot between the door frame and the corner. Keys, sunglasses, cell phone and stuff go on the shelf, coats hang, and a tray on the floor holds shoes and muddy boots. We made the shelf to fit the exact space we had, but I know that there are shelves out there. We tried coat trees in the past, but the cats would always knock them down when they got coats on one side, and now we have kids so they wouldn't work either.

wife of 445supermag
posted by 445supermag at 12:55 PM on October 13, 2006

Hmmm. A chimney cupboard, perhaps? As seen here and here. The downside is that most chimney cupboards tend to be faux American colonial. If you're handy at woodworking, there are plans out there for chimney cupboards. We have ordered kits from this guy, and found him good to deal with. Maybe you could email him and see whether he'd be willing to adapt one of his secretary kits to your needs?

Wife of 445supermag: Wow, I'm lucky. The cats and my little guy ignore the coat rack. We ordered the kit from Van Dyke's Restorers and it's bottom-heavy enough that it's not easily tipped over.

SLevi, VDR also offers a Hoosier high boy side cabinet kit. Worth a look.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:29 PM on October 13, 2006

I helped a friend make 2 very cheap "standing" screens - using those hollow core bifold closet doors to deal with this sort of problem.

The screens were attached to the walls a foot and a half apart then hooked together at the free ends. Kind of like a triangle. Behind the screens were a small table for mail & keys & some hooks on the wall for coats.

We used piano hinges which were a little expensive but made the whole thing more sturdy & painted the pieces to match her decor. My friend considered putting little feet on the doors but decided not to - to better hide stuff.

It kept anyone from seeing directly into her place, hid all her stuff & also cut down on drafts in the winter. Most people didn't even realize it was two pieces.

Total cost was $100 not including the drill & the paint. She had to buy two doors - the other four were from a previous remodel.
posted by jaimystery at 3:23 PM on October 13, 2006

you can buy a stock cabinets at home depot or lowes for around $200.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:31 PM on October 13, 2006

I have a bench very similar to the first photo posted by saffry. The shelf holds mail (in a narrow basket), cell phone, and junk my husband takes out of his pockets (in a bowl)--it's too narrow to be a catch-all spot & that's a good thing. Hooks for coats, dog leashes & my purses & camera bag. I put rubber/plastic bins (dish pans) inside the bench to hold my children's junk - you could store shoes there instead.

Hall trees hold maybe 3 coats before they crash over, even the best made ones. Purses can be too heavy for trees. Kids and pets also knock them over.

Mail holders & key boxes are great, but if you're the sort of person who doesn't like to (or want to) move from here to there in order to put something away then they won't work for you.

I like what 'wife of 445supermag' did - if you don't mind the shoes out in plain view then that'd be a great solution.
posted by LadyBonita at 4:09 PM on October 13, 2006

I've always loved the idea of this sort of revolving box with storage inside. They're usually sold as "swivel mirrors," though the storage aspect seems like the most important thing about them. If you wanted to make one, you could buy the lazy susan mechanism at a woodworking place like Woodcraft. Hang your coats, keys, and bags on hooks inside, and turn the open side to the wall when you don't want to look at all your paraphernalia.
posted by wryly at 5:28 PM on October 13, 2006

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