...or should we just cut to the chase and call it a dumping ground? Because that's exactly what it is; somewhere to dump bags, shoes, keys and hats before you make your way into the home.
An entranceway needs to be all of this, but it can also be so much more. Because regardless of its tendency to get messy and the ease of which it collects all matter of miscellany, it's a space that welcomes you home; it cordially invites you to come on in, to take off your shoes and put down your heavy bag. With the door closed behind you, you can exhale.
An entranceway offers you breathing space before you walk further into your home and, no doubt, onto other tasks.
In past houses I've had to create an entryway because a separate space didn't exist. But in our current home, the front door leads into a sunroom; a two by three metre space bathed in light with just enough room for a small table and my desk, a shoe basket and a hat rack. On most days it's a magnet for recycling ready to be taken out, school bags, odd shoes, library books to be returned and parcels going to or coming from the post office. Hence for the better part of the week, it is a bit haphazard and in need of a tidy up.
But still, an entranceway is one of the easiest ways to keep the family home - and the family - organised. It's a place for the everyday essentials to live which ultimately saves them getting lost throughout the house (they don't get lost because they don't make it past the entranceway). And when it's time to leave the house again? The relief in knowing that the shoes, bags and hats are where you left them cannot be denied.
An entranceway is a time and sanity saver. And it's an essential element in a simple, family home.
So how can you create one for your family? A few essentials, in my opinion:
a bowl or a hook for your keys
a small table with enough space for library books, mail, collected ephemera pulled out of little pockets
a hat rack
a shoe basket
a little chair for little people who need help with their shoes and laces
a designated area for school bags whether it's a bookshelf or a cubby hole or lined up against the wall
fresh flowers or a few plants (because even the most practical of spaces needs a bit of pretty)
Implementing small changes in the family home really can make the everyday a bit simpler.