A spot for face masks, hand sanitizer, shoes? Check, check, and check!

By Katie Holdefehr
September 18, 2020
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Photography by Christopher Testani / Styling by Sara Smart / Flowers by Livia Cetti

The entryway is typically one of the most hardworking spots in the house—but during the coronavirus pandemic, it has taken on new meaning. It's now a space to store reusable face masks and slather on hand sanitizer as you walk in the door. Plus, we still want it to neatly stash shoes, jackets, and scarves. In the 2020 Real Simple Home, we designed an entryway that checks all of those boxes, yet takes up just one small corner and a section of wall. Here are the entryway organizing ideas you can borrow for your own space.

Photography by Christopher Testani / Styling by Sara Smart / Flowers by Livia Cetti

The One-Wall Wonder

If your "foyer" is really just a small wall beside the front door, don't worry, you still have enough space for a functional entryway. Take advantage of vertical wall space with a large arched mirror ($289, shadesoflight.com). Bonus points: it will bounce light around the room.

Underneath the mirror, we set a luxe-yet-affordable marble shelf with brass brackets ($70, cb2.com). To add extra organization, a brass rod ($15, RebelMetals.etsy.com) and matching S-hooks ($6 for 4, CascadeIronCo.etsy.com) set across the shelf brackets provide a spot to hang keys, a face mask, or a dog leash.

Atop the shelf, a brass tray ($15, us.hay.com) is the perfect place to drop a wallet and spare change. And don't forget the pump bottle of hand sanitizer!

Once you have the organizing elements covered, introduce a few design choices that will make you smile when you walk in the door. Minimalist vases by ceramicist Tracie Hervy (bloomist.com) hold sculptural plants, while the framed artwork reflects the nearby staircase (from $98, minted.com).

Photography by Christopher Testani / Styling by Sara Smart / Flowers by Livia Cetti

A Washable Rug

An entryway area rug provides a soft (and stylish) landing when you step in the door, but when you think about all the mud and germs that get tracked in on the bottom of our shoes—no thank you! Instead, we opted for a machine-washable (yes, machine-washable) area rug from Ruggable ($109, ruggable.com).

DIY a Hall Tree

Always, but especially during COVID, you want a spot to drop everything the moment you get home. If you don't have the space for an expansive store-bought hall tree, customize your own by pairing up a small storage bench ($179, urbanoutfitters.com) with a custom wooden peg rail painted to match (henryelle.etsy.com). The Shaker-style peg rail not only holds coats, scarves, and an organizer for incoming mail ($34, anthropologie.com), but the shelf above displays nature-themed artwork from Minted and a sweet bud vase ($22, homebybe.com). Outfitted with plenty of hooks, a bench for shoes, and woven baskets ($13, containerstore.com) for scarves, you can drop everything off right at the door, without tracking dirt or germs into the house.

If you have the room for it, ideally every entryway should offer a perch to put on and take off shoes. We skipped the bench cushion so the surface is easier to wipe down as needed, but a couple throw pillows cozy up this corner ($175, the-citizenry.com and similar velvet pillows at coteriebrooklyn.com).

Get more organizing ideas from the Real Simple Home: