The Entryway

A while back, maybe in the spring, I planned a William Morris Project post off a piece of furniture from IKEA, only to discover a worldwide manufacturing snafu once I got home and tried to put everything together. I had to scrap the project and do something else. I’d link to it, but I can’t remember the post! Anyway, what I wanted was a shoe cabinet (similar to this one, but not as tall). I wanted to create a mudroom in our entryway to collect school backpacks, coats, and shoes. We never use our entryway for company, and the back entry everyone uses leads to our small galley kitchen. That’s where we usually keep backpacks and coats, but with both boys in school things started piling up on empty surfaces all around the house. The school shoes are supposed to go in shoe drawers (the boys each have a pair of shoes for school only so they last longer) but that never happened last year. I didn’t see it happening this year, either, so we went to IKEA over the weekend to buy the famous shoe cabinet.

The entryway was really a place to store items we weren’t using. It’s narrow and without much room for anything other than the shoe cabinet. The basket I bought last spring to store sporting equipment. I can’t tell you how many times Mikey ran around looking for his baseball bat minutes before we had to leave for practice last spring. I already had the rug, and in the closet I had hooks waiting to hang up.

One small problem: the cabinet wouldn’t attach to our walls unless we tore down the board and batten. The Mister considered it for all of -0.25 nanoseconds. I believe his words were, “We are not altering the house the accommodate furniture from IKEA.”

Good point. So, instead we bought a mirror and a plant and made due with what we already had around the house.

As we were debated the shoe cabinet in IKEA, the Mister asked why it was so important that I have a shoe cabinet in the entryway. I told him that it would be nice if everything school related was in one spot. Shoes get lost, the backpacks don’t have their own spot, coats are left hanging over chairs. I wanted a grand central station for school. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Okay.”

The next day this happened. I started working on the mudroom/entryway immediately.

We ended up using the sport basket (Target) for shoes. The table is the same antique folding table that has moved from room to room for the last 8 years. The hooks are from Anthropologie. There are a few things I would like to change, but I’m still happy with the results. The roman shade isn’t my favorite, but I haven’t decided what I want in it’s place and I didn’t want to buy something new for a pretty picture. It stays until then. The rug is from Overstock, and I like it, but the pile is too thick. I can’t open the closet door easily or the front door at all without moving it all the way back. Normally I have it pulled back away from the door so we have an exit, but I pushed it into place for the pictures. (Yup, I admit it.) I’m on the hunt for something with a low pile and in my budget.

I have to say, the mudroom-entrway worked out great! Getting the boys to school went without a hiccup, and when they came home they knew what to do…and they turned putting their shoes in the basket into a game of football and basketball. Life was grand, everything was in order, and I was pleased to come home from school without having to trip over shoes or search for lost backpacks. Then I opened their school folders and discovered Nicholas forgot his homework, Mikey didn’t take his makeup spelling test, and both boys didn’t give their teachers the notes I typed out the night before.

Progress, not perfection.


This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.


Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment. A few guidelines:

  • Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
  • Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home. I have a delete button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
  • No links to giveaways, please.
  • Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.

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  1. I like how it turned out! I was also thinking that if you found yourself still wanting the shoe cabinets, you could install them on your wall if you just get a little strip of lumber to use as a stabilizer -like screw that to the wall horizontally and then screw the shoe cabinet to it. We almost had to do this w/Ikea shoe cabinets at our last US home (plaster walls), and for a friend’s Ikea kitchen cabinets (no studs where she needed them). Easy. In any case, it looks balanced and fully functional as is.

    One idea on carpets: what about those indoor/outdoor ones? They seem to be thinner and made for heavy wear. I saw Censational Girl do a carpet post the other day and I found myself marveling at the merits of indoor/outdoor rugs.

  2. I agree with Juliette – great suggestions, especially about the indoor/outdoor rug. Still, we use a shoe basket in our entryway (back door and front door) and it works just fine for us.

    • I went to IKEA thinking I would use strips of stabilizer and be good. Unfortunately, when we got there and looked at the back, we realized strips weren’t going to cut it. The support (and where you’re supposed to screw into the wall) runs in two spots horizontally all along the back. It would have required a lot of wood, and a lot of fussing around. That wouldn’t have been too bad, but you would be able to clearly see the added wood–which would look Mickey Moused together–unless we framed it…and then we admitted we were considering doing way too much work to make a piece of furniture work. It shouldn’t be that hard. Too bad, because I really like it.

      The indoor/outdoor rugs are also too thick. It’s a major flaw in this house. The thresholds are built for 1940s/50s linoleum. We’ve been able to fix that inside by cutting the doors, but the outside doors are a problem. I’m going to have to consult someone and pay to have it fixed, but don’t know who!

      • Double bummer! =( That part about your front door is the worst. The only really thin thing I can think of now is a painted canvas ‘rug’, but who knows how that would hold up? Sounds like you’ll be paying to get your door frame adjusted somehow…$$$. =/

  3. It’s beautiful! Ran around looking for sperrys this a.m. that were in half bath. Always a struggle to get things under control for school. Not sure it ever really changes but that’s life and your space looks magazine lovely.

  4. Ooof, the phrase “trip over shoes” gave me hives. My family was pretty good about sticking shoes in out-of-the-way places (not necessarily in a system, but near the door, off the pathway), so it blows my mind when we visit my husbands’ parents’ house and the kids literally step out of their shoes in the thresholds of the doors and just leave them there. I almost always shove them off to the side, so no one breaks a neck, but the other adults never bat an eye. Good on you for finding a system that works for your family and gently enforcing it! Tripping over shoes is the worst!

  5. It looks great! I agree about the indoor/outdoor rug – we have one in the kitchen and it is nice and thin and cleans up easily. (It’s a Dash and Albert – I got it from Wayfair I think with a deal at some point.) Just be sure to buy the deluxe gripper pad so it won’t move around too much.

    I’m sorry – but I laughed at the end of your post. There is only so much we can do!

    • Indoor/outdoor rugs are still too thick (seriously, I need to consult a professional and have the threshold fixed) but Dash & Albert rugs are my favorite!

  6. I love the bright white against the walls, very nice! You need a flatweave rug for the entry so it won’t get caught, those need rug pads so they don’t slip around but they are resilient to traffic. Also runners work well as they are more narrow and that allows you to have any pile you like. Most rug stores can cut an existing rug sown for you and finish the edges for super inexpensive so that’s an option! I also saw a cool no sew faux Roman shade on Pinterest that used a tension rod which is a cool + easy fix to buying a new roman shade! Okay, I am done now, says the girl that still doesn’t even own a sofa (but I have some nice rugs;)

    • Even a flatweave is too thick. (I’ve tried that and a runner in the past.) My only options are to pull it completely away from the door or have the threshold fixed. I think I’m going to have to get it fixed.

  7. Oh I am so happy these posts are back! Thank you. Loved the ending. Of course it’s all about progress, not perfection! I really dislike the thought of putting up hooks for backpacks in our entryway. Fortunately, for the three days we have had school, the kids have been taking them to their bedrooms. (But they are 12 and almost-15) I don’t even have as much room as you do on either side of the door–and I just removed a 12″ cabinet from the 42″ wide space. We’re loving the extra “room” though shoes are piling up. (We’ll be shifting to Winter boots in about a month so tossing them in a basket isn’t quite an option for us. Neither is a shoe cabinet!)

    Great solutions for your family–so glad they turned putting their shoes away into something fun!

    • Thanks, Alana! I wasn’t thrilled about the hooks either, but until we can fashion some sort of mudroom in our laundry room, this will have to work. Since I went all-out and bought pretty hooks, it doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would.

  8. inspired! i will be looking for that cute basket! the walls are all windows in our entrance so i may use the basket for backpacks. can’t wait for the october william morris marathon!

  9. Looks fabulous, Jules! And I’m feeling some love for the ideas of Miss B.–especially the runner, option. And now they have those super hold, natural rubber, non slip rug mats–which are fabulous for keeping lighter rugs in place!

  10. It looks great (and functional!), Jules! Even as an adult, I find that I really need an entryway system like this. We have a wooden crate for our shoes, hooks for our bags/coats and a bowl for our keys and phones. Otherwise things go downhill fast. I still haven’t found the best solution for the mail, despite trying at least three different options.

    • Mail. My nemesis. I’m working on my husband building me something for that. I saw something at Cost Plus that was okay, but the price they wanted was preposterous.

      • Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. We had something that worked, but it was so ugly that we got rid of it and now I regret it. My replacement, while much nicer looking, just doesn’t function the same way so we never use it and the mail piles up. I guess I need to get D to build a nicer looking version of what we had. I’ll just add it to the enormous list of things I’d like him to build! Blah.

  11. I love what you did in the entryway! So fresh and simple. It’s an added bonus that you were able to shop your house for most of the stuff.

    I’m sorta, kinda officially back, by the way! I’ve been without internet service this whole summer and I finally had to break down and get something before I started homeschooling the kids again. I guess that means I need to start back up with my WM projects. I’ve done a lot, but have documented almost none of it. Sigh.

  12. I love your Mister’s thoughts about not altering the house to accommodate Ikea! Your white board & batten is a beautiful detail…also love the striped hooks and the basket. I’ve been looking for a similar basket, but can’t find one. Or maybe I’m just too cheap.

    • He’s so practical he makes me look downright carefree and flighty! πŸ˜‰ (I thought the price I paid for that basket at Target was ridiculous, but I have yet to find a better one for less money.)

      • I feel the same way about those baskets at Target! When did Target get so pricey? But you’re right; I’ve yet to see cuter baskets anywhere else. I ended up finding a wicker hamper at the thrift that is working as shoe storage for us by our entryway, but it’s a little too tall for my taste (shoes keep getting lost).

  13. I love your entryway!!! So useful and uncluttered!

    P.S. I tried to link up; I hope my post qualifies! I’ve never done it before but noticed I should have changed the name to somethig more creative, whoops! Didn’t realize that’s what would post.

    Either way, I love your blog πŸ™‚

  14. i think that the space looks stunning in the photos. and i absolutely adore that rug.

    i have begun using baskets for shoe storage in our space and found it has made a huge difference with the clutter. i knew for sure we had made progress the other day when from the entryway i overheard “that’s the shoe basket. you have to put your shoes in the shoe basket or you get in trouble.”

    my thirty-four year old boyfriend was greeting his friend at the door. yup, progress.

  15. The entry looks great. Your photos make it look like it’s out of a design mag πŸ™‚
    Our entry is one of the spaces I plan to work on once all the folded up moving boxes have finally been picked up… I’m trying to figure out now whether to do one big piece of art in it, or some family photos. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for hosting!

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