Entrances are one of the most used areas of the home and, because of this, it can become a dumping ground for everything from bags to keys and jackets.
They provide the first impression for visitors and serve as a transition from indoors to out.
Here are some tips on how to organise the area in a stylish manner, even if you live in a small flat that opens directly onto the living room.
If you constantly come home and find yourself dropping your bag, jacket, scarf or dog leash on the couch, then you need some hanging storage.
Keep only a select few seasonal items out on display - you don't want too many hooks which can make the space feeling messy and overwhelming.
In Hong Kong, where everyone is expected to take their shoes off at the door, shoe storage is an important part of a functional entry. Like coats and jackets, only keep those shoes out that you wear on a regular basis. Baskets can provide quick and easy organisation, but be careful you don't forget what is in them.
One solution is to keep shoes on a low bench, where they can be easily accessed but are not a focal point.
Smaller items like keys, wallets and handbags work well when stored on a shelf or cabinet and in plain sight. It is also handy to have a dedicated spot to drop your daily stack of mail, and an umbrella stand.
A small stool or bench, if you have the space, is a practical addition to help put on shoes. It will make your entry more inviting and comfortable. Mirrors also help to give one final check before you are out the door. They also have the added bonus of helping make the space look larger. Finally, a rug or mat helps catch incoming dirt before shoes are removed and helps protect floors in a high traffic area.
Entrances are such a small part of a home that it is also easy to have a bit of fun with them. A pop of bright colour in this area can add some daring and is easy to paint over if you change your mind. Choose things such as quirky wall hooks or add patterned paper to shelves. These will help personalise the space.
If your door opens directly into the living area, try using a room divider. This can be done with a bookshelf, large potted plant, or even a curtain hung from a ceiling track.
Even if you just add a small table or coat-rack, any opportunity to create an actual space will make a big difference in how the space is used.
Try to also focus on lighting - place a lamp just inside the door. You can leave it on when you go out for the evening and be welcomed by the soft glow when you return.