The passage between the winter weather outside and the cozy comforts of home inside can be at once functional and stylish. Designer Justin Riordan, owner of home staging company Spade and Archer, knows what’s trending for entryways and how to achieve the perfect transitional space.
When Justin Riordan is staging a home—whether it’s in Portland, Seattle or Palm Springs—his goal is for aspirational to meet obtainable. He estimated that in Portland alone, 45 percent of houses on the market hire designers to do staging, and that number is growing. Whether the home is going on the market or is yours forever, a functional and stylish entryway is the key to effortless transitions out and in the front door. Here are Riordan’s tips for creating on-trend transitional spaces.
Every entryway should have four staples: table, lamp, mirror and bowl. Soft lamp light is welcoming. A mirror makes for quick touchups. The catch-all bowl keeps odds and ends from cluttering the table. Choose a functional table that provides storage. It is also helpful to have a bench or a stool to make lacing footwear a breeze.
The door or, rather, doors
Incorporate a vestibule, if possible. This is a double-door entry system in which a small room stands between the front door and the door that accesses the home. For new construction, it can be worked into the architectural design. Adding a vestibule to the front of an existing home is also fairly straightforward, and is what Riordan did when he renovated his early-1900s Victorian home. Riordan believes that vestibules will become a hallmark of entryways as concern for energy efficiency continues to grow. Vestibules create a nook for storage as well as a buffer between the elements, a win-win for coziness. Many homes throughout the Pacific Northwest are shoe-free, and a vestibule encourages the habit among guests. Also, install keyless entry. There will be no more fumbling for keys, increasing the ease of all the family’s comings and goings. From mechanical systems that don’t require batteries to interfaces that integrate with your phone, there is a system for everyone.
Entryways are high water-content areas. Wood and carpet can be problematic under these conditions. Tile is the ideal floor material because it is easy to clean and is resilient. Be sure to check the slip co-efficient on the tile, however. Riordan said that honed or unglazed tile is safest. Regardless of flooring material, it is on-trend to include walk-off mats inside and outside the home. Large format (four-foot by five-foot), commercial-style rugs are popular. Coordinate the look but be sure the outdoor rug is rated as such.
Perhaps your entryway has a closet. If so, hooray! If not, the best solution is an armoire. From new to vintage, there is an armoire for every style. Armoires add character while tucking away the array of textures and colors that make up a family’s collection of outerwear. Use matching, wooden hangers for a uniform look. For industrious types, Riordan recommended retrofitting a TV armoire from the ’90s. Most are the perfect size for an entryway, are conversation pieces and have the added benefit of reducing waste. Repurpose or buy new, but go for quality pieces, suggested Riordan, as furniture makes up the majority of landfill use by volume.
Another access point to many homes is the mudroom. Most of the entryway tips apply in the mudroom but there is more opportunity for organizing without hiding behind closed doors. Add a row of cubbies below a line of matching hooks to give all the sun, snow and rain gear an accessible home. After all, the great outdoors could come calling at a moment’s notice.
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PHOTOS COURTESY ROOM & BOARD