I’ve recently organised my hallway – the first area of our new home to get ‘done’ and I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved. The fact I’ve done it with a little bit of help from Ikea, after promising to only furnish my new place with vintage finds, is beside the point. Lets gloss over that for now. I love my new hallway – vintage finds or not.
Hallway, entry, vestibule, porch – whatever it is that constitutes the entrance to your home, it creates the first impression every new visitor has about the space unfolding before them. It and also needs to perform the very practical function of filtering out all the bits and pieces you don’t want clogging up your living areas.
I’ve had to admit to myself recently that I am a tiny bit of a neat-freak. Friends of mine may be surprised to read this, but I like tidiness and organisation – as you may have gathered if you’ve read my bullet journal posts.
With a small child in the house too much organisation just isn’t realistic, but for me it’s essential to have enough that clutter isnt tripping us up and every turn, and offending my eye everywhere I look.
What I’ve learnt is that the key to controlling clutter right from the get-go is the entry to the home. Before we moved in here we’d been living with my mum for a while. Her house has nowhere to hang coats, nowhere to put shoes and nowhere to leave bags.
No doubt this is not an issue when my mum is there on her own, but with Poppet and I both in residence in the middle of winter it wasn’t long before the clutter took over. There was a mountain of coats on the banister, an unruly scattering of shoes in the porch and a chaotic pile of bags at the bottom of the stairs.
It didn’t seem to bother anyone except me, but after living with this for a while, I knew that getting the ‘cloakroom clutter’ under control would a be a top priority in our new home.
I came across the concept of a ‘landing strip’ via Apartment Therapy. If you haven’t discovered Apartment Therapy finish reading the post and then immediately delve into the wealth of home organising, decorating and DIYing knowledge that bursts from its pages.
The landing strip concept was coined by home organisation guru Maxwell Ryan, Apartment Therapy’s founder. He thinks every home should have one, and I’m inclined to agree.
The principle is simple, you create an area where you can corral all the detritus you bring into the house with you as you ‘land’ home at the end of the day, and that you will probably take with you when you leave. There it stops, it goes no further, freeing your home of clutter, trip hazards, and dirt.
When I moved in here the first impression I had of the hallway that it was narrow – very narrow. Thankfully it was also filled with light thanks to the fact that the opening between it and the stairs has been removed. With a radiator running down one side that didn’t leave me much space to create my landing strip but as it soon filled up with our clutter of our daily life I knew it was the first room in the house I needed to tackle.
I set out with the intention of only buy vintage/second-hand furniture so I decided to try and find a traditional Bentwood coat stand to be the feature of the hallway, but after a few of weeks of fruitless searching both online and in local charity shops, I could take no more. Need outstripped aesthetics, the coats over the banister and bags on the floor had to be controlled, so bowing to pressure to fill the space quickly and cheaply I found myself making a trip to Ikea on a Saturday night. Oh the wild and crazy life I lead!
It was worth it. Busier than I thought it would be – lots of parents with little kids surprisingly, Ikea is the last place I’d take my daughter last thing at night – I came away with some great finds which have helped create my streamlined clutter-killing landing-strip. Here are my hallway quick-fix finds:
– Hemnes hat and coat stand. It’s not a vintage Bentwood, but it does the job.
– Stall shoe cabinet. I would have loved a bench to sit on which putting on shoes, with storage underneath, but my narrow space wouldn’t allow it. So I went hunting for a more slender option. I first spotted this ingenious little cabinet in this gorgeous hallway on Pinterest. While it’s a rather modern piece seemed to blend in well in what was clearly a period home so I figured it could work in my little Victorian terrace. At only 17cm wide it seemed like great option for my less than generous space, giving me both a place to stash away shoes and a shelf on which to put keys, mail and the decorative items that give the hallway and splash of colour and character.
– Trampa door mat. Large enough for my daughter and I to both get in the door, wipe our feet and take off our shoes before we go any further, and the geometric design compliments the decor perfectly.
With those key pieces built and in place all I needed to do was added a few finishing touches. A a turquoise decorative pot I found in a charity shop near where I work, a little rush basket to dump my keys in that I bought in Sainsburys, and silver gilt mirror I’ve had for years for last minute make-up checks.
The landing strip was complete. Just add a bunch of flowers and my functional, clutter-collecting hallway is also a welcoming, colourful first window into my home.