small entryway ideas for apartments

An inviting and spacious entryway in a 1-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. (From a listing at 45 Martense St. #4D)

New York City apartments tend to cut corners when it comes to square footage. One of the main spaces sacrificed is the traditional entryway. This fact makes creating a spot near your front door for shoes, coats, and keys a little more complicated. But thanks to these creative small entryway ideas, it’s not impossible.

Shoe Storage for Small Entryways

Shoe storage small apartment idea

Here, shelves make display art out of all of these shoes. (Esi Asbemenu @esidaisy)

If you’re tired of tripping over a pile of shoes at the door or always losing the pair you need, shoe storage in your entryway is a must. Shelves can get the job done. Even better would be a spot to sit while you’re tying your laces, which can also incorporate shoe storage underneath.

“Depending on the size of your entry, I like incorporating a bench for my clients to comfortably sit on while they’re putting their shoes on or taking them off,” says Amy Courtney of Amy Courtney Designs. “For smaller entryways, a small pouf or stool will suffice.”

A floating bench can also be utilized if you have an awkwardly shaped nook, which will automatically create space underneath to stash shoes.

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Small Entryway Ideas for Coats

small entryway ideas coat hooks

Coat hooks put unused wall space to work in small entryways. (Christian Harder)

Joan Enger of J. Patryce Design says she loves to incorporate built-ins or a custom coat placard to help replace the often-absent coat closet. “It creates a tidy, welcoming first impression, which is just as important for the homeowners as they come and go as it is for guests,” she says.

Enger also suggests lots of hooks positioned at both high and low spots on the wall. This will create a space to hang up not only coats but also backpacks, purses, and hats and scarves in the winter months. And look for hooks that are also attractive when nothing’s on them — a row of nice-looking wall hooks can be visually pleasing as well as practical!

Create a Landing Strip for Your House Keys

Vertical storage is an excellent option for small homes, because it doesn’t require a lot of floor space — just some free space on a wall. Shelves are also relatively easy to install, and there are tons of options to choose from.

In a small entryway, floating storage can stand in for a table, providing an easy landing strip for mail, keys, wallets, and more. For a client who was always losing his house keys, Enger installed a floating console right by his front door with a designated space for his essentials.

Small Entryway Ideas for Masks and Sanitizers

small entryway ideas for apartments

A basket creates another spot to stash grab-and-go things. (From a listing at 123-35 82 Road #4A)

Remembering all the little things you need before you leave your apartment was hard before, but it’s near impossible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Entryway hooks are an easy way to ensure you don’t forget a face mask on your way out the door. Keeping your mask on a hook also lets you put it on and take it off without much contact with other surfaces, says Courtney. Bottles of hand sanitizer, which often come with a keychain attachment to hang on bags and backpacks, could also live here.

Enger uses baskets in her entryway for face-mask storage: one for clean ones to put on before leaving, and one for dirty ones when she returns. She keeps a bottle of hand sanitizer on the entry table as well for easy access.

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Small Entryway Ideas for Your Floor

To really make your small entryway feel like its own separate area, Courtney says, a rug is an easy addition. “A runner or a rug can really define a space, making what may not have felt like an entry into a beautifully framed vignette,” she says.  Here are some tips for picking the best rug for your apartment.

Plus, a mirror in the entryway is always useful. They’re perfect for that “final look over” before you leave the house, Enger says. Mirrors also reflect light around a space, making what is often a dark, windowless corner feel brighter. Hang one on the wall, place one on a shelf like a picture frame, or, if you have a few inches of space to spare, place a large-scale one on the floor, leaning against the wall.

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