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Although every home may not have dedicated floor space for an entryway, every home can offer a warm welcome to those who enter.  A small table with a quaint little lamp quickly conveys a “so glad you are here” message to friends and family. A little shelf with hooks beside the door offers a place to put keys, totes, and purses. A shallow basket makes a handy landing spot for shoes. Each of these simple items serves a purpose without taking up too much space.

A stack of cubical shelves can serve a similar purpose. Each family member can have one cube or one column of cubes.  It certainly helps to keep items off the kitchen table or piling up on the floor. It also sets a reasonable limit. These shelves come in all sizes and colors and can be used with or without baskets. They are readily available at home improvement or discount stores in a variety of prices.

The entryway from my garage has one of my favorite pieces of furniture—a vintage “gossip bench.” It is a combination bench and table.  I suppose the culturally correct term is “mid-century” but that just seems a bit old to me! And I do want to clarify that I don’t use it to gossip! It was actually used back in the day when homes had rotary phones. The phone sat on top and the bench provided a place to sit while talking on the phone. The little shelf inside made for a handy place for the phone book—which people really did use! The bench belonged to my mother and she might have even gotten it from her mother. I use the bench as my place to put my church bag or library bag. The shelf holds small notebooks and audio books.  The top shelf is just the right place to display a book angel made by my mother. There is something about all these memories that makes me smile whenever I walk past.

   

The entryway from my front door has a little bistro table with 2 chairs. The small lamp makes for a perfect “night light” when I know I will be coming home late. If my arms are full of tote bags when I enter the door, I know I can place them on the chairs and tend to them quickly. I don’t let things pile up here because I like using the table as a special spot for eating lunch. It has added such a lovely touch to my living room area.

Close by the door is a special container just for mail. It certainly saves time knowing there is just one place to look for that unopened bill or envelope of coupons.  I have used different sized baskets, but I always like to keep it on the small side so that it doesn’t have a chance to become overwhelming!

I recently started using the inside of my entry door from the garage as a mini bulletin board. It is magnetic so it is very easy to display favorite photos in magnetic photo sleeves. I have a clip for event flyers that are happening the current week.  Just a enough of a reminder, but not cluttered and messy.

Take a fresh look at the entryways to your home. Maybe you can add a special touch of welcome just by creatively using the space you already have! I would welcome hearing about your results. Comment below!

Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • I used to have a “gossip table” too – but I’ve never heard it called that. I just called mine a “telephone table.” Unlike yours, it wasn’t a beautiful piece of furniture, but something that was left behind when the previous owners moved out, and it’s long gone now. You are truly blessed to have such a special piece where you can enjoy it – and use it – every day. Thanks for the little peek into your home and your life!

  • Mev says:

    Beautiful, Olive! Great ideas. We have an antique ice chest just inside our door that we use as a shoe cabinet. I have a doily that my sister-in-law made and some family pictures on top. It has taken work, but I have insisted with my husband (AND MYSELF!) long enough that we are finally doing better about not letting the top get cluttered with things waiting to go downstairs. I feel so much better when the top of that cabinet is neat and pretty and not stacked with recycling and that kind of thing! :^)

  • Olive says:

    Janet, I don’t really have many childhood scrapbooks or photos, so this piece of furniture is a pleasant tie to the past. And because it makes me smile whenever I walk past it, I know it is a keeper!!

  • Olive says:

    Mev, I love that you dressed up your ice chest with a doily and some photos–just a subtle reminder to keep the top looking pretty! Isn’t it fun to repurpose items?!! Perhaps a designated tote bag can hang on your door handle for those recycling items which would keep them off the top of the chest & put them in something that is easy to carry downstairs.

  • Great post! I love the photos of your home. I’ve seen a “gossip bench” before, but didn’t know what it was called. I like your tip for using a small lamp near the entryway as a night light.

  • Olive says:

    I’m glad that I have managed to find a spot for the gossip bench in several different places where I have lived, Nancy. Thanks for stopping by!

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