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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help with entry way

HopeJanuary 13, 2013
The front door opens directly into the living space in this renovated log cabin. I want to find a way to create a transition space as you enter right into the middle of the open floor plan. Was considering perhaps a hanging light fixture? I'd also like to have a place to sit and take off and store shoes as well. This is a challenge and I welcome your input.
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Aegean Designing Whims
We just bought an old cabin and I love it. Yours looks great! What about "covering" all the electircal boxes to the left of your door with a tall bench with coat hooks. They come in all sizes. Look for something rustic. I've attached a couple of quick photos to give you an idea of what I'm referring to. Chrysteen
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:23PM
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Aegean-Designing Whims said what I was going to say. :)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:28PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Excellent idea, Aegean! I was going to suggest a low bench as shown above in photo 2, but prefer Aegean's idea of a tall piece that will accept coats and allows for shoe removal.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:43PM
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Karen Tiede Art Rugs
+1 as above. I did the same thing in the "entry" in my own home, where the front door opens to one big room.
If you're a) on a budget and b) handy, look into ALL the "entertainment centers" coming into the used furniture market like Habitat Restores. Possible you can rework something to suit your own setting. I have an oak shelving unit that works; it's see-through and doesn't wall off the door the way some units can.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:59PM
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Put an open shelf open on both sides on the left side of the door. The shelf should be as tall as the top of the wall. This acts as a partition and gives you cubby storage, also allows light to filter through from the adjacent window. You can hang hooks between the cubbyies. Do it in a painted wood finish in a fun color. You can also add a light fixture in that space now that its more defined.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:04PM
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Wow. Can I say that again? Wow. Thanks for identifying that the electrical lines are unsightly and could be blocked. Maria... thanks for the image but I'm not sure what "put an open shelf open on both sides on the left side of the door. " Now that I'm typing it, I see that you mean open back? How would you handle the need to sit and remove shoes?
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 2:20PM
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Maria... Where would you put a light fixture?
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 2:21PM
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Thanks for your quick fix, Aegean-Designing Whims. I appreciate your expertise.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Chrysteen, I found a DIY bench and wanted to get your input, especially about the color. I'm rethinking the hanging light idea, as it's not going to be an easy install. Would you recommend doing something else overhead to create a sense of intimacy when you enter the open room?
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Aegean Designing Whims
Do you have a photo of the DIY? And are you handy? I'd love to see the color. Chryteen
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:57PM
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How about a bench/coat rack like this one from Pottery Barn placed perpendicular to the wall on the left of your door, replacing the red cabinet. In other words it would stick out into your room and give the entry some seperation. One end would block the electrical stuff somewhat, give you a place to take your boots off, hang up your gear and it still has an open look. It may be a bit too long but something along that line would be quite practical & go with your cabin look.

2 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:32PM
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A Crew of Two
My first thought is the door opens the wrong way.....you have to come in all the way and close the door before you can hang a coat or sit and take your shoes off. What about a higher cabinet- place perpendicular to the wall to the left of the door. Place a lamp on top, baskets on the shelves for shoes, mittens, etc. A small rug as you enter to complete the look
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 10:29PM
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I had a small shelf there for placing shoes and bags and it just seemed in the way. The dh needs a place to sit and remove his construction boots! And to store them as well. I appreciate the idea, but I think it did make the entry too crowded.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:40AM
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This is a diy from The Friendly Home. It's essentially two doors reconfigured into an entry bench. I'm not handy, but DH is a professional carpenter and might enjoy creating a throne for himself. I want to get the color right. BTW I posted more photos (fun!) under windowless wood-paneled dining area dilemma.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:46AM
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Like the Pottery Barn bench idea (and its price) , but I think my door opens the wrong way to set the bench perpendicular (unless the seat is on the side facing away from the door, which might make it awkward)? Do you think that would work?
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Could your carpenter DH change the direction the door opens? That may be the way to resolve your/his issues.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Hope, if you have an outlet nearby, why not hang a pretty swag lamp for some lighting?
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Good idea about the swag light. Any fixtures come to mind? I am wondering if something solid would create a sense of shelter and intimacy by reducing the open space overhead? What do you think?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:24AM
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Hmm. I will ask him about changing the direction the door opens. Maybe I will do it tonight... while he is sitting down taking off his boots. :) However, he doesn't have the same enthusiasm as I do for these types of projects. You know, the shoemaker's child, the busdriver's holiday... etc.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:27AM
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Tell him very sweetly that you are willing to hire someone to do the job just to make him happy. A little reverse psychology may work. Or can you train him to close the door before taking off his boots?
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:38AM
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The DH just called (I'm home for a happy snow day)... and he wouldn't nibble on the door. At first he thought I meant have it swing outward and he said it couldn't be done... and then when I explained I wanted it to swing to the right instead of the left, there was a long silence. He is trainable. He is the one who requested a place to put on/off boots. So, you mean close the door and then "walk around" the perpendicular entry bench to sit? (I'm spatially challenged!)
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:18AM
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When he comes in the door and closes it the bench will be on his immediate right. It will involve only a quarter turn for him to park and take his boots off. The bench will be facing your kitchen rather than the livingroom judging from your photos.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:03AM
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On a budget I could see a picture over the switches to hide the piped electrical. 2 or more wall hooks below the switches. http://www.potterybarn.com/products/overscaled-double-hooks/?pkey=e%7Ccoatrack%7C19%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C6&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-. Then a cushioned bench like Aegean suggested for sitting and storing all those shoes I see you have by the door.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:45AM
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You could make or define your own entryway with that DIY door/bench you had a picture of, placed at an angle between the door and the dining room table and chairs to create a mini entry visually. A rug between it and the door. Another set of your cubbies on top of the one to the left of the door to hide the electronic receptacles and store stuff. It would be cheap. I'd paint your DIY bench bright red... You could hang a picture on the side facing the main room.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:00PM
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I would recommend a ceiling fan with light attachment to help bring some of that heat back down into the room. There are several reasonably priced 'cabin' looking fans on the market in most home-building supply stores. This installation would require running conduit if a ceiling fixture is not already in place.
Nothing can be done about the way the door opens-or the incoming traffic. At some point you might want to add an entry porch/enclosure on the front of the cabin. It would cut down on the cold air when the door opens as well.

During winter/cold months, use a large indoor/outdoor rug (pad is a must) from the sofa to the door. This will make the room look warmer, larger, more cohesive, and will be easy to care for if shoes or boots are not 'exactly' clean. There are many beautiful styles/colors (even oriental styles) from which to choose. In the summer time, the rug can be rolled up and stored, giving a cooler feeling to the room.

Where the two chairs now are, use a backless, cushioned bench- with cubby space underneath, to allow for storage of shoes & boots- placing open side towards the door. Use large wicker baskets (sized to fit) for storage & to hold loose items. They come in various sizes & are made to fit the spaces. Choose a patterned cushion for the bench, as they are not apt to show stains, dirt, or wear as quickly as a solid color.

If you use a bench, try moving the smaller cane back chair at the end of the sofa- closest to the kitchen. Place a tray on the little stool-using it as a place for drinks/papers, & remote control- between the sofa and the chair (the picture does not show the sofa or any end tables). At the opposite end, if it doesn't interfere with tv viewing- at the corner of the bench- place the second chair. If there isn't space, remove the cane-backed one from the room (the style of the chair is too formal for the space) and keep the larger, more comfortable one.
*Try this arrangement before you order the bench, to determine the best size for your space-
and to determine if it will work properly- for your needs.

Would also change out the coffee table for a large, round leather ottoman- tough, rugged and definitely a 'man please-r' ... for putting up those tired feet- at the end of a long day.

You could place on open-back, shallow (8-10" deep) shelving unit flat against that wall between the window and door-utilizing that space for books and collectibles. You will need to access the electrical switches, so they can't be covered up, and the space must be left open. Shelves deeper than that can interfere with opening and closing the door, and always seem to stick out just far enough to cause a problem with the traffic path.
The last (and easiest) suggestion is to paint all conduit and the electrical boxes in a brown tone close to the wall color, so they don't stand out so much.

Hope you enjoy your space!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:08PM
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lakeviewlady, wow, you gave me a lot of thoughtful responses and I appreciate your help with the space. I have another set of pictures up that better capture the whole space. I didn't think to include them with the entry way. But the rest of the room is pictured in my dining room ideabook -- the last two pictures in that book are my home. Do your suggestions still hold when you see the rest of the room? I do appreciate you spending the time analyzing and prettifying my space!
    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 6:13PM
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Design with Vision
Looks like a great place! To create an entryway, you first need to allot breathing space. Move your furniture further away. As mentioned, position the door to open the other way. Replace the bookcase with a cool, shallow table over which hangs a fun mirror. Of course, you will move those electric boxes. A warm, practical rug at the foot of the door would be inviting.
    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 6:23PM
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