It's very easy to make small entryway storage mistakes, but when you haven't got a lot of space, you can't afford to be waste an inch of it. Even just a couple of bloopers can clutter the space and make it feel overwhelming.
There's no need to stress, though. We've got the lowdown from interior designers on mistakes they often see in small homes. From a lack of personalization to shoehorning in larger pieces than a space can take, our pros have seen — and solved — plenty.
When searching for small entryway ideas, getting your storage game on point is smart. Keep these in mind, nip any small entryway mistakes in the bud and your place is sure to look more stylish.
Small entryway storage mistakes
When choosing the best small entryway storage idea for your space, it's handy to have the hard-no list on the go, too.
As well as asking experts what not to do, we've gathered professional solutions and brilliant buys to match.
The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.
1. Forcing in larger furniture
This is a message for all those who have fallen in love with a piece of furniture at the store and found it doesn’t fit properly. Don’t try and force something that’s not meant to be, people.
“The biggest mistake you can make in any small space is trying to force larger pieces to fit where they don't make sense,” says Kathy Kuo, interior designer and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home.
Kathy Kuo is an interior design expert and founder of Kathy Kuo Home, which is a premiere e-destination with a beautifully curated collection of luxury furniture and decor and interior design services.
She adds, “There's no one way to design a particular space, but going smaller, or choosing minimalist entryway design tends to work.”
For example, Kathy says if you don’t have enough room in your small entryway for a full console table, you can use a narrow one, a smaller side table, or even a nightstand instead.
Size (in.): H30 x W56 x D8
Made from: MDF
Size (in.): H23.6 x W16.2 x D16.2
Made from: Marble, iron
Size (in.): H20.89 x W15.75 x L15.75
Made from: Rattan, iron
Price: $116.67 for two
2. Underestimating vertical space
You may have placed a couple of hooks on your walls and called it a day in terms of small entryway storage — but utilizing vertical space is a top trick for making a small entryway appear bigger.
“One of the most frequent mistakes I see is underestimating the benefit of using vertical space,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight.
Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.
He says, “Use walls hooks, shelves, and slimline storage units to make the most out of available space without making everything look crowded at floor level.”
Using a combination of these will allow for plenty of space for all your different-sized items.
“These can efficiently contain wearable accessories like hats and scarves and even serve as a display for decorative pieces like indoor plants,” says Ricky Allen, interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper.
Ricky Allen is the interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper, experts in high-quality wallpapers and murals, using non-toxic, odorless, and environmentally friendly materials.
By having your outerwear and accessories all in one place, you won’t lose track of your favorite pieces, making the journey out of the front door a lot smoother.
Size (in.): H31.5 x W15.7
Made from: Metal
Size (in.): H7 x W2 X L5
Made from: Plastic
Price: $11.68 for six
Size (in.): H5.5 x W25 x D4.5
Made from: Wood
3. Not personalizing for your needs
Whether you’ve gone overboard with storage solutions or haven’t got enough, not considering what you, or the people you live with actually need for entryway storage is a mistake.
“Considering the needs of your household when choosing storage options is crucial,” says Ricky.
He continues, “For instance, families with young children may find storage ottomans more useful, as they can house bulky items which may be over spilling in individual storage boxes.”
Equally, if you’re only living with your partner and have a huge storage unit, you may want to whittle this down to just a small basket each.
Size (in.): H18 x W9 x D19
Made from: Wood, polyester
Size (in.): H22 x W24.8 x D13.8
Made from: Wood
Size (in.): H12.2 x W16.1 x D12.2
Made from: MDF
4. Using standalone benches as storage
We’re big fans of small entryway benches as they provide a useful place for sitting down and tying shoes before leaving — but if you’re using yours as a dum ping ground, this is a big no-no.
“The bench at the front door often ends up being a place to put coats, bags, and other things,” says Tommy Mello, home improvement expert and founder of A1 Garage Door Service.
Tommy Mello is a a home improvement and DIY expert, and the founder of A1 Garage Door Service, a $100M+ home service business. Founded in 2007, A1 Garage Door Service has become a home service industry leader.
He explains, “This not only throws off the space's visual balance but also makes it harder for the bench to do its main job, which is to provide a convenient place to sit.”
Instead, going for a bench with built-in storage is a better solution, as you can store everything inside this and reduce visual clutter. This is a win-win in our books.
Three shelf heights
Size (in.): H18.9 x W40.9 x D11.8
Made from: Particleboard, foam
Size (in.): H20.98 x W45 x D17
Made from: Wood
Size (in.): H16.5 x W23.6 x D11.8
Made from: Wood
5. Choosing open woven baskets
While woven baskets may seem like a great entryway organization fix, they can become part of the problem if you use them indiscriminately.
Tommy explains, “They can become cluttered and give a disorganized look, which may leave a chaotic impression on you and your guests. Instead, look for concealed storage or baskets with lids, as these will allow you to store all your necessary items without a messy finish.”
If you have some woven ones left over, you could always repurpose them as living room blanket baskets, as they’ll look much chicer like this.
Size (in.): H15 x W20 x D20
Made from: Woven seagrass
Cut out handles
Size (in.): H17.5 x W30 x D17.5
Made from: Water hyacinth
Size (in.): H17.35 x W15.05 x D14.55
Made from: Seagrass
Price: $123.99 for two
The key to solving the storage mistakes in your hallway is making sure clutter is off the floor and as out of sight as possible. Having mess is one thing minimalists never have in small entryways, and their homes look so much better for it.