How to Build a Foyer—Without Hiring a Contractor

You only need to move out of an apartment with a naturally carved-out foyer and into one that is sadly lacking such a space to realize how important a proper entryway is. Without it, my family careened out of control everytime we returned home—keys, shoes, hats, gloves, sand toys and bags piled up everywhere with no rhyme or reason. Our new apartment, while lovely, had no place to tuck a console table or a bench, and no nook or cranny to hang coats out of the way. Instead, we just had a lot of walls and long, straight lines, and it was up to me to arrange them into working order.

After months of contemplation, I realized we could hang a cubby/hook console up high and place a low, small bench below to fake a space that felt like a natural ‘entrance.’ Finally, we had a place to stash shoes, hang keys, and toss mail—and it didn’t involve any expensive or lengthy construction work.

In tight spaces, scale is key—I wound up using a narrow coffee table as a bench since I couldn’t find anything short enough to fit my needs. It works brilliantly and also doubles as extra surface space when we’re entertaining. (Score! I LOVE double-duty purchases.) The addition of magnet hooks on our metal front door puts our keys right where they should be—in a spot that’s impossible to ignore when we’re coming or going. It may have taken a tad too long, but we’re finally in business. And now I can’t stop noticing clever entryway solutions everywhere I turn.