Monday, 7 November 2011

"Landing strip" options for front entryway

Plants aren't the only things I've been thinking about for the front entryway.  I'm also keen to figure out its furniture.  I'm pretty sure I want a symmetrical arrangement that includes a large painting.  The challenge is that we don't have a lot of depth off of the back wall, because the staircase runs up to the left and any piece of furniture that sticks out more than a foot or so is going to start encroaching on the staircase, depending on the piece's width.  (The back wall is roughly 6 feet wide up to the staircase's handrail.)  There needs to be a landing strip of some kind that we can put keys, a handbag, the mail on while hanging up coats and taking off shoes.  I'd also like enough space to create tabletop displays that change from time to time, and which would include the plants.  In an ideal world there would also be some kind of seating to perch on while putting on/taking off shoes.  (Sitting on the steps works in a pinch but isn't so hospitable!)

Here are some images I've saved that have the right feel and seem like they could be adapted to our small space:

I love the ornately carved table below and the stacks of books on the floor.  (Hooray for the floor under the table/shelf being used for display instead of being left empty!):

This next one kills me, but obviously I can't have bookshelves *behind* a piece of furniture, since I barely have room for the piece of furniture:

Not an entryway per se, but I like the stacks of books and the floating shelf:

The foyers in the next batch are too minimalist, but I can't figure out if it's just their styling or if it's the idea of something wall-mounted that doesn't give the old-world feel I'm after.  I *think* the problem with them is that there aren't any antique pieces in them, rather than that they're mostly wall-hung shelves.  They certainly make great use of tiny spaces.

Back in the world of decisions, one option I have would be to reuse one or more of the old 3 foot long Pottery Barn crown molding floating shelves that I have kicking around.  Here are a couple of photos of them from the PB website:

Underneath, I'd put some kind of stool or bench that could be easily pulled out.  Maybe if the bench or stool was antique it would lend the vignette enough of the sense of age I'm looking for.

Another idea would be to buy this Victorian English glass-fronted bookcase that I came across last week.  It's the right size (13" deep):

Since it's missing a shelf anyway, I could have replacement glass shelves cut and try to get some kind of light wired inside the cabinet (but obviously said light would need to be completely hidden).  Then the plants would have a little help surviving.  The bookcase isn't a bargain price-wise and the mahogany finish is a little darker than what I'd usually choose (plus there are a couple of chips in the veneer), so I'm not sure.   Also, if I got it, I worry that there wouldn't be enough room to comfortably add a chair.  (The front entryway is still a dumping ground for paint and the contractor's tools right now so it's difficult to get a clear sense of what would be left over in terms of standing room.)

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