Small Entryway Idea


As with a lot of families, we use the back entrance primarily for entering and exiting our house.  It's just easier - the garage is back there, so you pull in the car or go out to the car via the back.  Makes sense.  Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of architects back in the day (our house is from the 1950's) didn't really consider the function of the back door entryway when designing houses.  Therefore, we have a very small entryway in the back, and not much room for coats or bags or shoes or, well, anything really.

But we've come up with some ideas to make this small area way more functional.  First, I need to explain the layout a little bit better.  Our back door leads out to the back porch, which is screened in (you can see the back porch in detail on this previous post).  So we come in straight from the porch door to look at our basement door.  Immediately to the right when you walk in, there's a 2-column glass block window.  It's really pretty, but the back door blocks it when it's open.

Here, these pictures might help.  Let me show you:

inside outside

Above, left: this is the view from our kitchen into the tiny back door "entryway."  The back door is on the right, and the white door on the left is the door to the basement stairs.  Because it's the first thing that you see when you walk in, we've decided to paint a chalkboard on the back of the basement door.

Yeah, I totally forgot to do proper "before" photos, so you get to see the pictures after step one.  Whatever.  So in the photo on the top right, you can see how when you walk in, the chalkboard is the first thing you see.  I figured this is a great place for reminders or messages or grocery lists and things like that.  I told Todd and he was so excited he got started on this right away.  I like when I have good ideas that we both get excited about.


Here's how we did it:
  1. Tape off (using painter's tape) a rectangle any size you choose.  We measured very carefully and used a level to get the lines just right.  My secret is to burnish down the tape using a credit card after applying it.  Then, paint several coats (we did three) of chalkboard paint before removing the tape.
  2. The directions on the paint say to wait three days before writing on the chalkboard surface.  While waiting, we used flat trim (from the hardware store) and custom cut it to create a frame around the chalkboard.  Todd used a nail gun to secure the trim to the door.  This takes a little practice, as it looks better if you bevel the corners to make the frame.
  3. Paint directions said to "condition" the chalkboard first by rubbing a piece of chalk sideways across the entire surface and wiping it with a dry cloth.  Then, you can use your chalkboard to write or draw whatever you like!
To make our small entryway even more functional, we added a couple of hooks (his and hers - mine is the shorter one, ha ha!) for hanging coats and sweatshirts when the weather gets chilly.  Otherwise, we have a habit of piling our stuff up on the kitchen table, and that's no good!

Organizing and making things more functional is something that Todd and I really enjoy.  It's fun to have a challenge, and we're constantly re-thinking how our house functions in order to make it flow better.

Have you done any fun little around-the-house projects to make your space more functional?  Let me know, because I'm always looking for ideas!

now playing:
Falling Forever by Mutiny Within on Grooveshark


  1. LOVE this! I want to make my entry way more inviting. This is such a great idea. I got your awesome gift and have pictures linking it all back to you today! Thanks again and can't wait unit I have a chance to wear it all!!!!


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