Entryways are one of the busiest spots in any home – or at the very least, they’re the spot in your home where you’re most likely to feel busy: when you’re rushing out the door first thing in the morning or dragging your feet back inside at the end of the day. But decorating that one odd spot well can make your life just that little tiny bit easier when you’re at your most harried. Collectively, hallstands are the most common piece of furniture used near a family’s entryway, but while many of them have a very traditional design, the one you’ll want for your space depends a lot on what, exactly, you’re most stressed about on the way in or out of the house.
Maybe the most common type of hallstands are ones designed for mudrooms – specifically, for people who live in areas with wet, snowy winters. To that end, they come with a few standard features: a surface to sit on (where you can put on and take off your boots), and coat hooks (for hanging winter coats and scarves). My favorite models have storage built into the benches, allowing you to simply lift up the seat and store any overflow odds and ends (like hats and gloves). Even in areas without harsh weather, this type of hallstand can be a nice spot to stop and shuck your shoes on the way in, and is great for stowing light coats and accessories that you can grab on your way out of the house.
Check Your Reflection
Another common feature of hallstands (regardless of size, shape, or style) is the inclusion of a mirror. These range from tiny – hardly larger than a hand-mirror – to nearly full-length, often incorporated into a larger piece of furniture. After all, a lot can happen between getting ready in front of your vanity mirror and heading out the door, and having a large reflective surface right on your way out is perfect for checking your outfit – especially if you stow last minute accessories (like hats and scarves) by the door as well.
Grab ‘n’ Go
But hallstands don’t necessarily have to be big, hulking installations, and mirrors don’t necessarily have to be much more than just a mirror. Particularly if you’re the type that finds yourself rushing out the door every morning, you probably want something more minimal: just a mirror and a small shelf to put your keys on. That way, you can check your hair, grab your keys (from the spot where you put them when you get home – making you misplace-your-keys-proof!), and go. This is also a good option if the main entry/exit you use is a relatively small one, where you might not have enough room for larger furniture.
Just A Simple Surface
Pairing a decorative mirror with a console table is another common alternative to more traditional, ornate hallstands. A table with more surface space gives you a little room for decoration as well as utility, making it possible to set out a lamp, a plant, some photos or art and so on. This is also a great setup if you’re the type to set your keys or mail down in any random spot in your house: having a tray for mail and a dish for your keys ensures that they’re in the same spot every time. And since console tables sit nearly flat against the wall, you won’t have to worry about one blocking your walkways.
Get The Memo
Another thing you might like to have on your way out the door (and a common feature of many hallstands and mudrooms in general) is a memo board. Whether it’s a chalkboard, whiteboard, cork board, or otherwise, having a visible spot for reminders, to-do lists, or just notes to other members of your family can be invaluable. Glancing at your memo board every time you leave home or walk inside is a great way to make up for spotty memories or missed connections in the household. A small one won’t even take up much space, and can even be mounted directly to your door so you won’t overlook it!
One Stop Organization Spot
Really elaborate hallstands, though? They have a little bit of everything. In fact, some more traditional designs can be downright whimsical-looking in their attempts to smush everything you might possibly need on your way out the door into a single piece of furniture. Seats, tables, drawers, cubbies, full length and half sized mirrors, coat racks, jewelry stands, umbrella holders – you name it!
If you’re willing to spend a little time looking, you can find almost any combination of features in a traditional hallstand, and chances are, if you combine enough of them at once, you’ll probably end up with a pretty nice statement piece, too.