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Stay Flexible

*Stay Flexible   I love functional fixed objects. Floating shelves coming out of the wall, for instance, are a great space-and money-saving way to add style, display, and storage to a room. In the entryway, however, consider keeping fixed objects like this on the narrower side. Chances are high that you’ll be carrying large things through the entryway. Even an armload of groceries can be annoying if your path is crowded by immovable objects (and it’s a leading cause of bruised funny bones!) Even if you need someone to help you move it, make sure furniture in the entryway is movable for those times you’ll need to haul things through. It’s all about foresight.

*Make an “unexpected” umbrella basket   I could tell you to build an umbrella basket from scratch, but between the need to make it water-tight and the cost of the metal you’re likely to buy and need to bend, it’s not really worth it. Instead, find a decorative, plain metal or ceramic container that strikes your eye — just keep size in mind. (Tall and square floral vases, old metal wash bins, even small wine barrels can work well.) Once you find a gem, re-purpose it as a place for umbrellas. If the finish isn’t exactly what you like, but the size and shape are, then use faux finishing techniques like stencils, metallic finishes, and color washes to make it fit tightly (or clash brightly) with the theme of other furnishings in the entryway.

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