21 Mar creating a landing strip (before & after)
I have to admit, a few months ago if you had told me I needed a landing strip, I would have thought you were trying to sell me on a bikini wax (how crude).
But thanks to design blogs like Apartment Therapy, I now understand a landing strip is also the term for a space – usually your front hallway – that catches clutter like keys, shoes and mail. It’s like a filter that prevents junk from coming in and taking over your home.
Our entryway has been bare since we moved in. We’ve sorted mail on the kitchen island and dumped our shoes into various baskets…or when the baskets were full, we dumped the shoes near the baskets. I hated the morning ritual of digging through those baskets trying to find matching shoes. I cursed tripping over shoes that migrated away from the basket across the kitchen floor.
Several years ago, I traveled to Thailand and Vietnam, and I remember seeing shoe cabinets by the doorways. They were ornate: usually lacquered and extensively hand-painted. Not really my style, but I wondered if there was a plain wood equivalent, something simple and clean to corral our shoes, mail, car keys. I’ve seen shoe cabinets designed for closets (IKEA makes several), but I wanted a stand-alone piece of furniture that would be attractive by our front door. Added challenge: Our wall by the door is narrow and shallow, so the cabinet had to be about 36 inches wide and 15 inches deep at most.
After weeks of searching Goodwill, antique stores and online, I found one. It’s the Craftsman Shoe cabinet from Home Decorators (I bought it on sale 30% off plus free shipping after the holidays). And so the entryway transformation began…
Inside: Shoes, mail, coupons, sunscreen and our dog’s leash.
Home Decorators’ website says the cabinet can hold 42 pairs of shoes, but that’s only if you have really tiny feet or wear sandals all the time. Each hole holds one adult shoe or a pair of kids shoes…you can also remove one of the column dividers to create a few larger compartments for sneakers or hiking shoes (see below).
On top of the cabinet I placed a divided dish for catching keys and loose change, a little reindeer statue I found on clearance after Christmas (also great for hanging keys), and some succulent plants.
Above the cabinet is one of my iPhone photos I posted to Instagram last year. I had it blown up to 20 x 20 and mounted on foam board for about $20.
Finally, I added a large mat to help define the space and collect dirt as people come through the door.
The before & after makes me smile. With two messy toddlers running around, I savor the tidy areas of our home, even if they are few and far between.