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How to create a family friendly entryway

Mirror / Light fixture / Brass hook / Leather plant hanger / Antique Crock / Console Table / Basket / Schlage Sense Smart / Art / Pillow / Bench / Boot TrayRug /

It’s that time of year where it can feel like we’re straddling winter and spring. One day we’re wearing our winter boots and the next day our wellies. Whether you have a tiny entryway or a spacious mudroom, this hardworking space has a lot to handle - and look stylish too. It's a space that can easily become a dumping ground for everyday items. With a little planning and organization you can create an orderly and stylish entryway as well as comfortable and stylish spot to come home to.

I’ve partnered with Schlage Canada to create an inspiration board, and share some tips on how to create a family friendly entryway that that will easily transition into spring.

Here are 12 ideas on how to refresh your entryway…

Add a multipurpose table.

When you walk through the door, it's useful to have a spot to put down your belongings. If you have the space, a slim console table is a nice addition to an entryway. It also serves as a place to add a catchall dish for loose change, sunglasses or keys, and perhaps a basket for mail. However, if space is tight, a shelf hung securely on the wall, placed just below a mirror, can serve the same purpose.

Include a place to hang coats.

Outfit your entry with storage solutions. Not everyone has space for a built-in closet or a bulky armoire to hold coats. So, if space is tight, use your walls and create a wall mounted coat rack. Add pretty brass hooks to a 1x6 wood board or moulding cut to size - to create a spot to hang coats, hats and totes using vertical space. Did you know that in addition to entry hardware, Schlage makes other hardware such as hooks, door knockers and even barn door hardware? Chic coat & hat hooks from Schlage Canada in an antique brass finish, would look great hung on an entryway wall.

Make everyday life easier. Update your entry door with a keyless entry system.

Raise your hand if you are often juggling bags while trying to unlock the front door, or your kids have forgotten their keys and they can’t get inside. Instead, enter an access code on the touchscreen to unlock the front door instead of searching your pockets for keys. You can share access with trusted friends and family - so there is no more keeping track of spare keys. Pair it with your smartphone and compatible with Apple Home, Alexa and Google Assistant too. That sounds smart to me.

Include seating.

An entryway should also include a comfy spot to sit and put on shoes. If you have the space, make the most out of it with a bench that also includes storage. Whether it has built-in drawers or a shelf that will hold baskets and bins, it serves as a practical and comfortable spot. If space is tight, a chair can work and can easily be used in another room when extra seating is needed.

Add extra storage.

You can never have enough storage, so try to include as much as possible in this hard-working space. Baskets that slide under your bench or console table can corral everyday objects like hats and scarves, shopping bags or kids’ stuff. If you can, give everyone in the family a bin or basket so they have a separate space for their gear. Add a small tray or decorative boxes on a tabletop to keep things contained and from feeling cluttered.

A place for wet boots.

Say goodbye to muddy floors. Place a boot tray near your front door so that there is a spot to slip off wet or muddy boots.This is perfect for this slushy time of year.

Add a throw pillow.

An accent pillow always adds a simple and stylish update to a room,. Add one to a bench to add pattern, colour and a touch of comfy.


A functional addition that also boosts light in a room, especially in a darker space. It also creates the illusion of the room being larger.  A round mirror softens the angles of a space filled with the straight edges of a bench or table. Just make sure it's in proportion with the room.

Add something interesting...

Although the entryway is often a very utilitarian space, you also want it to reflect the style of your home. So, add extra touches such as art, plants and interesting objects to personalize the space.

Hang some art

Make an impact and set the tone for visitors. Family photographs, art and interesting objects can enhance and personalize this space.

Add fresh greenery

A planter filled with spring bulbs can sit on a console table or hang plants from the ceiling using plant hangers. These leather hangers are a nice, streamlined alternative to the popular macramé varieties.

Add vintage touches that serve a practical purpose

An antique crock serves as an umbrella holder. There sturdy and can handle wet umbrellas. Pick one up at an antique market. I’ve even seen them for sale on Kijiji.

Don’t forget the lighting.

Add a combination of overhead and accent lighting. A semi-flush ceiling fixture adds much needed light in a space that may not have a lot of ceiling height. Add a small table lamp or wall sconces for softer accent and task lighting if you have the space.

…. and include a spacious rug to wipe your feet.

There is nothing worse than everyone coming in the door and trying to fit on a tiny rug because they don’t want to get the floors wet. So, don’t skimp on size. Place a good size indoor/outdoor rug in your entry. A rug also helps to define the space. Choose a material that works well for a high traffic area. Sisal works well, as does any flat-weaves. Chic indoor/outdoor rugs are now readily available, like this pretty clay coloured option with a pattern that will hide dirt.

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.

How to make your own soy candles = a very hygge winter DIY

Cold January temps mean I'm burning a lot of candles. I always do at this time of year, but even more so now, after reading Meik Wiking's book The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well. I read the book as part of some research for a story I wrote for The Toronto Star, on hygge style entertaining.  So, in the spirit of hygge (candles are essential!) I thought I'd share this easy, soy candle diy that uses recycled jars and cotton wicks, which are a healthier alternative.

 You'll need:

  • jars (I used yogurt jars, but you can also use jam jars or even old bowls or tea cups)
  • lead-free cotton wicks
  • soy wax
  • a clothes peg
  • essential oil
  • glue dots
  • something to stir with - I used a chopstick
  • a pot
  • an old metal or glass (heat safe!) bowl for melting the wax

Step 1.

Get your jars (clean, obvs) prepped by gluing the cotton wick inside the bottom of the jar. I used glue dots to hold the wick in place. Ensure the wicks are straight and centered.

Step 2.

You're going to use a double-boiler method to melt the wax. To determine how much wax to melt, I found that if I filled the container I was using with wax and then doubled that amount, it was pretty accurate. One pound of wax filled four yogurt jars.

Bring a pot of water (approximately 1/4 full) to a simmer. Put the wax flakes in an old bowl. Make sure it's heat safe! When the pot of water is simmering, place the bowl of wax in the pot.

Step 3.

Melt the wax. Stirring occasionally with wooden stick. Make sure you can an eye on the wax so it doesn't burn. You want to slowly melt the wax over a simmer. 

Step 4.

Carefully pour the wax into the prepared jars. Using a clothes peg to hold the wick in place. Let the wax cool slightly.

Once the wax has cooled slightly, add the essential oil. You don't want to add the essential oil while the wax is hot because I'm told it can alter the fragrance, but don't wait too long or the wax will set. The amount of essential oil that you add at this point is really up to you. I used about 10 drops per jar.  Gently stir the oil into the wax and let it set. It will take approximately 24 hours for the wax to set completely.

Step 4.

After the wax has set, remove the clothes pegs and trim the wicks to approximately one inch and enjoy!

DIY Soy Candles in recycled yogurt jars

*Some of these images were originally part of a story I did for The Toronto Star.

Curio Cabinets: A round-up of black glass display cabinets

I have a collection that needs a home. It's an inherited collection that one day I'll share with you.  For now, know that it needs a special place for it to live, before I can bring it here, to my home. I know it sounds a little mysterious and that it's annoying to leave someone wondering. Sorry about that.

So, I go back and forth between buying a cabinet to house this special collection, or having something made. But there are budgets to consider, or lack there of.  So, I troll the Internets looking for something vintage or antique. Nothing yet.

This past weekend, I came across a cabinet via a designer I follow on Instagram. I kind of fell in love with it. The designer is Nina Freudenberger. You can go look at her Instagram here if you want to see the post. I shared her post on my IG stories with a plea for help finding the cabinet and many responded - asking me to let them know if I found the source. Well, I did find it via a post on Remodelista, natch. It is called the Joyce Cabinet by Pinch Design located in London, England.  

Joyce cabinet by Pinch via The Future Perfect

However, you can buy it here on this side of the pond (in the US) from The Future Perfect for a cool $14,145.00 USD + shipping (yes, they ship to Canada).

Okay, I'll keep shopping, thanks.

So, for those of you that were asking, here it is. If you buy it, please invite me over so I can see it, alright? It is gorgeous.

I kept shopping because I want to find something like this, but not, ... um ... the cost of tuition in Ontario. I figure that many of you will relate and may appreciate this more attainable selection of options via this little round-up.  Not exactly (at all) the same but similar in feel and at least one is potentially hackable and/or stackable.

The Round-Up ...

Wyn Sideboard via Black Rooster Decor

The Wyn Sideboard via Black Rooster Decor, $3526.30 CAD
Black Rooster Decor always delivers. It's not quite the same as my inspiration cabinet but I love the look, the only drawback is the interior is white and my collection is ivory coloured. It will just disappear inside.  But it's gorgeous. Someone buy it and let me come over and style it, pretty please.

Casement Black Tall Cabinet via Crate and Barrel Canada

The Casement Black Tall Cabinet via Crate and Barrel, $1499.00 CAD

 I like this steel casement window-inspired option. The size is not quite right though. I need something a little wider and I'm not sure I want to double up this one.  

Milsbo Cabinet in white via Ikea Canada

The Milsbo Cabinet via Ikea Canada, $229.00 CAD

Ikea Canada delivers a nice budget option made of steel and glass. I wonder if I there is a hack somewhere in this? Maybe the shelves could be replaced?

MALSJÖ Cabinet via Ikea Canada

The MALSJÖ Cabinet via Ikea Canada, $499.00 CAD

and another Ikea option ... a little more trad, I like the brass colour hardware detail.  A little short but I could double up at this price.

Highway Beech Mountain Display Stand via Wayfair Canada

The Highway Beech Mountain Display Stand via Wayfair Canada, $1849.99 CAD

I really like this option from Wayfair Canada. Only glitch is that light coloured backing and I don't want to paint something that is $2000.  

20th C. English Brass Bar Pull Glass Double-Door Cabinet via Restoration Hardware

The 20th C. English Brass Bar Pull Glass Double-Door Cabinet via Restoration Hardware, $4295.00-6095.00 CAD

Classic RH.  I like the cabinet but don't love the hardware and at this price I might as well go custom.

Gwyneth Cabinet via Black Rooster Decor

The Gwyneth Cabinet via Black Rooster Decor, $3810.41 CAD

Another beauty from Black Rooster Decor. Love this arched iron cabinet with brass hardware. Gorgeous. Nice height too at 7.5 feet.

What's your favourite? I think I'll look into some custom options too. I love the idea of a special cabinet crafted for this collection but I'm not sure if it's too much of an investment for us right now. I really want to move this collection here, it's an heirloom collection. I'll have to sit with this for a bit. I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you have any leads on cabinet makers please let me know.