Entering and leaving most homes, we pass through an entry hall that is formal or casual, one that is meant either for guests, family or for everyone. Many homes we design have a main entry which is meant for the arrival of guests with a place to hang their coats, and a ‘mud room’ entry which is for everyday use as well as muddy boots, dogs and gardening apparel.
In my house (circa 1790) we have a center hall with one end leading to a porch and the back yard and on the entry side, a covered portico. Our entry hall became so chaotic with piles of coats, shoes and gloves, we built in a bench, hooks, baskets and shoe storage for every member of the family. This really made a big difference when getting everyone out in the morning and reduced our chaos.
A more formal, double height entry speaks of arrival. It makes sense to include a closet for guests’ coats either within the entry or close by. Even though this type of entry is used mostly for guests, owners enjoy the formality of descending a grand staircase each morning on their way to breakfast.
The first thing we see when we enter our homes is the entry hall. It deserves the attention given the rest of the house.