Pour la maison: Happy Paper Trails

Create a smartly-designed entryway to combat the back-to-school blues

For anyone with school-aged children, the end of summer means a shift in entryway litter. Sometime around mid-August, wet bathing suits and towels get replaced by backpacks, lunch boxes and lots and lots of paper. Insert face-palm emoji.

No matter your home’s size or layout, an organized entryway is completely within reach, according to designer Nicole LeBlanc. LeBlanc says her cozy Saint Streets cottage lacked any sort of formal entryway or mudroom, so instead, she created a hardworking space near her home’s front door. She designed the nook to cater specifically to the organizational needs of her three children, and says she is living proof you don’t need an HGTV-worthy locker room to win the backpack battle.

“I just needed something very practical that would keep everything in one spot,” she explains.

LeBlanc’s custom solution involved a plank of old cypress, which she embellished with whimsical antique-store hooks and brightly-painted files. However, she says the same type of storage can be accomplished through something store bought. The most important step is evaluating what type of clutter naturally gets strewn near your door and then creating an organized system to house it.

“Observe how your family is moving through the space,” she recommends. “Maybe you have another space for the hooks or maybe it’s about sports gear.”

Once you have the function under control, LeBlanc suggests adding accents to make the space more aesthetically pleasing. Whether it’s incorporating special flooring, paint, light fixtures or cheery artwork, all it takes is a few elements to define a welcoming entry space.

But, her No. 1 piece of advice is to solicit help from the kids themselves: “Involve them in the process because then they’ll want to use it. It will give them ownership.”


HOW TO

DIY Family-Friendly Entryway

  1. Define the entry space and assess its storage potential.
  2. Observe what types of items naturally accumulate.
  3. Add functional pieces, such as hooks, seating and open files.
  4. Invite your children to help customize the space.
  5. Bring in accents to make the area feel welcoming and personal.

About the Designer: Nicole LeBlanc is a graduate of the interior design program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and recently launched NLB Design, specializing in residential interiors. With her husband, Mark Falgout, she is the owner of Blue Moon Saloon & Guest House and Warehouse 535.

Nicole LeBlanc  / 337-322-8508. nleblancdesign@gmail.com.

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