Effective Entries by Evan Lippincott

For me, Fall in the Mid-Atlantic means rain (too much of it these days!), crisp evenings and colorful walks. As I ran out the door the other day, the thunder reminded me to grab an umbrella. And when I came home, I had to shake off the leaves from the bottom of my shoes. What made this easy for me? A good mud room! Having an entry space that has a place for the everyday stuff (looking for the umbrella I found the picnic basket) makes your comings and goings much more graceful and feeling prepared.

How you arrive at and leave your home, what I call ‘entry sequence,’ is important is important to think about and plan for. Arriving and leaving with ease sets you up for the day. In one home I renovated recently, I was able to borrow some space from the re-located office to make a mud room that connected to the carport via a new door. The new functional space has a closet, a bench, pegs, cubbies, a shoe rack and a powder room. The family now has a place for everything they need as they arrive and leave home.

In other homes I have also been able to add a walk-in pantry, and sometimes an extra fridge, to the entry sequence. Imagine how nice it would be to be able to put food items away right when you get inside the house. The mud room is also a great place to locate the laundry. Kids can peel off their muddy sports outfits and toss them right in the washing machine without tracking dirt through the house.

One key to a great entry space, particularly the door the family uses most, is layout and storage. And by storage I mean a place designed for all your stuff. A place for everything and everything in its place. This can be accomplished by installing cupboards and closets customized to your family’s needs.

Another important element to consider when thinking about entries is how your guests feel when they arrive at and leave your front door. Do they have to stand in the fall rain on a narrow stoop while they wait for you to open the door? Or do you have a comfortable, dry landing place to welcome them? Adding a well=designed, proportional portico, can create generous cover for visitors, while also adding character and sophistication (read curb appeal) to your home.

A third way to enhance the entry sequence to your home, and connect you to the outside more, is to add a screened porch. In the Fall, I love eating in an airy outdoor space, close to the kitchen and free of bugs or bees. One of my favorite screened porches has a big skylight that feels wonderful and fills the room with light while bringing the sound of rain into the dry room. And the furniture turns into beds, so you can sleep ‘outside’ under the stars without getting wet. In another house, I created a screened deck that includes a screen roof. So you feel totally outside.

If you would like to explore how to make your entry sequences more functional and welcoming by adding a front portico, a mud room, or screened porch (or any other project), give me a call. I am happy to set up a time to come over and provide a consult.

I always love hearing from you about what you love about your home. If there is a way I can help you make it even more of a dream home, let me know. Creating spaces that people love to be in is what I am most passionate about.


Lippincott Architects LLC