Creating a Stylish Front Door ‘Drop Zone’

Imagine coming home after a long day’s work and entering through your front door. You’ve got a briefcase, a purse, or a backpack, your car keys and cell phone, some muddy shoes, and perhaps a stack of mail. While you’re happy to be home, if there’s not a functioning “drop zone” awaiting you at the front door, you might find yourself slightly ill-at-ease as to what to do with all your stuff, where to put things as you take care of other things.

Of course, the ideal setup would be to have a place for all of your items. Better yet, if that place is welcoming and stylish and user-friendly, well, now you’re getting somewhere. Check out these tips for how to create an effective (and aesthetic!) front-door drop zone in your own home, regardless of the size of your entry.

Umbrella Holder.

Shoe storage

An umbrella holder is one of those things, depending on where you live, that may not seem necessary…until it’s raining, and you really need a place to stick that umbrella. Unless you live in a literal desert (even then, you never know…), I think umbrella stands are an important part of a front door drop zone. Aside from being an easy place to store awkward-shaped umbrellas, umbrella holders come in so many shapes, colors, styles, and forms that they’re a natural way to add subtle style to a function-heavy space.

Hooks (or Rack) for Hanging.

Shoe storage

Whether your space is tight and calls for a vertical hat tree or spacious with room for a line of coat hooks, having a place to hang a jacket, or a bag, or scarf (or two) is critical in creating an efficient drop zone. Guests are more comfortable when they can intuitively know where their coat “belongs,” and your own family members will likely amp up their organization by hanging up items when there’s an easy and accessible (and obvious) spot for them. This is a definite must.

Horizontal Surface (Ledge) for Setting Stuff Down.

Shoe storage

Purses, mail, grocery bags, school projects, library books…the list of items you will likely be carrying through your front door at some point in your life is virtually endless. Having some sort of surface to set down the item momentarily (or, in the case of junk mail, maybe eternally…) is helpful, allowing you to gracefully take off your coat and shoes and/or otherwise prepare for entering the home. A ledge is beneficial to all who enter the house, be they family members or visiting neighbors or overnight guests.

Tray for Keys or Small Miscellaneous Items.

Shoe storage

Trays are useful things in many areas of the home, and the front entry drop zone is no exception. Having an obvious, delineated spot for tossing your keys, wallet, or sunglasses as you enter the house is so important. Not only will your drop zone be organized (and look it, too, which isn’t easy when you’re thinking about a couple rings of splayed keys), but you’ll also be able to find those items on your way out the door. This fact alone makes for a much happier – and more efficient – home.

Designated Place for Shoes.

Shoe storage

Your home may or may not have a “shoes off” policy, but regardless, a successful front door drop zone will have an inherent place to kick off one’s shoes. It could be a shoe basket, a flat tray, or even a rug (or all of the above!). The important part here is that a spot is designated as an appropriate place for shoes. This helps to keep shoes out of the way of the swinging door, but it’s especially useful in wordlessly conveying one’s preference of shoe removal prior to entering the house further.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.