Decorating a small cottage entryway

Our house is a small cottage with naturally a small entry way. When we bought the house, the entry way was filled with books.  This is the set up they had when we viewed the house. Although we also love books, we were not sure about using the space as a bookcase.

Old entry waya

The door, as you can see opens up towards blocking the bookshelves.

Small and Damp

I understand the challenge the previous owners had to find some furniture to fit in the tiny space, probably why they had to build their own shelves. And to be honest there was no other space they could have put their books in the house, they way they designed it.

We had our own ideas of course, we thought there are some parts of the house that is not being used to its best and decided to take out the book case.

When we removed the book case, we found a lot of mould on the wall. You can see from the door that that bit of the house gets a bit damp and wet. Covering most of it with books and wood I guess didn’t help the dampness, it was only keeping it there.

What to consider when looking at the space

We didn’t decide straight away what we want the space to look like. What we did was look at:

  • What we use it for
  • How we use it
  • What could improve the way the space work for us

So after we took the book case out, we just lived our normal lives and see what we do with the space.

And what we we do as we got in the house normally is to take off our shoes. We do this because we tend to go straight in the house in the carpeted living room. We don’t really want mud all over the carpet.

You may say ” well you don’t have to do an experiment to know that, everyone does that” But what you may find surprising is that,  we don’t take our coats off when we go in the door, like most people might do.

This is because the house is only warms up when you have the fire on the log burner. The fire is our central heating. We tend to not put the fire on and leave it on when we are away.  Not to say that our log burner is not safe, it is pretty safe, but we just like to be careful. We will talk about the central heating another time.

Shoe Cabinet

We then decided to look for some kind of shoes storage. After a few months, believe me it was hard to find something that is just right for the space, we found a glass cabinet in a charity shop for a bargain.

We try really hard not to buy new things, but get secondhand or used things for our house. This is our bit to help with the environment and changing the capitalistic economy of Fast Goods.

I really love glass cabinets. This one has a lovely frame and it is still in a great condition.

I considered painting it to a lighter colour, white or pink, but I wasn’t sure, because I felt that the wood looks so nice and cottagey.

Vintage Glass Shoes Cabinet

What now? Answering a dilemma.

We have this set up almost a year now, we discovered that because of the location.

  • If we close the doors of the cabinet, the shoes get a bit of mould on them
  • If we leave it open, then the walls behind the open door gets mouldy.

Tackle the mould issue you say?  We already have a dehumidifier, but it doesn’t quite work because of the location, which is dark most of the time and the door brings in a lot of air and water from the outside.

We need a different solution, a more open space for the shoes.  I still really like that cabinet though. What to do?


Here are some inspiration I am looking at on pinterest:

Small Entryway Moodboard
Click on the image to see the rest of the board. But I am thinking the top left, probably with a lighter colour and no wood paneling. You can’t really put wood paneling on a damp wall. It will warp or get both the wall and the wood mouldy.

I am collecting more examples, any ideas are welcome too.


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