We have the dreaded split entry at our house. I have never liked split entries in houses, even as a kid. I love our home, but admittedly this is the feature I do not care for. One wants for the entry to their home to be welcoming and comfortable, which is near impossible to create with this layout! Not only does it serve as the main entrance to the house, but is also the landing for the only stairway between upstairs and down. With a family of 7, we can never all be in this spot at the same time. There no room for us all to be bending over putting on shoes and such, as well as dangerous because of the stairs!
I was pregnant with #5 when we first moved into this house over 2 years ago. Within the first week, as I was making my way from the upstairs with a basket of laundry for the downstairs, with my big belly, and I was tripping over shoes on the landing (6 people's worth!). Obviously this creates a situation! It was then that I started thinking about solutions for our entryway, not only to keep it safe, but to be visually welcoming and pleasing, too. With so little space to work with in that area, it was a challenge.
My first thought was that we need to build out, and make the entrance to the house larger. This remains the long term goal, it just has to. We need an area large enough for us to be getting ready to leave the house as a family. However, there's no telling when we will have funds for that kind of project. So until then, we have a $99 Hemnes shoe cabinet from IKEA. It is narrow, and just tall enough. It has 4 compartments, which at first I was worried wouldn't hold everyone's shoes, but especially with little kids shoes, you can cram several pair in per compartment! The adults each have their own (holds 2-3 pairs of adult shoes) and the other 2 are for all 5 kids. It works, the shoes are rarely ever out, and it has space underneath enough for visitors to stow their shoes. On the top we can put our keys and outgoing mail. And the coat hooks that were already there I left as they were. There isn't enough space between the hooks and the top of the shoe cabinet to hang our adult size coats, but it's perfect for the littlest one's coats, bike helmets, bags, etc.