Can you help me with this living room issue?

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Hi, I'd love some suggestions. My 2nd floor apartment's front door opens into this weird no-space. Directly in frnot of you is an opening into the living room. To the left is the end of the long hallway and to the right is a narrow hall to the rest of the apartment. I was considering a ceiling to floor curtain to cover the opening partially and put a small table in front of it... right now it's just awkward.

q apartment opens into living room and hallway, foyer

View from living room. Nice old woodwork!!

q apartment opens into living room and hallway, foyer

The door is to the left and I have metro shelving for shoes and mittens/hats In the dead space to the left of the front door. Scarves hang in the back of the door.

q apartment opens into living room and hallway, foyer

This is what you see when you walk in the front door. Notice teenager on couch... don't necessarily want him to be the first thing you see πŸ˜†
  10 answers
  • M. M.. M. M.. on Mar 07, 2017
    I think a curtain on a tension rod could be very nice, or in the doorway, stand a (Large) folding screen? They are sometimes found in thrift shops or paper ones can be found in import stores. I had a Japanese paper screen that lasted about a year, then I tore the paper out and stapled fabric over the wood frames. That way, also you won't get a cold blast of air every time someone comes in. Folding screens are easy to make, I 'm sure there are tutorials, but if you think of them as rectangular panels that are like stretched canvas, with hinges, you could use any fabric (staple it to the edges, and the cover with ribbon or other trim)or paint or collage you'd wish. Change it out wherever you live, just fold it up and take it with you. I've made a few of these, and they are very stable as long as you make it longer than your opening. That way, the screen can be set up with its zigzags to make it sturdy and not tippy. I think for your opening, if its the one I think it is, 4 or 5 panels would work. If it's the teeny stub end of the hall you're asking about, then I'd do maybe 3 skinny panels (2 panels can tip a lot). If you're really handy, you could figure out a way to use old skinny doors, even ones that might have a small square window at the top, like a tall center panel (door) flanked by two shorter ones.. the glass could let some light through. Show us all what you decide on! I rent also and I always love ideas that aren't permanent! A lot of Victorian residences did have curtains as dividers, mostly to prevent those much-feared cold drafts - maybe you can find some rich, bohemian patterns, for curtains OR for a screen! good luck!
  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Mar 07, 2017
    I love the idea of using a curtain! You can also optimize the space by giving it a very clear purpose- make it very clear that thats the mud room area- hooks on the wall for jackets, a shelf for mail and keys, ect. Have fun with it- keep us posted!
  • G.B. Woot G.B. Woot on Mar 07, 2017
    Feng Shui would say not to block the entrance because it keeps energy from entering and flowing into the house. I'm not sure why you want something. A lot of the open concept homes have the front door opening directly into the living room. If it is a privacy issue, you might consider barn doors over the opening - either on the living room side or the front door side.
  • Carly Smith Carly Smith on Mar 09, 2017
    I would sooooo make lemonade outta this... perfect way to create a cool portal... either a mock elevator, Dr. Who Tardis, the little red phone booth, or a stage door....whatever kind of fantasy door you always like.....make something fun!
  • Caryn Casey Caryn Casey on Mar 09, 2017
    Maybe put up a barn door ! Then it could all be used as storage or a mud room
  • Gail Gail on Mar 09, 2017
    Home Depot is now selling barn door kits. Of course it's more expensive than a curtain would be, but I think it would look great.
  • Theresia Sinnett Shearer Theresia Sinnett Shearer on Mar 10, 2017
    I remember having an entry in the 70s with a beaded curtain. Haha!
    I think doors would be heavy looking for such a small space. Just frame the opening with a tied back curtain on each side so it won't feel so closed off. I would also use the same material and tension rod to add panels to hide the coat area. Add a really cool ceiling fixture to brighten the entry and glam it up.
  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Mar 10, 2017
    I really don't think that a curtain tied up on one side is going to accomplish your goal which appears to be if I understand, is to close the view you see. First I love that you have a mudroom space as stated above most homes ,you just plop into living room if your lucky they may have tile there to not ruin wood floors. Did you try moving furniture around so that you have a better view when you come home or have company over? Or maybe tell your teenager to get off the couch watching TV and to start dinner or to be studying in his room? But in the end we all live with things to deal with so if it really bothers you put up curtain but don't tie back just close entire area off and then make a grand entrance into life living room. One more thing,curtains only have one side that is finished other side is usually white so which way will you hang them up? Unless you sew them or have them made that will be an issue do you want to look at wrong side of curtain or once in apartment do you want to look at wrong side of curtain?
    • MK McDonald MK McDonald on Apr 24, 2017
      You can easily buy curtains without liners...Thee tie back doesnt have to be as functional but more to soften the transition from doorway to living room area. Wouldn't even need a long rod, just two shorter ones. The idea of maroon soft (maybe velvety) drawn back curtains with cords and tassel would be very appropriate in an obviously century old house. I grew up in a home built around 1900. It had four working brick fireplaces, the big monsters steam hearing into radiators in every room but notably, every room had a door to keep the warmth in and separate the cooler part of the house. And the heavy (cold blocking) drapes reached the ceiling to cover the huge stained glass windows. Yes I'm long winded. Sorry!😁 But that's why I think drapery would look really really nice.
  • Cara Cara on Mar 12, 2017
    I love this!!
    I would lose the metro shelving unit and see about getting a low sectional or 2 bench shelves to sit on and place shoes in the cubbies.
    Then place a couple of shelves on the right wall with baskets to place your hats/scarves/mittens/etc, and add hooks beneath the shelves for your coats.

    As for the view of the living room from the front door, this can be a good thing, but, not for when you have the unwanted door guests. A barn door is great, but with the woodwork on the frame in the living room, it would not only take from it, but also hide it. A rod and curtain would better suit this. Or maybe look at rearranging your living space.

    Best of luck!

    • Sharon Butcher Greene Sharon Butcher Greene on Mar 13, 2017
      Love your idea of the bench & cubbies! I agree, the shelf looks tight in that small spot. I love the curtain idea, too! My thought would be to emphasize the wood & maybe do a lace type curtain to give the old wood that old antique-y vintage style look. They sell the extension rods, so that would be perfect for the curtain so that you're not damaging that beautiful wood by hammering anything into it if you don't have to.
  • BabyBoomerSC BabyBoomerSC on Mar 13, 2017
    I wouldn't do anything - meaning I wouldn't put a curtain or screen in front of the door opening unless you need some type of storage space. You could put a rolling table there if you need storage but otherwise, I'd do nothing.

    So you walk right into the living room and the couch is the first thing you see -- that's fine! I'd be sure the couch has some bold/cool pillows on them to dress it up and some large, interesting prints above the couch. That's where your eye will go once you enter the apartment. You can turn drab into really cool with this.