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December 12, 2017

Creating a Functional and Fashionable Entrance Way

Designers always say the front of your home is the first impression you give to guests, visitors, and even yourself. Right from the driveway to your front door and into your foyer.

While we do keep a fairly neat and presentable yard and front porch, our entrance foyer was nothing to write home about. Scratch that. It was embarrassing.

Here's the thing: while I would love to have a glorious white entrance way with marble tile and cathedral ceilings, I just don't. I have a tiny entrance way filled with boots and coats, hats and gloves and more often than not, toys, too. I want and NEED my entrance way to be as functional as fashionable.

Here are my must-haves for an ideal front entrance:
  1. Seating. Whether you're struggling to put on your boots, or wrestling two kids in the morning, seating is essential. It's also courteous to guests to offer a place to take off or slip on their shoes. 
  2. A mat. Especially in the winter time, you need a mat, and I prefer the bigger the better. While I love the look of light coloured mats, they're great in magazines, but just don't work in my house. I wonder why....
  3. Storage. In addition to closet space, I love and need easy to access storage for hats and mitts and scarves and whatever else I need to stash away.
  4. Lighting. To me, every room must be lit properly. Entrance lighting is the time to shine - literally. Go for something a bit fancier or a step-up from the standard. 
I recently started working with Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) and Rethink Tires to create an entrance way to our home that we can be proud of -- in more ways than one. OTS is an organization championing waste diversion to collect and recycle used tires. You may remember we visited that AWESOME park in Richmond Hill, its playground tiles made with recycled tires. Just amazing.

I learned that Ontario Tire Stewardship works with manufacturers who make more than just playground tiles made of old tires. In fact, there is an entire list of recycled tire rubber products that have come back to life in many different shapes, sizes and forms.

I was able to transform my entrance way simply by using mats made from recycled tires. The large rectangular entrance mat covers nearly all the tile in our small foyer, ideal for this time of year. It means less slipping, less stepping in a snowball and more room for all of us to get ready in a tiny space. And I adore the dark, crisp black colour -- a sharp contrast to my light walls. The mat is heavy and durable; the backing is made with recycled rubber for slip resistance. Even hubby was impressed.

And the Colossal Scalloped Boot Tray is actually a dream. I've never had a boot tray, but it totally makes sense to have one. This scalloped boot mat is large enough to fit an entire family of boots and shoes and small enough to tuck under my bench. We're trying to encourage the kids to place the boots on the tray and keep the area tidy.

Now let's talk about the exterior -- equally important. We do our best to keep it up-to-snuff, but let's face it, the outside needs some TLC too. I'm a sucker for big, colourful plants in the summer and winter pots when the temperatures drop. The more, the merrier.

Well little did I know, there are planters made from recycled tires, too. These ones are made from 98% recycled materials, actually. And they're crack resistant. There's actually a 365 day no-crack guarantee. Crazy, right?! The Planters come in different sizes and colours and they're a great way to add a festive touch to your walkway. Plus, they're self watering and have a drainage hole (and plug), that protects against overwatering. Use them all year long to change up the decor on your front steps or patio.

What you put inside is up to you -- small pine trees, sticks and branches, balls and twinkly lights. I usually opt for something real and natural looking: Canadian pine and cedar with pine cones and birch, and a little added bling for the holidays (which you can remove post Christmas, and still keep your greenery looking seasonal).

Since the Used Tires Program started in 2009, OTS has successfully diverted more than 100 MILLION tires from landfills. Instead, they've been efficiently and responsibly recycled into new products we can all enjoy. And I really like that. I like that in addition to keeping my curb appeal up, I can support an organization that's creating hundreds of new jobs in Ontario and helping to grow our green economy all at the same time.

Create a functional, fashionable and eco-friendly entrance way you can be proud of, with recycled tire products.

For more information on Rethink Tires, you can visit their website.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. As always, the opinions expressed on Simply Suppa are my own.

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