How we avoided the shoe clutter...
Shoes-off home is great because it contains dirt tracked in to the entrance area. But what do you do with the shoes? In my experience this practice resulted in shoes cluttering the entrance area after a just a few days. Despite the neat shoe organizers in the bedroom closet the entrance area becomes cluttered with various footwear -- running shoes, sandals, dress shoes, boots, and flip-flops. I like the convenience of having the shoes by the door but the visual clutter is annoying. How can we have both the convenience and a tidy look? Shoe cupboard or getabako in Japanese is the simple solution.
In a Japanese house the getabako is located in the entrance area to store several pairs of shoes. Once the sliding door is closed the visual clutter goes away. Since Arts and Crafts style is influenced by Japanese aesthetics having a getabako in the entrance area was the simple solution our problem.
Except that the ideal location was already spoken for. The large speakers were to be placed just-so in the four corners of the living room for the audiophile in the house. This meant not enough space for the getabako furniture by the front door. The solution evolved to became a piece of built-in furniture that recessed into the wall and protruded into the dining room. This made sense for us because the wall space was open during the remodel and it was easy for the cabinet maker to create a custom shoe cupboard using the same type of wood as our kitchen cabinets. The front is flush with the wall so it doesn't conflict with the speaker space and the back looks like a simple decorative stand. It turned out to be about the same price or cheaper than buying a nice piece of furniture.
Front: Shoes Storage Shelves in Living Room
Back: Decorative Stand in Dining Room