This ‘surface’ essentially gives you a home for keys, post and anything on its way in and out of the house. After that, it’s all about storage. It always is. The more you have, the tidier life will be. So this ‘surface’ can be a variety of things…
A console table, potboard, or even a bookcase
In a very narrow space, a console (from just 33cm deep) works best. (For teeny spaces even a little bookcase can do a great job.) Choose a console with a lower shelf where lovely willow open baskets can provide invaluable storage for gloves, hats, scarves, even footwear. A potboard gives you essentially the same look as a console table but is deeper so can take deeper baskets that will hold more.
A sideboard or chest of drawers
This has the same ‘footprint’ as a potboard but offers much more storage. Choose drawers or cupboards depending on what you’ll be storing. Drawers are brilliant for gloves, hats and scarves; cupboards work well for shoes; a combination of both is great.
An open-shelved dresser
This does everything the other options do and much more. The open shelves give you the room to add lots of personality to your porch in the form of happy photos, quirky mementoes and welcoming seasonal displays. You also now have the perfect place to hang up keys on cup hooks so no-one ever loses them again. One point to mention: if you have an original picture rail, make sure the dresser you choose will sit comfortably beneath it; gaps behind furniture are de-stabilising and look messy.