10 Entryway Decorating Ideas That Make a Stunning First Impression

Updated 05/08/19

If you only need one reason to invest in decorating an entryway, let it be this: Everybody needs a good spot to make an entrance. Even for those among us who prefer to come and go with less of a to-do, an entryway space serves a functional purpose. It's somewhere to take off your shoes, set your keys, and hang up your coat. It also imparts the first impression of your home, setting the tone for the rest of your space. Think of your entry as your very own three-dimensional welcome mat: It's well-traversed, but most people don't spend much time there.

So how do you approach decorating an entryway that's capable of accommodating both heavy traffic and high speed? With high-impact decorative accents that set a stylish tone and well-appointed vignettes that say hello from the inside. Whether your entry is a formal foyer or a modified mudroom, it's all about putting together furniture, décor, rugs, and lighting that create wow factor right when you walk in the front door. Get ready to greet guests in style. Scroll on for 10 entryway ideas that make a stunning first impression.

Upgrade Your Welcome Mat

Entryway rug ideas
Ryan Garvin ; DESIGN: Becki Owens

Okay, so maybe the actual first impression for your home is the front door, but a few knocks later, the view through the open door is just as important. One simple, stylish swap we'd recommend is right at your feet. Upgrade your welcome mat with an antique rug that sets a classic, worldly tone.

The rug’s well-worn appeal will also keep the first few footsteps in the home from feeling too precious.

Rani Rug
West Elm Rani Rug $649 $454

Play With Scale

Entryway art ideas
Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Blackband Design

Large and oversize art always sets a chic tone. "It's all about creating interesting vignettes while playing with scale," designer Wendy Blackband says of this elevated entryway. Investing in the perfect statement piece pulls together a dramatic entryway that leaves a lasting impression. 

Gray Malin Vietri Sul Mare $3500

Embrace Fashion And Function

Entryway textured rug ideas
Alyssa Rosenheck ; DESIGN: Amanda Barnes Interiors

In any entryway, it's important to lead guests in with a mix of interesting décor and design elements that extend floor to ceiling. Designer Amanda Barnes outfitted this enviable entry vignette in an eclectic style that balances glam touches, like polished brass and fresh pink peonies, with more organic elements, like leather stools and a decorative horn. The cowhide rug serves a practical purpose as well: “Anchor the smaller space with a rug that can handle the traffic and maintain its original charm for years to come,” Barnes suggests.

Grey Cowhide Rug 5'x8'
CB2 Grey Cowhide Rug 5'x8' $599

Lighten Up

Entryway lighting ideas
Zeke Ruelas ; DESIGN: Brady Tolbert

For a fashionable, quick fix in a small space, consider swapping out lighting in an entryway, as designer Brady Tolbert did in his own home. A chic chandelier or pendant light can be truly transformative without the risk of clutter. 

Noir Snowflake Antique Brass Chandelier $853

Step Outside the Ordinary

Entryway table ideas
Paul Johnson ; DESIGN: Nancy Mayerfield

Sometimes, the key to nailing a formal introduction is to be disarmingly charming. Entryways are no different; in a more formal foyer, try adding personality with unexpected art, as designer Nancy Mayerfield did in this space. After all, it's always more interesting when inviting guests inside actually means stepping outside the ordinary.

West Elm Black Marble Bistro Table Round $379

Have A Seat

Entryway bench ideas
Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Blackband Design

A simple way to make guests feel at home is to have a seat positioned prominently in your entryway. Benches and chairs alike provide a practical opportunity to sit down while putting on or taking off shoes (or to simply take a load off for a few moments). Entry seating can also be easily accessorized with throw pillows and plants that showcase your personal style as a preview of the rest of the home.

Noir Colonial Caning Hand Rubbed Black Bench $1032

Let the Details Speak for Themselves

Entryway tile ideas
Jessica Pages ; DESIGN: Claire Zinnecker

If less-is-more style is your thing, invest in a few small details that shine brightly. In this all-white entry stairwell, the minimalist approach to décor lets the tile detail speak for itself. The high-contrast result is simple, chic, and downright stunning.

Clay Imports Cement Tile Atlas $7

Draw the Eyes Up

10 Entryway Decorating Ideas That Make A Stunning First Impression
Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Blackband Design

An entryway is a perfect opportunity to show off high ceilings and other architectural details that create a grand entrance. Don't be afraid to embrace a combination of geometric shapes, lines, and curves to lead the eye around the room in a major wow moment. 

Star 1-Light Geometric Pendant $247

Mix It Up

10 Entryway Decorating Ideas That Make A Stunning First Impression
Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Jenn Feldman Designs

A console table is a classic choice for adorning an entryway with a few chic pieces and a little bit of surface area to set keys or mail (or a hostess gift, should we be so lucky!), but where does one start when styling a console vignette? "Always remember the rule of threes, especially for an entryway moment," instructs designer Jenn Feldman, citing a few examples on how to mix heights and textures on an entry table: "An interesting lamp, catch-all tray and a floral arrangement; a sculptural object on a stack of books next to a photo frame."

Demi Luna Black Marble Half Moon Side Table
CB2 Demi Luna Black Marble Half Moon Side Table $299

Give Your Best Friends A Warm Welcome

10 Entryway Decorating Ideas That Make A Stunning First Impression
Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Amber Interiors

If you're planning to do your share of hosting and entertaining this spring and summer, a warm and inviting (and focused) neutral palette is a great way to welcome guests. Natural wood tones and neutral rugs are the perfect combination for greeting, entertaining, and bidding an end-of-the-evening farewell to best friends.

Pottery Barn Finn Hand-Knotted Rug $699

This story was originally published on April 27, 2017, and has since been updated. 

Related Stories