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 to-do, an entryway space serves a functional purpose. For one, an entryway is somewhere to take off your shoes, set your keys, and hang up your coat. It also imparts the first impression of your home, thereby 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 brief, yet heavy traffic? A good place to start is to incorporate 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, a modified mudroom, or an apartment layout that immediately opens up into the kitchen and living room, it's all about putting together furniture, décor, rugs, and lighting that create a wow factor as soon as you (or guests) walk in the front door.
Upgrade Your Welcome Mat
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 (indoor) 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.
When selecting a rug for your entryway, a few more tips to keep in mind include choosing a rug made with durable material, such as wool. Natural rugs, as opposed to synthetic, cotton, or silk rugs, can handle the wear and tear of heavy foot traffic. Also, consider mixing up the shape of your rug. While a rectangular shape is popular, a square or oblong shaped rug, and even a runner might be a better fit for your space.
Play With Scale
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.
To choose a statement piece for your entryway, consider that this will be one of the first things people will see when they enter your home, so select something that best expresses your personality. After all, your home is an extension of you!
Embrace Fashion and Function
In an 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 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.
Step Outside the Ordinary
Sometimes, the key to nailing a formal introduction is to be disarmingly charming. Entryways are no different; in a more formal foyer, for example, try adding personality with unexpected art, as designer Nancy Mayerfield did in this space. Alternatively, unexpected art can also extend to the type of lighting, coat stands/hooks, and console you choose to display in this space.
Have a Seat
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.
Let the Details Speak for Themselves
If a 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.
Draw the Eyes Up
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.
Mix It Up
A console table is a classic choice for adorning an entryway with a few chic pieces and offers enough 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. She cites 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."
Give Your Best Friends a Warm Welcome
If you're planning to do your share of hosting and entertaining, a warm and inviting (as well as 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.
Choose a Theme
For a cohesive look, and a first glimpse of your home's style, chose a unifying look, whether it's desert-chic or sleek and minimalistic.
Create Extra Storage
A woven basket positioned near the entryway serves as extra storage for shoes and umbrellas, for example.
Add a Small Table
Have enough floor space? A small or slim console table can serve as a practical storage area with enough room to style a vignette with personal items or a table lamp.
Go Bold With the Front Door
Draw attention to a small space and paint the door to your home an unforgettable color.
Reflect more light and give the appearance of a larger space with mirrors.