15 Entryway Decorating Ideas That Make a Stunning First Impression

Updated 08/22/19
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Ryan Garvin ; DESIGN: Becki Owens

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. Scroll on for 10 entryway ideas that make a stunning first impression.

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Upgrade Your Welcome Mat

Arched entryway features rectangular rug

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 (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.

Rani Rug
West Elm Rani Rug, 6'x9' $649 $519
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02 of 15

Play With Scale

Entryway features large-scale photograph, seating, and a dog perched next to it

 Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Blackband Design

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!

beach print
Gray Malin Positano Beach Vista $299
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03 of 15

Embrace Fashion and Function

A textured rug and vanity featured in entryway with dining room in background

 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 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
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04 of 15

Lighten Up

Sculptural chandelier featured in entryway

 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. 

snowflake chandelier
Houzz Snow Flake Chandelier in Antique Brass $985
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05 of 15

Step Outside the Ordinary

A café table and framed art featured in entryway with curved staircase

 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, 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.

marble bistro table
West Elm Black Marble Round Bistro Table $429-$449
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06 of 15

Have a Seat

A bench flanked by two potted plants featured in entryway

 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.

Cane Settee
One Kings Lane Serena Cane Settee $780
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07 of 15

Let the Details Speak for Themselves

Tiled stairs and minimal décor in an entryway

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.

Cement Tile
Clay Imports Agadir Black Tile $5
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08 of 15

Draw the Eyes Up

High, wood-beamed ceilings and a starburst chandelier in an entryway

 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 pendant
All Modern Star Geometric Pendant $262
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09 of 15

Mix It Up

A half moon table, round mirror and stack of books topped with a potted plant in an entryway

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Jenn Feldman Designs

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."

console table
World Market Half Round White Marble Milan Console Table $200
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10 of 15

Give Your Best Friends a Warm Welcome

Entryway features a runner and a Golden Retriever in front of doorway

Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Amber Interiors

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.

hand-knotted rug
Pottery Barn Finn Hand-Knotted Rug $799 $478
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11 of 15

Choose a Theme

Desert-chic entryway

Alyssa Strohmann / Unsplash 

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.

12 of 15

Create Extra Storage

Woven basket next to white chair in entryway

 Sarah Dorweiler / Unsplash

A woven basket positioned near the entryway serves as extra storage for shoes and umbrellas, for example.

13 of 15

Add a Small Table

A small concrete side table next to a round wicker chair in the entryway

 Sonnie Hills / Unsplash

Have enough floor space? A small or slim console table can serve as practical storage area with enough room to style a vignette with personal items or a table lamp.

14 of 15

Go Bold With the Front Door

Blue doors accentuate a townhome

Brandi Ibrao / Unsplash

Draw attention to a small space and paint the door to your home an unforgettable color.

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Add Mirrors

Mirrors above a console in an entryway

Kaboompics

Reflect more light and give the appearance of a larger space with mirrors.

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