5 Design Ideas to Make Your Entryway's First Impression a Good One

You only get one shot.

Updated 06/05/19
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Jessica White Photography; DESIGN: Studio McGee

If an entryway is a home's first impression, then it should get its fair amount of consideration. And yet, it's so easy to bungle this space. It often gets completely lost in piles of coats, umbrellas, and scarves, which is kind of like meeting someone new and then talking at them for minutes on end. But on the other end of the spectrum, entryways can be left entirely blank—the home equivalent of never introducing yourself at a party at all. 

In order to nail a great "first impression" with your entryway, it's important to see this area as the initial glimpse into your personality. So, what's an adjective that best describes you? If you consider yourself laid-back, then your entryway should be, too. If you're adventurous, then use that word to inform your choices instead. These guidelines can help you form a design, whether that means picking out colors and textures, or uncovering the right furnishings and accessories. And because all entryways should have lots of storage, figuring out the best types should be a cornerstone of this project, too. 

To get you started, we gathered five different entryway ideas from designers that speak to various styles and room sizes. Hopefully, these examples can help you succeed at creating a first impression that makes your entryway an extension of your personality.

Small-Space Solution

Amy Bartlam—Entryway
Amy Bartlam; DESIGN: Lindsey Brooke Design

Try This If: You're short on space but not on style. 

For those of us who have small or non-existent entryways, it's still possible to create an area that acts as a landing zone in your home. In this space from Lindsey Brooke Design, a blank wall is given purpose with the help of a textured stool, a stack of books, a plant, and matching artwork. This is an especially strong example for anyone with a half-wall separating your front door from the rest of your living space.

How to Make It Work: If you need more storage just place a basket under this stool for shoes, and a floating shelf above for a tray. You could also add a hook or two for your jacket and scarf. 

Stool—Entryway
Scandinavian Designs Raholt Dining Stool $150
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Vase—Entryway
Anthropologie Large Lark Vase $30
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Minimalist Design

Katie—Entryway
Katie Martinez Design

Try This If: You're all about serving a purpose.

Clearly, an entryway serves a utilitarian purpose as a dedicated place to take off shoes and outerwear. This minimalist approach from Katie Martinez Design shows the beauty in a well-designed bench, which can be all you need to define an entryway. Matching sconces provide light, when necessary, and a basket serves as storage for miscellaneous items. 

How to Make It Work: If you like a minimalist aesthetic, this option is right up your alley. All you need to remember is to use a continuous color palette, which connects the bench to the light fixtures and the rug, to unify the space. For more storage, consider placing short and rectangular baskets under the bench.

Bench—Entryway
Community Vander Bench $3000 $2400
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Sconce—Entryway
Schoolhouse Electric Nova L Sconce $270
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Function Meets Style

Emily—Entryway
Sara Tramp; DESIGN: William Hunter Collective STYLED: Emily Henderson Design

Try This If: You consider yourself to be warm yet practical. 

There's a nice balance between style and function in this entryway example from Willam Hunter Collective and Emily Henderson, which pairs a small console table with an umbrella stand, mirror, and small bowl—all practical pieces for an entryway. But thanks to the plants, stack of books, and framed image, this area has a warmth to it, as well.

How to Make It Work: Pay attention to the details in this design. The console table has a drawer for storage, and the bowl can hold keys and a wallet. The umbrella stand keeps its namesake item neat, but also has a bold finish. These items complement the surrounding textures and colors, which helps this entryway fit right in with the rest of the home's design scheme. 

Umbrella—Entryway
Willams Sonoma Copper Umbrella Stand $140
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Bowl—Entryway
Crate and Barrel Hue Blue Serving Bowl $20
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Space to Spare

Studio McGee—Entryway
Jessica White Photography; DESIGN: Studio McGee

Try This If: You're working with an ample amount of square footage.

If you have a dedicated entryway in your home, why not use that extra room to its full potential? Take this example from Studio McGee, for instance. It shows a wide-set console with two storage bins, a lamp, a vase, and accessories all under a large mirror. Since all of the items fall within the same color palette, too, the entire aesthetic looks intentional and welcoming.

How to Make It Work: When you have the space, make sure you find furnishings that fill it proportionally. These larger pieces appear balanced given the size of the area, but the main console's open front keeps it from looking too heavy. Furthermore, stacked boxes can provide concealed storage for items you don't want displayed every day. 

Two-Tone Basket—Entryway
Zara Home Two-Tone Basket $50
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Dipped Ceramic Large Lamp Base—Entryway
Target Dipped Ceramic Large Lamp Base $40
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Laid-Back Approach

Sarah—Entryway
 Sarah Sherman Samuel

Try This If: You want to play with shapes and textures. 

If you consider yourself to be more laid-back than traditional, this entryway from Sarah Sherman Samuel is probably a good fit. It makes use of a long wall with an equally long console table, and maximizes storage with a wide basket underneath. But its sheepskin and large plant keep the space feeling relaxed, and the frameless hexagonal mirror adds some fun thanks to its unexpected shape. 

How to Make It Work: Take stock of the materials you'd like to use in your entryway and see if there's enough variation in texture, color, and shape. This example's black-and-white palette keeps everything within a complementary color scheme, so nothing seems out of place. 

Hexagon Mirror—Entryway
Overstock Hexagon Mirror $200 $180
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Sheepskin Throw—Entryway
Crate and Barrel Sheepskin Throw $160 $135
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