25 Small Entryway Ideas That Make a Big First Impression

small entryway with bench and peg rail

Sara Tramp; DESIGN: Jess Bunge for Emily Henderson Design

If there's one topic we'll never tire of, it's small-space interior design. Given the amount of ink we've spilled on the subject, it's safe to assume we're always searching for inspired ways to make the most of any space with minimal square footage, from the living room to the dining room to the bedroom to, of course, the entryway.

"Small entryways can be tricky, so take advantage of your walls," advises Jessica Bunge, editorial director at Emily Henderson Design. "There are a ton of affordable and stylish hooks and hook rails on the market to hang your jackets and bags. A floating shelf is perfect for throwing your keys and mail on, and also adding a wall mirror is not only great for the last. Do I look presentable? Check, but it will make your space feel bigger and brighter. Making holes in walls is scary, but I promise it is so worth it." Needless to say, we couldn't agree with Bunge more.

Scroll on for 25 small entryway decorating ideas guaranteed to make a big first impression.

01 of 25

Create a Bohemian Welcome

entryway with wooden circular mirror, small floating shelf, bench with accent pillows

House of Chais

Using wooden accents and soft colors creates a lovely sight for anyone who walks through the door. Bohemian styles do a great job of using all of these aspects to create a stunning space. A wooden circular mirror with light wood floating shelves, hooks for hats, and an arrangement of plants can turn any blank space into a warm welcome.

02 of 25

Can't Go Wrong With a Bench and an Oversized Mirror

entryway with circular hooks, soft bench, oblong shaped mirror

Cathie Hong

An oversized mirror can take up the perfect amount of wall space and make smaller spaces feel larger. Purchasing one that is unusually shaped, like the oblong one pictured here, becomes an artistic statement. Add in some circular golden wall hooks that are as aesthetic as they are functional, and complete the look with a neutral fabric bench.

03 of 25

Bring On the Blue

entryway with large painting, blue velvet bench, textured print rug

Brexton Cole Interiors

Blue is considered a calming color, and what better place for it than in the entryway? Large artwork takes up the small wall space but creates a big impact. Adding some texture, like the velvet blue and silver bench with accent pillows, is the perfect elegant entryway.

04 of 25

Add Interesting Designs to the Wall

entryway with large mural of drawn people, small marble table by the door

Brexton Cole Interiors

Rather than adding one or two pieces of wall art to your entryway, turn the entire wall into an artistic display. Whether you paint it by hand or go the removable wallpaper route, the results are stunning. Add a simple table on the opposite side to display a few additional personal items.

05 of 25

Implement Interesting Wall Hooks

entryway with gray frond wallpaper and golden decorative hanging coat rack/shelf

D Burns Interiors

While simple wall hooks are a great option, go for a more decorative version to bring your entryway to the next level. One that doubles as a shelf, like the one here, is a great example. Overlaying it over some simple wallpaper and finish with a simple woven rug keeps things subtle yet stylish.

06 of 25

Add an Oversized Plant

oversized circle mirror with simple wooden bench and large plant

Cathie Hong

The simplest way to transform your entry is by adding a large plant. Mirrors and benches are a fantastic start, but the addition of the potted plant completes the pictures. It's quite the breath of fresh air.

07 of 25

Create Dimension Through Natural Materials

entryway with mirror, gray wall, and wooden palette

Gray Space Interior Design

If you're dealing with a small hallway, it can be in your best interest to create the illusion of it being longer than it truly is. Start with a neutral color for the wall, but to break up the solid presentation, add a wooden palette to create dimension. Hanging a circular mirror where half is on the wood while the other is on the wall is a creative design choice that will only increase the illusion of a larger area.

08 of 25

Use a Bright Poster or Print to Welcome Guests

entryway with blue wallpaper, neon color poster, golden hooks, woven rug

Domm Dot Com/Instagram

Adding mirrors and wall hooks are ideal in your entrance, yet showcasing your personality can be a little more challenging. If you want to make a statement, choose a poster or print that reflects your home so that guests will have an idea of what is important to you. Go with a bright, fun design like this poster that Domm Dot Com displayed to have some fun.

09 of 25

Add Floating Shelves Over a Painted Shape

entryway with warm tones, wood accents, floating shelf with beige geometric mural behind

Domm Dot Com/Instagram

The foyer displayed here already checks off so many of our boxes: warm tones, neutral color scheme, and proportionate mirror. However, what really brings it over the top are the floating shelves fixed to the wall with a painted beige oval underneath. Besides drawing your eyes upwards, it adds an artistic flair that will surely capture any guest's attention.

10 of 25

Add a Storage Bench

entryway with mirror, leather strap shelf, bench and shoe rack, basket to the side

Jenn Pablo Studio

Make sure to make your limited space count. While shelves are a step in the right direction, you can take it further with other decor aspects. Try adding a bench that has a built-in shoe rack underneath, as Jenn Pablo did here. Not only does it look stunning, but it helps keep shoes and other items out of the way, keeping your floor hazard-free and stylish.

11 of 25

Try Your Hand at Symmetrical Frames

entryway with four equal sized wall prints, maroon ottoman

Kurated by Kris/Instagram

A small yet longer foyer has its advantages–such as hanging multiple pieces of art along the path. Whether the art is connected or distinct, ensure you hang them the same distance apart and have them all at the same height to create a gallery effect. A simple rug and colorful seating is a perfect finish.

12 of 25

Make the Most of Hidden Space

hidden storage behind white front door, blue diagonal tile, gold hooks and gold light fixture

Blue Copper Design

Hidden nooks can sometimes feel inconvenient, but only if you don't know how to utilize them. Adding a sleek and sophisticated backsplash draws attention, but to give it purpose, add some silver hooks and some simple shelves at the bottom for storing shoes and other items. Now you have a stylish hidden space!

13 of 25

Consider Your Stairs

A general view of a a bright hallway within a home, black and white checkered tile floors, small dresser underneath the staircase

John Keeble via Getty Images

If you have a startlingly small entryway, you may feel as though you can't do much. However, a little perspective and can show you unused space that you can work to your advantage. If your entryway leads directly to a set of stairs, try using the space underneath to display a small table or dresser, like this classic and timeless styled one above. Given your guests will likely walk past this area immediately, it works as an extension to the entry you already have.

14 of 25

Create a Small Gathering Space

boho inspired entryway space with built in shelf and wicker furniture

Cottage + Sea

An easy way to create a memorable entryway is to design it as a gathering space to sit and talk with your guests. This wicker bench and chair combo hosts plenty of seating room and looks aesthetic in the process, so anyone feels welcome the moment they step foot in your home. The stylish shelves behind it with small dećor items only add to the charm.

15 of 25

Keep Things Simple and Sweet

modern entryway

Erin Williamson

The truth is, you don't have to go overboard decorating every inch of your foyer –just stick with some simple basics. An oversized plant, a simple rug, and a woven basket for any catch-all items can go a long way in keeping the space clear and clutter-free, yet still stylish. Sometimes, less truly is more.

16 of 25

Think Light Colors

modern farmhouse

Finding Lovely

Decorating and accenting with white can allow a small space to appear larger–a perfect trick for your small entry. The bright white walls and doors are paired with stately modern farmhouse decor in light shades of wood and blue, which gives the area an airy, spacious feeling. The benches and baskets tucked away under the stairs make great use of additional space.

17 of 25

Add an Oversized Mirror

entryway with pink front door, mirror, floating shelf and floating plants

Home by Polly/Instagram

Rather than opting for the traditional smaller mirror, opt for a full-length one instead. Not only do mirrors help create the illusion of a smaller space, but it's also a great addition to check out your full outfit before you head out the door. Work in some small hanging plants and even a floating shelf to keep the decor simple and functional.

18 of 25

Go For a Minimalist Take

white and wooden minimal entryway

House Sprucing

If you don't want to go crazy with color and dećor then don't worry–there are other routes to take. A minimalist mindset can make a big impression without doing much at all: a simple mirror and floating light, a wooden bench without much fuss, and a pillow or two can make a statement without trying very hard at all. Start with a white and light wood color scheme and you're well on your way to creating an effortless entry.

19 of 25

Bring in Cubbies

warm tone entryway that includes dresser with wicker baskets, mirror,

JC Designs

Never underestimate the power of stylish storage options. Adding a dresser with open drawers–or cubbies– allow you to display various items as well as keep important ones close by. Adding a few baskets as drawers, like the wicker ones shown here–can allow you to keep some items out of sight and out of mind. Adding a floating shelve that contains hooks for basic items truly ties the other items together, making the most of a small space.

20 of 25

Keep It Cozy

white and wood entryway, wood bench, hat and decorative hanger on wall, white fur rug on ground

JC Designs

If your goal is to make an impression, there are multiple factors to keep in mind. While looks and theme play a part, comfort is really the key. Adding soft pillows and even a simple blanket on a bare bench, with a fuzzy rug underneath makes the foyer feels especially inviting and warm. Add a few candles and natural plants into the mix, and it becomes perfect.

21 of 25

Hang a Small Gallery Wall

midcentury modern artwork in entryway

Jenn Pablo Studio

For the more artistic entry, try hanging a small gallery wall over your statement seating. Whether you go with prints or a few pieces of artwork, the possibilities are truly endless. All it takes is three or more items and you can create your every own work of art for other to view once they walk through the door.

22 of 25

Incorporate Your Stairs

entryway with stairs

Jessica Nelson Design

Figuring out how to work with a small space can be difficult, which makes it vital to scope out what else you can work with. If you have stairs near the front door, try using them as shelves to display items instead of squeezing in an additional table. While this can vary depending on how your home is designed, it can be a unique entryway option.

23 of 25

Mix Patterns

entryway with wood floors, wooden bench with white cushion, simple patterned woven rug, golden circle mirror with ridges

Amy Lefernik at Interior Impressions

A simple way to create interest and depth to your foyer is by mixing different styles and textures together. This entry is a great example with the woven rug on the ground, floral accent pillow, ruffle white cotton pillow, and the metallic gold mirror hanging above. All the pieces work seamlessly to create a delightful sight, even though there are only a few items present.

24 of 25

Create a Small Vanity Space

entryway with small nook, floating wooden drawers, small bench and basket ticked away underneath

Amy Lefernik at Interior Impressions

Occasionally homes have an unusual nook or open space that has untapped potential. If yours happens to be located near the front of your home, try turning that space into a small vanity or desk space. These floating drawers function as a sturdy surface to display and store items, while the space underneath is large enough to tuck away a chair and basket to keep them out of the way.

25 of 25

Embrace Your Space

entryway with tile marble floor, leading to small stairway with built in nook and small white side table

Amy Lefernik at Interior Impressions

If you have a foyer that leads straight to a small set of stairs, try to get a little creative with your space. The photo above has a stunning bench built right into the side of the stairs, allowing for seating without compromising space. A small decorative table fits perfectly into the leftover gap to complete the look.

Updated by
Lacey Ramburger
lacey ramburger bio
Lacey is an editor with 4 years of experience writing about and researching home décor trends, techniques, and helpful tips.