Your entryway is the space that welcomes guests into your home, which is why it’s important to make it as impactful and practical as possible. “The entryway sets the tone for the rest of the home, so I always look for ways to create a chic and inviting space that makes a great first impression,” interior designer Dana Wolter says.
To help ensure that your entryway is the stylish yet streamlined space it deserves to be, we asked some of our favorite interior designers what specific entry design elements to keep an eye out for. From functional furnishings to statement décor accents, here are 12 things designers always notice in an entryway, and how to create a similar look in your own home.
“If you don’t want to buy something brand new, consider revamping an old bench or chair you already own,” she says. “We found a Louis XVI settee at a vintage store, had it painted with a chalky white paint, and recovered it in a durable linen velvet perfect for family life.”
If you ask interior designer Becky Shea, a chic accent table that provides a place for tossing keys is a design-savvy addition to an entryway.
“Make sure the table is wide enough for a catchall, candle, and vase, but always ensure that the table doesn't interfere with your door swing,” she advises. “I personally like to leave at least two inches from the tip of the table to the doorway itself, that way you have ease of flow when entering, removing a jacket and tossing your keys in a handy catchall.”
All of the little things that get dropped in an entryway can quickly pile up, which is why Emily Spanos of Emily June Designs says it’s crucial to keep the space organized.
“Before you design your entry, take your everyday needs into consideration,” she advises. “Then, get creative incorporating solutions that also work nicely within your aesthetic, such as built-in cubbies for storage or a petite chair where your kids can put on their shoes. This will ensure everyone in your family gets in and out of the door more smoothly.”
If you thought you couldn’t make a statement in a small entryway space, interior designer Isabel Ladd says you’re mistaken.
“A loud wallpaper that knocks you off your feet and will transform any size of any entryway,” she explains. “Don't forget about the fifth wall: the ceiling. You can paper it in a different but still coordinating wallpaper, or paint it in a color found in the paper.”
A well-placed mirror can work wonders in a cramped entryway, especially one that lacks natural light.
“A mirror can make a space feel larger while adding light and reflectivity that increases the lumens of the existing ceiling or wall fixtures,” architect and interior designer Barry Goralnick says. “Plus, everyone likes to check their appearance on the way into a home or have a last-minute check on the way out."
If you don’t have a storage basket or two handy in your entryway, interior designer Kirsten Krason of House of Jade Interiors says it’s time to add some.
“One of our favorite things to source for an entryway are baskets to stash shoes,” she says. “Inevitably, you'll have guests or friends come in and take their shoes off, which creates a pile of shoes for people to trip over as they enter your home.”
A beautiful light fixture can brighten up a dim entryway while providing plenty of ambient lighting.
“I always make a statement in an entry, as it sets the tone for the rest of the home's interior,” interior designer Tish Mills says. “For example, a killer chandelier or gorgeous pendant light can create a ‘wow’ moment when you walk in that gives guests an idea of how the rest of the house lives.”
I always make a statement in an entry, as it sets the tone for the rest of the home's interior.
To leave a lasting impression on guests in your entryway, interior designer Tina Ramchandani suggests hanging up an interesting piece of art. “Art is very important in a foyer space,” she explains. “This is your chance to show off your style, so dress the walls up as you would any other area of your home.”
Whether it’s with strategically placed accent tables or a pair of coordinating pendant lamps, if you aren’t creating visual symmetry in your entryway, interior designer Young Huh says you should try a different approach.
“Symmetry in a foyer really sets the tone for the rest of the home,” she explains. “Immediately upon entry, one feels order and balance which will undoubtedly stick with them as they tour the rest of the space.”
A little greenery can go a long way in an entryway, which is why interior designer Sean Anderson recommends incorporating a houseplant or two into your decor scheme.
“Plants have such a way of providing personality and contributing to the hospitality of a space, and I think they have the ability to say a lot about whoever is living there,” he explains. “It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or finicky, but adding any sort of live greenery in a conservative, neutral planter or vessel is rarely a misstep.”
A clean-lined cabinet supplies more than just surface space for stashing out-the-door items—interior designer Gala Magriñá says it provides a place to stylishly conceal shoes, too.
“A closed cabinet can upgrade an entire entryway,” she explains. “Not only does it provide a convenient surface to place keys, mail, and catchall trays, it allows you to store your shoes in a tidy and organized way that’s out of plain sight.”
When it comes to outfitting a small entryway, interior designer Gioi Tran of Applegate Tran Interiors says the more eye-catching décor items, the better.
“Drama in an entry is always an exciting way to welcome your guests,” he explains. “If you’re working with limited square footage, we suggest adding oversized lighting, large-scale art, and a narrow console table to compensate.”