The entryway is your chance to make a great first impression on your visitors. Whether you have a large area to work with or a narrow space, there are plenty of beautiful, practical, and affordable options that can take your entryway from a forgettable footnote, to a warm and welcoming invitation into your home. Try out a few of these entryway design ideas for yourself and see what works best.
The place to start with an entryway remodeling is to consider the ways you can make your visitors' first few seconds more enjoyable. Offering a place to sit and remove shoes is a great option, even for those looking for entryway ideas for small spaces. Consider a bench or chair in your entry to accommodate this need. Some smaller benches come in a low profile of about 14”, and guests will certainly be grateful for a place to sit or stow items.
Think About Storage
If your entry does not have a coat closet, consider hanging hooks to keep coats and bags off the floor and conveniently located for guests and residents alike. Beadboard backing behind the hooks can add an element of farmhouse style in as little as three feet of wall space.
There are many options for shoe storage as well, from wall-mounted cabinets to simple woven baskets. Boot trays fit snugly under most benches and can save your floors from melting snow in the wintertime. A popular DIY includes adding river rocks to the bottom of a basic shoe tray to let shoes “drip dry.” Or, consider a second-row of wall-mounted hooks to “hang” shoes. An umbrella stand is a classy and practical addition as well.
Don’t discount the impact of lighting on your space. The right lighting can impact both style and function. Be sure to match your entryway lighting to your style desires and task needs. Overhead lighting can include chandeliers, pendant lights, or recessed lighting. Entryways with glass doors or sidelights can offer great daytime natural light, but be sure to consider your evening and nighttime needs. In many cases, hanging lights are the way to go since they won’t add to the clutter around your door and provide plenty of central lighting to the space as a whole, however you may desire a more subtle source of light later at night. If you plan on including a table in your entryway, then a stylish lamp or pair of lamps can add task lighting, as well as add a bit of extra flair. Create a warm, welcoming effect with wall sconces for accent lighting.
Entryway design and decor
After thinking through all of the practical considerations, there is still one very important function of the entryway that needs to be attended to: the personal touch. Think of your foyer as a first-impression to your home.
If your front entry is also the entrance your family uses most often, an entry table is a great addition for style and practicality. Your entry table can house not only a vignette of decor items but also a key bowl to corral small items and empty pockets into. A woven basket tucked under the table is useful for shoes or cold-weather essentials. If your entry or foyer is too narrow for a table, consider hanging a long, narrow shelf to give the illusion of a console table. The shelf can serve a similar function to a table, but with a lower profile.
Framed family photos work in large or small spaces, making them perfect narrow entryway ideas. Choose your favorites, or feel free to swap them in and out at your pleasure. A photo collage or gallery wall will give your family something to admire as they come home each day, and can also give your visitors something to look at as they take their first few steps through your door. Otherwise, art collectors should take the opportunity to put their very favorite piece near the entrance of their home, to show it off to as many people as possible.
Mirrors are a great choice for entryways because they reflect light and can make a space feel bigger and more open. Mirrors also give you a chance to check your reflection before leaving the house.
An entryway rug adds both style and function. A beautiful printed rug can bring color and style into an otherwise bland area. Jute or sisal rugs are a great choice - tough and stain-resistant for a natural feel and absorption for wet or dirty shoes.
A potted plant or vase of flowers adds a natural element to your entry. If you have a lot of natural light, consider a live plant as a way to bring the outdoors inside in this area of transition. If you have a brown thumb or simply prefer faux plants, you can choose an attractive floor or table-top vase with sprays of colorful silk flowers. Some people like to place the flowers as part of a table-top vignette that could include a lamp and your decorative keybowl.
Bringing it all together
All of these different elements should be chosen to reflect your own individual taste, and to highlight the entrance to your home. Whether rustic or modern, simple or ornate, your front door should set the overall tone for your entryway as well as your home in general. Whether you have a large foyer or a small hallway, the first few steps into your home can be just as important and enjoyable as the the many hours and days spent thereafter.