MAKING YOUR ENTRY WELCOMING + FUNCTIONAL

I am currently working on updating our foyer/entry (check out phase one here), so I thought I’d use today’s post to give some ideas on how to make your entry more welcoming and functional.

An entryway in a home is unique in that it is the first space guests usually see. Therefore, they often make their first impression of your home when entering this space. Your entry should reflect you and feel warm and inviting; it should be a space that makes visitors want to come on in and explore more of your home.

An entry is also the last space we exit when leaving our home to go somewhere and the first place we enter when returning home. Therefore, it needs to be a very functional and organized room. This is the place we gather the last few items needed before we leave—like an umbrella or the dog’s leash. And it is the first place we drop things when we return home—like our keys or shoes.

It doesn’t matter how grand or how cramped your entry is, these are some easy things you can do to make it more welcoming and functional.

CREATE A FOCAL POINT

Find a unique item and display it in a prominent place in your entry. For instance, it could be a bold wall painting, an antique table, a gorgeous light fixture or a handmade rug. It doesn’t have to be large or expensive to be interesting. When entering your home it’s nice to have something that immediately draws your eye and leaves a positive impression.

Below are some interesting ways to create a focal point…

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A simple and small entryway becomes anything but boring due to this bold painting that creates a major focal point.

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Upon entering this foyer your eye is drawn to the graphic wallpaper which adds pattern and interest.

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A grand staircase like this is sure to leave an impression once you step foot in this home.

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These vintage theater seats will surely grab your attention when you enter this home… And they are very functional too!

STORAGE IS IMPORTANT

Think about everything you like to store in your entryway, then look for decorative storage options that are not only functional but also attractive. Choose storage that is easy to access and just the right amount for the items you use. Focus on furniture with drawers or baskets so everything is neatly tucked away from plain sight. If floor space is limited, look for wall shelves or hooks.

A place to sit may be important too. If you can’t fit a large bench in the room then opt for a small stool you can slide under a console table when you aren’t using it.

Here are some of my favorite stylish entryway storage pieces…

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The family’s shoes stay organized and hidden by these crates which also add character to the room.

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You can easily grab your accessories from this coat rail on your way out the door.

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This bench is not only functional for sitting, but it also holds a basket for storage and a few decorative pieces. It’s a great multi-functional piece of furniture for a small space.

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A large console table like this provides plenty of hidden and open storage.

DON’T OVERFILL THE SPACE

One of the most important aspects of an entry is circulation—as in paths of movement through a room. There will likely be lots of walking in and out and through the room so there needs to be plenty of space to easily move without feeling congested. This is not the area that you want to completely fill with anything and everything you love. If your floor space is limited then focus your decorative touches on the walls and ceilings so that your eyes can clearly see them and your feet don’t run into them. You want to keep this area clutter-free and organized, and remember to choose furniture and decor that correctly fit the scale of the room.

Take a look at some examples of entryways that are nicely decorated but not cramped or overdone. They all use the space they have wisely…

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 This small entryway is well organized and not overfilled which keeps it from feeling cramped and cluttered.

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There is not a lot of decor in this small entry, but the few items that were chosen are very stylish and make a big impact.

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This foyer is appropriately decorated for it’s size. The large chandelier, table and artwork match the scale of the room, and there are still clear circulation paths.

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A narrow table like this is perfect for adding a little storage and decor in an entry without impeding circulation paths.

SHOWCASE YOU AND YOUR STYLE

As I mentioned earlier, this is the first space in your home that guests usually see so it’s a great place to showcase who you are. Think about what is important to you and what your style is, and display both in the elements and decor you use in the room.

These are some ideas for possible personal touches for an entry…

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Showcase your favorite design element. For instance, if you love molding then put it on full display in your foyer like this one.

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Feature regional pieces and decor like the elements found in this Napa Valley farmhouse entry.

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A gallery wall is an easy way to show everyone who visits who you are and what’s important to you. Use family portraits, inspirational quotes and travel photos.

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An entry that features your favorite color palette will always bring a smile to your face when you return home.

USE FUNCTIONAL LIGHTING

You’ll want to choose lighting that’s not only attractive but also appropriate for the way you use your entry. A ceiling pendant or chandelier is often used in an entry and is a great option for overall light (called ambient light), but you may want to also include a wall sconce or table lamp in certain areas for more focused light (called task light) which could be helpful when gathering items, reading mail or putting on shoes.

If you have windows in your entry then make the most of them by allowing as much natural light into the space as possible. Lots of natural light helps a room feel warm and inviting.

Check out these beautiful and functional entryway lighting choices…

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Make a classy statement in any entry with this gorgeous chandelier which should provide a lot of soft ambient light.

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 This striped table lamp is an affordable way to add some task light to your foyer while also providing some color and pattern.

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A pair of these wall sconces framing a mirror would look great over a console table.

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Add some ambient light and interesting texture to your foyer with this wood and iron pendant.

Hopefully these ideas have inspired you to make your entry more welcoming and organized. If anyone else has some great ideas for how to improve your entryway please let us know in the comments.

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