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The appearance of your entryway gives visitors their first impression of your home, and as a wise marketer once said, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression."
Your entryway is vital how your home feels, not just to guests, but to you, as well. When you walk in after a long day at work, do you want to be greeted by clutter and blah décor? Stacks of unopened mail and piles of shoes? Or by an inviting, thoughtfully assembled area that makes you feel good about your home?
No matter the size your entryway, whether you have a foyer, a mezzanine, a mudroom, or just a front door that opens directly into your living room, (over here!) there are plenty of options for getting the most out of your space. Read below and learn how to make your entryway inviting to visitors, and (more importantly) to you.
If you're like me and your home does not have a dedicated entryway, there are plenty of budget-friendly options for creating one. (aside from hiring a contractor to build you one) We did say 'budget friendly', afterall.
One of the best ways to create an entryway area is by utilizing furniture. There are several ways to do this, depending on the layout of your home. If your front door opens directly into your living room, one of the easiest ways to create an entry area is by moving the sofa to a position perpendicular to the front door. This creates a division between entrance and living room area.
If your space does not lend itself to this layout, you can still use furniture to define the entryway space:
Room dividers are an affordable and attractive way to, well, divide a room. Many products come with small shelves or pockets attached, allowing the divider to double as storage space. When you don't have a lot of space to work with, furniture that can pull double-duty is ideal. Ikea has several real, solid wood options that will work with just about any style of décor.
Cube Shelving is another option that can look fantastic. Because it is tall and wide, it makes a perfect wall and usually comes in multiple sizes so you can choose the best option for your space. While the Ikea Kallax is probably the most well known, there are a lot of affordable options for cube shelving. My personal preference is for solid wood, but they can be a bit pricier than the pressboard versions. An unfinished wood version can be another great way to go, as it will allow you to finish it in your choice of stain or paint colors to match your space and existing furniture. However, if solid wood is not within your budget, the Ikea Kallax* comes in black, white, and an "oak effect" which looks lovely. (*In recent years Ikea has started a responsible forestry program, and now more than 98% of the wood used for IKEA products is either FSC-certified or recycled. They're also removing single-use plastic products and are working toward reducing their carbon footprint. This makes me like them more and feel better about mentioning their products here. Good for Ikea!) Anyway, back to cube shelving. For an entryway, it can be ideal because of the amount of storage space it provides. Grab some of the cube baskets that fit so well inside the compartments and you can hide all sorts of entryway clutter out of sight. And because it is dividing two rooms, you will be adding additional storage space to both areas. (Again with the double-duty furniture.)
Once you have the entryway space defined, you can begin decorating! It's usually a good idea to start with furniture and large items and add wall décor and small items afterwards.
An entryway bench is a quintessential piece of entryway furniture. If you've every tried putting on/removing heels or knee-high boots without a seat, you understand the necessity for one. A bench will not only provide seating, but can also be a storage space for shoes and winter items. Remember what we said about furniture that can pull double-duty? By choosing a bench with a shelf or storage space, you can finally be free of that pile of shoes kicked into the corner. Placing a basket on the shelf will provide a convenient spot for bags, winter hats, gloves, pet leashes and other entryway clutter. With one piece of furniture, you've managed to provide seating, an out-of-the-way space for shoes, and storage space for bags, hats and more. Want to double down? Add a matching coat rack! Aside from the obvious storage solution, hanging a coat rack above the bench gives an impression similar to a hall tree and really seals the deal when creating the appearance of an entryway. Now, without taking up one more inch of floor space, you've provided storage space for jackets and scarves, as well.
The console table is another piece that works perfectly in an entryway. The narrow footprint makes it an ideal addition to a small space and it is commonly used as a focal point of entryway décor. If you are using your sofa to create the entry area, place it against the back. This is an excellent spot for lamps, a small decorative bowl or basket for keys, or a mail caddy. Keep in mind that we are trying to avoid a cluttered appearance, so decorate your table sparingly or choose an option with a lower shelf to provide more storage space. (see our entire console collection here)
Click here for tips on decorating your console table.
If you don't have space for a console table, a small side table will work just as well. Place a decorative bowl or basket for keys and other small items on top and if you choose one with a drawer or lower shelf, once again, we have added additional storage space! Add a basket to the lower shelf to keep clutter out of sight.
Almost everyone checks the mirror on their way out the door. Adding a wall mirror to your entryway makes this task much more convenient. A full length mirror works well if you have the wall space. If not, a smaller mirror works perfectly.
Another great way to define the entryway space is with an area rug. A rug, rather than a small doormat, will create the illusion of a separate area, particularly when placed in front of an entry bench.Wall paint
You can also create borders with wall paint. Painting the entryway a different color than the rest of the room will really define the space. Choose a color that will compliment the attached room without being too similar. A bold color choice can liven up the space and give it the character you're going for.
Entryway Gallery Wall
The entryway is an excellent place for a gallery wall. It creates a welcoming vibe and is a great way to showcase your personal style. While traditionally, gallery walls are comprised of family photos, there is no reason to limit yourself! Try shaking things up with mixture of photos and memorabilia. Add a vintage vibe with a gallery of vintage needlepoints and embroideries. Scour your local flea markets in search of quirky old paintings. The entryway is a great place to show your unique style.
When creating a gallery wall, lay the items out on the floor before hanging them on the wall. This will allow you to visualize the arrangement before drilling any holes. Depending on the type of gallery wall, you may want to do a grid, a straight row, or a random, haphazard arrangement. If you're opting for a random look, it is a good idea to mix shapes. It will be difficult to give the appearance of a random arrangement if all the items are square or rectangular. A round mirror, an oval photo frame, or an embroidery hoop can be the perfect touch. Once you are happy with your arrangement on the floor, snap a photo with your phone for reference. Pick up one piece and hang it before moving to the next piece.