[Post updated 10/5/2016]
If your eyes are the window to your soul, your entryway is the window to your design aesthetic, offering a sneak peek at the great style within. A well-designed entryway is equal parts form and function, so it’s important not to sacrifice either one. The good news is that it’s easy to create a space that’s both pleasant and practical, no matter how much—or how little—room you have.
Let’s start with the basics!
Entryway Essential: Rugs
First, choose a durable rug to serve as the anchor of this high-traffic area. It’s important to consider the shape of the room—pick a runner for a long, narrow hall, or choose a shorter, wider accent rug for a more shallow space. Make sure to keep the rug just outside of the door’s radius (and you thought you’d never use geometry again!) so it doesn’t get caught whenever you open the door. You can also add a small, neutral rug with a low pile near the door for guests’ shoes.
Entryway Essential: Accent Cabinets & Chests
Then, make a statement with a great accent cabinet. If you have a small entryway with little closet space, a chest with closed storage is a fantastic place to stash small umbrellas, scarves and other accessories. A console table with open shelving is another good option—just add a set of coordinating baskets to keep things looking stylish and effortlessly organized.
Entryway Essential: Tabletop Vignettes
Next, let your personality shine by creating a tabletop vignette with some of your favorite home goods. Arrange items in stacks of varying heights to add visual interest. We love mixing books with picture frames, flowers and other decorative objects to create a look that’s stylish yet warm and inviting.
Entryway Essential: Stylish, Functional Accessories
After that, make sure to leave room for pieces that combine style with utility. Stop by our home accessories marketplace for a chic tray–it’s an absolute must-have for an entryway table. Think of it as a landing strip for all the stuff that seems to accumulate in this zone—bills, newspapers, magazines and so on. We also love using a decorative bowl for holding keys, wallets and other small necessities that can be easily misplaced.
Entryway Essential: Wall Art and Mirrors
Then, create a focal point by hanging some eye-catching wall art or a beautiful mirror above the table. Art is a fantastic way to inject beauty and personality into a room, and it serves the important purpose of reinforcing or accenting your color palette. We also love mirrors for their ability to brighten and visually enlarge a space. Plus, a mirror by the front door is great for making last-minute adjustments before you head out to the office or a night on the town.
Entryway Essential: Lighting
Next, lighting is key for creating a welcoming space. If you’ve chosen a wider table for your entryway, adding stylish lamps is a great way to achieve that cozy glow. You can also brighten the space with a wall or ceiling mount fixture. If you opt for a ceiling fixture, take a cue from your home’s architecture to choose the perfect one. If you have tall ceilings, you can create a striking first impression with a dramatic chandelier. Those of us with more modest entryways should choose a fixture that’s smaller in scale, but there’s no need to surrender style—there are so many gorgeous flush and semi-flush mount options available.
Entryway Essential: Accent Chairs and Benches
Finally, don’t forget seating! An accent chair or a storage bench adds a thoughtful finishing touch to the space, and there are plenty of options compact enough to suit even a tiny entryway without making it feel cramped. Guests will welcome a comfortable spot to remove their shoes, and seating can also serve as a temporary resting space for groceries and more.
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