Your home’s entryway (or foyer, if you like) has a tall order to fill. It not only needs to set the style tone for your home and send a warm welcome, but it’s a high-traffic area that needs to be organized and clutter-free. Here are five tips for creating a stylish, functional entryway.
Make a Great First Impression
You only get one chance, right? Your entryway should give an immediate sense of your personality and the style of your home. It’s the perfect place to showcase an eye-catching piece of a wall art, a beautifully painted accent chest or table, or a favorite collectible.
Since entryways are generally small, you can even use a paint color or wallpaper print you love that would be too difficult to incorporate into a larger room. Just make sure it still coordinates with the style and colors of the surrounding rooms to avoid a jarring transition.
Roll Out the (not necessarily red) Carpet
Use a runner as a stylish way to guide guests into the home. By “picking up” colors from your living or front room, a runner can help create a transition from one area to the next.
This rug also acts as a backup if wet or dirty shoes make it past the porch doormat, so make sure it can be easily cleaned. Set the runner far back enough that it won’t get caught under the front door, and anchor it with sturdy rug pads so it won’t get bunched underfoot and become a trip hazard.
Let There Be Light
Entering an unlit or dimly lit foyer is not only dreary, it’s unsafe. As soon as you walk in the door, you need to be able to see into the home. You also need sufficient light to see any needed items you keep near the door, such as your shoes or keys.
Shed some light on the situation with an overhead lighting fixture such as a pendant or chandelier. The bottom of the fixture should be about 7 feet from the floor—suspend it much higher and you lose the effect; hang it much lower and you make the room seem shorter. (Not to mention, there’s a risk of taller guests bumping their heads on their way in!)
If you have room in your entryway for hall or console table, you might opt for a table lamp. You’ll need a lamp with a slim base to fit the table and avoid intruding into the space. Wall sconces are another lighting possibility.
Entryways must be functional as well as stylish. After all, they have people trooping in and out of them multiple times a day, encumbered with coats, backpacks, purses, bags, mail, etc. Often, these items don’t make it far past the front door! An entryway can become cluttered in a hurry without functional solutions.
This may be as simple as installing a row of wall hooks, or taking it a step further, a hall tree or entryway wall unit with cubbies or shelves if you need more storage. A coat tree with umbrella stand base is a great way to keep wet raingear away from interior flooring. If you want an entryway table, you can find a wide variety of console tables with incorporated storage beneath. Rather than leaving items out on open shelves, try woven storage baskets or decorative totes for a neater look.
If you have the space, an entryway bench or stool provides a much-appreciated place to sit and put on or remove shoes. Many entryway benches have built-in storage compartments, shelves or cubbies, so you get plenty of functional use for the footprint.
Don’t Have a Separate Foyer?
Even if your front door opens directly into the living room, many of these ideas can still be applied. Place your favorite decorative items where they can be immediately seen upon entering the home, in order to set the tone for your decor. Use a rug that’s a different color from your main flooring to help create the illusion of a separate area. A console table, bench or hall tree placed near the door will add style and function.
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