When people step through your front door, their first 15 seconds in your home makes an impression! It doesn’t matter if you have a grand foyer with lots of space, a small entry that feels more like a pass-through than a room, or a door that opens directly into your main living space – you want an entry that welcomes family and friends.
Make An Entrance
With some thought, planning and effort you can make your entry welcoming, functional and memorable. Start by considering these key elements:
The entry in many homes includes overhead lighting in the form of a either a chandelier, an overhead fixture, or recessed lights. Overhead lighting is great, however, it’s nice to also have another light source in the entry to reduce shadows from overhead lighting. And, if you don’t have overheads, other lighting is a necessity. Depending on your space you can use wall sconces, a table lamp, or a torchiere to light the entry and create a welcoming atmosphere.
2. A Soft Landing
If your entry floor is a hard surface such as wood, tile, concrete, or laminate, you might want to consider a mat, runner or area rug to soften the floor, reduce noise, and help define the space.
If you enter directly onto wall-to-wall carpeting, a thin mat will help reduce the wear and tear damp or dirty shoes produce over time near the threshold. Whether you’re adding something over a hard floor or over carpeting, make sure it isn’t so thick that the front door can’t easily open over it.
3. A Usable Surface
When you first enter the house, it’s helpful to have a place to toss your keys, lay the mail or newspaper, set your purse, set a shopping bag, or what other items family and guests have in their hands as they enter and may need to pick up as they leave.
A table or chest with storage can be both decorative and functional, if you have the space.
If space is limited, however, simply install a wall mounted shelf so you have a usable surface. Or, a wall mounted console (seen above) is a combination – half a table mounted to the wall – saves space but still looks substantial.
4. Coat Space
If there’s a built-in coat closet in your entry, make sure it has extra hangers and room for guests’ coats.
If there’s no built-in closet, you can add a free-standing cupboard for hanging coats,
or add a free standing coat rack,
or install wall hooks.
If you also want a place for hats, scarves, umbrellas and other accessories, consider a chest of drawers (it would also provide your usable surface), a bench with storage, or even decorative baskets.
As you’re heading out the door it might be helpful to take one last glance at yourself. Placing a mirror in the entry provides this opportunity, with the added bonus that it reflects light into the space. Consider hanging one over your table or shelf - or integrate your mirror and shelf as done in the DIY project shown above from Lowes.
6. Shoe Stop
I lived in Alaska, where it’s a necessity to have a designated spot for people to remove and set their snowy boots as soon they enter your home.
This might be important too if you live in a place where it’s often rainy. In the photo below check out the plastic tray filled with colored stones to catch drips from wet shoes and boots.
If you can find a nice shoe rack that fits your space, great. If not, include a mat that will define the space for leaving shoes (otherwise they tend to get knocked around and end up all over the floor). If you’ve got enough room, a bench, stool or chair allows people to sit down and more easily put on or take off their shoes.
7. Also Nice
An umbrella stand is a great idea if you use them. Select something that will add a decorative or conversational element to your foyer.
A vase of flowers or a live plant adds life to the room and a becomes a welcoming presence in an entry.
Use the above elements to make your entry functional and make it your own. Think about the style of your home and the kind of mood you want to create. Here’s a little inspiration to get your creative juices going:
You’ll notice some of these foyers are large and others are really just a sliver of space carved into another room. They prove, however, that no matter the space available, you can create a welcoming entry that serves your family and your guests well.
How will you say “Welcome” to people entering your home?