Whether it’s a coveted job interview, the cover of a book you want to buy, or even the interior design of your home, first impressions matter. Since your entryway is, architecturally speaking, the first “impression” of your home, it needs to make a statement. Think of it as a snapshot of your unique sense of design and what your home represents to you. And if that sounds like too much pressure, don’t worry. Here are some easy design steps to help you through the process of creating an entryway that screams you.
The first place to begin is simple: look at your space and think about your needs. Is there enough room for a chair and table, or will you need to focus all the attention on wall hangings? Does the area feel small and dark or blank and impersonal? When you walk in the door, do you drop your keys, mail, shoes, and umbrella here, or do you already have an organized spot for your things? Questions like these will help solidify the function of this room, which will give you a list of “must haves”—and from there comes the fun. Time for creativity to take over and start decorating from the outside, in!
1) Begin with your walls and floor. If color is your thing, don’t be afraid to go bold. Choose a loud hue or even a high-drama wallpaper that pops the second you walk in the door. If that makes you dizzy to even think about, keep it straightforward. White is always classy and never bores when paired with the right accessories. If you go this route, a colorful or textured rug will add warmth to your entryway without being too in-your-face.
2) Next, decide on the best place for each of your furniture pieces, keeping in mind any sort of organizational need and efficiency of space. A chest with several drawers or cubbyholes is a great way to keep the knickknacks of life tucked away in larger entryways. For a cozier space, opt for a lighter table with drawers, like this handmade wooden beauty by David Rasmussen, to keep the room feeling open. Also, having a place to sit and kick off your shoes is always a great idea. This can be solved with the addition of a chair, a stool, or even a pouf.
Beautiful, bare glass doors let in light and open up Jen Pleasants’ CA studio.
3) Proper lighting can do wonders for any room. If you get lots of natural light, count yourself lucky and don’t block it out. Choose opaque sheer curtains that still allow light to stream in, or just keep your windows bare altogether. For entryways that need brightening, find a tabletop lamp made of clear glass or thin metal. This will give you the light you need without adding extra weight to the overall feel of the room. Don’t forget to think vertically, too. A chandelier is an eye-catching piece that provides not just form, but function.
4) Now you’re down to the nitty-gritty: wall hangings and accessories. Large mirrors are always a great decision. They not only give you a last look before you walk out the door, but they also bounce light and make a snug room feel more grand. To personalize your walls, intersperse shadowboxes filled with special trinkets from your life with several smaller mirrors. Also be sure to add a little catch-all, like this unique bike chain bowl on the table to stash your keys and sunglasses.
5) Finally, incorporate a special item that makes you feel like you are home. This could be a framed family photo, a memorable shell you found on your honeymoon, or the pair of knitting needles your grandmother gave you. It doesn’t matter what it is, just find a place to display this piece as your daily reminder of what makes you happy.
That’s all there is to it. Now you have an entryway that is personalized and leaves one spectacular first impression!
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize. In addition to regularly contributing to home remodeling and design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker and About.com.