How to Design a Functional and Stylish Entry. Entryways are often the first and last thing that people see when they come into your house, so it’s important to make a good first impression. And, with muddy shoes to take off, dogs coming in from the rain or snow, and piles of stuff people carry in on their arms, an entryway needs to be both stylish and functional.
Your home’s entryway should help you get organized as you’re heading out the door and help you stay organized when you get home. It’s got to stand up to mud, dirt, and wet shoes and paws. It should welcome you and your guests into your home and reflect your tastes, all while providing a location to put down your purse or briefcase and take off your shoes.
Whether you’re looking for beautiful space-saving storage ideas or stylish upgrade options to personalize your entryway, these essential elements will help you design a welcoming and well-organized entrance that reflects your personality and style.
Slim console table
A narrow console table is the most practical way to put things down when you’re coming or going, or help you out when your hands are full, all without sacrificing style. Made to fit almost anywhere, it showcases everything from trinkets to books to a vase of fresh flowers, making it the centerpiece of any room you choose to put it in.
Add a touch of elegance with a bench or chair. Whether indoors or out, seating that allows you to take your shoes on and off is functional and welcoming to guests. A bench serves both purposes with a built-in storage compartment to hold excess shoes, laundry bags, and other items under the bench, as well as a lovely place to sit. You can make this piece your own with throw pillows for additional color and comfort.
Baskets for storage
Organizing Solutions baskets are the perfect way to sort things and declutter, to keep small spaces organized. With their sleek design, they not only keep your home tidy, but they can also add a pop of decoration to any area of your home.
The idea is to reduce clutter and make it easy to find what you’re looking for as you’re heading out the door. Containers can go on your console table, on the floor, or in a cupboard if you have one. Place them in cubbies to hide shoes or sports gear. Sort the mail and put papers that need to be signed and returned to school in one that you keep on the console table. Dedicate one for gloves, one for scarves, and one for hats. You can mix with wooden crates, woven and wire baskets, or fabric bins — just don’t bring in too many disparate elements, which can feel cluttered and disorganized.
Hooks at different heights
Little hooks are such a handy thing to have around, especially if you can just screw them into the wall! Stick them anywhere handy — on the side of a console table, near the back door to hang an umbrella or dog leash, above the built-in shelves in your kitchen cabinetry for lazy susans and serving trays, etc. Put them in the entryway or mudroom, or anywhere else that needs a bit of extra storage for those items that always seem to get jumbled together on a hook.
Some floating shelves or built-in shelving are another great addition to your entry area. They can hold the baskets or be used to feature decorative elements. A high shelf running around the space near the ceiling can store less-used items. And a cabinet or armoire counts as shelving, too!
Sturdy, all-weather rug or runner.
Whether your entryway is carpeted or hard floor, an area rug can instantly define the space and pull the look of your entire home together. Along with adding a pop of color and pattern to a room, it can also provide comfort underfoot and keep your home clean by hiding dirt and debris.
Rugs should stand up to a lot of wear because they take a beating in high-use areas, like inside the front door and under dining room tables and chairs. So when shopping for an area rug, look for something durable but also stylish.
It’s always possible to change things up and give your entryway a facelift. Tile or brick floors are tougher than an ordinary concrete slab, so they won’t require as much maintenance and can last you decades longer. And with a beautiful area rug, your floors will look beautiful for years to come.
If you are going to tear up the existing floor, consider adding radiant floor heating to help dry up the dampness. Stay away from materials like marble and porcelain that can be slippery.
A mirror makes an excellent focal point for your entry. Besides being convenient for checking yourself out before you head out the door, it will make space look bigger, too.
More than one type of lighting
A well-placed lamp and overhead light can make a big difference. Often, it’s the simplest lighting that creates the biggest impact, and often you want to focus on one key spot or area in your home. Consider adding task lighting over your desk, in your kitchen, or over artwork to ensure you have enough light for the functions you use the most for optimum performance. You can highlight a piece of art with a signature fixture or turn on an accent light to add drama when your friends arrive. Look for styles that suit the look and feel of your space and ensure the switches are conveniently located.
The Key Takeaway
Designers and interior experts agree the entryway is one of the most important spaces in a home and it deserves at least as much attention as any other room in the house. The right lighting, mirrors, storage, and impressive decor can make it an especially stylish gathering place. Design an entryway that not only looks good, but one where you and your guest can comfortably clean your feet, exchange shoes, and store your keys and mail.