Create An Inviting Entryway With These Pro Tips

First impressions are important (they say) and that can translate to your home too. Your entryway, whether it's a foyer up front, mudroom out back, or an apartment alcove, is your guest's first impression of your home and sets the tone for a comfortable visit. But it also has an impact on your day to day, giving you peace of mind to have a place to put keys, mail, and outdoor items without it feeling cluttered or disorganized. You want a space that feels welcoming and inspires you as you start and end your day, which is why we asked our favorite designers for tips on creating an inviting space that makes everyone feel at home. So sit back and stay a while — there's major design inspo below!

Justina Blakeney, founder of Jungalow, and author of Jungalow: Decorate Wild

What should people consider before tackling any entryway project?

What do you use the space for? Is it where you drop your keys, purse, mask and shoes when you enter the house, or is it a more decorative space where you and any visitors get the first glance at what awaits you in the rest of the home? Once you know how the space is going to be used, you can start narrowing in on the different design elements you may want to incorporate in your entryway, but being intentional about the function or purpose of your entryway is a great place to start.

What are 5 must-haves in an entryway?

  • A console to rest things on (or one with drawers if you like to store your keys, glasses, hats, etc. out of sight)
  • If you don't have a light switch near the entry way, a lamp might be helpful so you can easily access light when coming home at night.
  • Catchall dish - for all those odds and ends like keys, loose change, and receipts.
  • A rug can really help to define the space and creates a cozy, welcoming vibe.
  • And you can never go wrong with plants! A tall tree is a great option if you get a good amount of light near the front door. If you need plants that do better in low light, zz plants, pothos, and sansevieria are also great options.

What are some ways to incorporate color and pattern to make an impact in such a small space?

Wallpaper is a great way to get color and pattern in the smallest of spaces. It creates visual impact that isn't too overbearing because it is in a contained space. There are so many great peel and stick options now that even renters can get in on all that wallpaper goodness! If wallpaper feels like too much of a commitment, you can also try a large piece of art with bold color and pattern.

Sarah Sherman Samuel, designer of interiors, furniture, and textiles

What should people consider before tackling any entryway project?

Determine the function of the space first. How you are going to use the entryway? Is it your main entry or is it for guests?

What are 5 must-haves in an entryway?

  • A catch all bowl/basket to collect keys etc. make it interesting, this is a chance to bring shape and texture into the space.
  • A console or bench that is not too bulky. Go for clean lines and lighter looking furniture. Bonus if it has drawers to hide the clutter. Be creative, It doesn't need to be obvious its meant for storage
  • A statement piece of art, this is the first impression of your house for guests give them something stunning as a focal point.
  • A mirror, it will make the space feel bigger and brighter.
  • A rug

What are some ways to incorporate color and pattern to make an impact in such a small space?

When creating a focal point you can incorporate color and pattern in a rug or artwork.


Studio McGee For Target Console

Round Mirror

Modern Ball Table Lamp

Wall Planters

Stefani Stein, founder of Stefani Stein Design Studio

What are some ways you can improve organization in an entryway?

If you are low on storage, I love a commode in an entryway. Discrete storage that doesn't sacrifice on style. Try pairing it with a table lamp and mirror or work of art. A simple console table can also lend an open and inviting feel.

What about scale? Any design rules?

Scale is especially important in an entry. There is no steadfast rule, as scale can vary so much from one home to another. However, it's important to be mindful of the depth of a piece in an entry. Visually, it shouldn't overwhelm the space. Functionally, you always want to have enough room to pass through easily with shopping bags, luggage, a stroller, etc.

Kate Lester, founder of Kate Lester Interiors

What are some things people should consider before tackling any entryway project?

I think it's really important to set yourself up for success. To do this, before you start decorating- ask yourself how you will be using your entryway. Will you need seating to take off shoes, will you need a catchall for keys? Once you have identified your needs- you can then integrate those into the design.

What are your favorite entryway trends?

I always shy away from the word trends because I think so much of what we do is about function and staying true to the style of the home itself. However, right now (and for like, ever) I am really loving a great patterned runner in the entryway. A pattern immediately draws your eye and is much more forgiving to dust and dirt. Plus, the colors immediately give you a great palette to build off of.

What are some ways/home decor products to look for that can help with organization?

It's always best to first determine your organizational needs, then once you do that you can integrate all of those needs into your design. I like oversized trays as a catchall for keys and (*masks) and baskets for stray shoes, bags, or dog leashes.

What about scale? Any design rules?

I think it's really important to remember that not all entry pieces are one size fits all. Something we always remind our clients, is that larger (appropriately) scaled pieces actually make a space feel bigger, so don't be afraid to maximize storage and space by going larger on your rugs, consoles, and mirrors if you can

What are ways to make it more inviting for guests?

I love a great place to sit to take off shoes, a mirror to check your reflection when you arrive, and an assortment of interesting accent pieces. The entry is a guests first impression of your home, so I think it's important that it the tone.

Any DIY projects you can incorporate here?

I am not a big DIY-er, but I will say that interesting art & accents in the entry are a MUST for me, so I always suggest hitting up your local estate sales and flea markets for one-of-a-kind finds to really set your space apart and make an impact!

Tiffany Leigh, founder of Tiffany Leigh Design

What are some things people should consider before tackling any entryway project?-

We always start by thinking about function. Is there a front closet? If not, hooks might be needed for jackets. Consider a mirror so people can give themselves a once-over before heading out the door. We like a surface to drop mails and keys when entering the home. You may need seating if you have older homeowners or guests who need to sit to put on footwear. We also try to max out storage for things like dog leashes, hats and mitts.

Next we think about the tone we would like to set for the home, as the entry should be the first introduction to that!

What are your favorite entryway trends?

We love a big oversized mirror in an entry - it can really enlarge a smaller entry and reflect light around the space. What are some ways/home decor products to look for that can help with organization? We love a classic shaker peg hook rail for hanging baskets and coats. We also like lidded baskets so you can keep hats and mitts easily accessible while looking clutter free.What are ways to make it more inviting for guests?

What are ways to make it more inviting for guests?

Consider using a nice big indoor/outdoor rug in the entry, rather than a small 2'x3' rug. By using a large rug, guests won't feel 'stopped' at the rug's edge the moment they step in the house (especially in Canada where we take our shoes off when we enter people's homes). If you have older guests over, a bench or chair is especially helpful for them to feel comfortable getting footwear on and off. We also like to think about scent - a signature smell upon entering the home can create a very inviting vibe, so try using a candle or diffuser!

How can you make it appear bigger and/or brighter?

Try using an interesting wall detail (like vertical shiplap) to make ceilings feel taller. A big mirror will bounce light and make a space look bigger as well.

Any DIY projects you can incorporate here?

Try painting your door a fun pop of color!

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