Published: February 15, 2022
Every time you come home, every visitor that walks through your door, every pair of shoes that gets flung off or put on, passes through your entryway. Front door or back, there is a section of your home just inside the doorway that’s a constant hubbub of activity. There are keys, shoes, purses, accessories, and more that go in and out the door constantly. Not only is this the house hubbub, but it’s also the welcome section of your home. When guests come over for coffee or games, your entrance is the very first thing they see. It should be welcoming, wholesome, and tidy. Your entryway should be a sneak peek of your home’s vibe, and what better way to make that happen than by treating it as its own room? With this mindset, you’ll be able to furnish, decorate, and celebrate your home’s most used (and most underrated) room!
Entryways come in all different shapes and sizes, so we’ve boiled down the three most common entryway configurations:
1. The doorway leads into a dedicated entrance space
2. The doorway leads into a hallway
3. The doorway leads directly into a room of the house
With each entryway configuration, you can learn what pieces fit best, how to reduce overall clutter, and how to make the space unique to your home. There are three main requirements that should be met to create the most welcoming and convenient space for yourself and guests:
A. There should be a dedicated place to take off and put on shoes and coats.
B. There should be a dedicated place to put smaller belongings (such as keys, umbrella, lip balm, wallet, etc.).
C. The décor should give a preview of what the rest of the house is like.
You and your guests should have a clear appreciation for your home and its welcoming entry space!
Some houses are designed with either a room or a space dedicated to the entrance. With the extra space comes extra room for creativity, so the purpose of this space can vary depending on how you want guests to experience this part of your home. The size of this allocated entry space can differ from house to house, so we will be using 3 size examples: Large, medium, and small.
If there’s plenty of space to welcome guests, then you have permission to go all-out! The first requirement is having a place for you and guests to take off your shoes and coats. Since you have more wiggle room, you can use one or more accent benches or chairs to add extra comfort to your home entrance. You can double the bench functionally if it’s a storage bench and easily hide extra items like hats and gloves! With multiple benches or chairs, the entryway can also be used as a conversation room or an extra entertaining space. If the space allows, you can even add a shoe rack to keep shoes away from the door. The next requirement is having an allocated spot for smaller belongings (this would include keys, wallets, lip balm, and other small things). A side, coffee, or end table with a catch-all tray would work best for collecting these things. If you do plan to use the room for more than just welcoming and farewell-ing, a larger size coffee table would be the best choice for holding any extra drinks or snacks. The third requirement is having décor that showcases your home. This décor can include anything from paintings and pictures to rugs and table decorations. Find your favorite knickknacks or photos that give guests a glimpse into your family and home style. The style of your entrance furniture and décor should match the rest of your home, while also having a teeny bit of extra pizzazz for welcoming newcomers into your wonderful abode.
If you have an entrance space that’s not quite as big as mentioned above, but you still have a good amount of room, then your space would be considered ‘medium’ size. This size entryway works best with having the basics and just a touch of extra flair. To start, you need a spot for shoe removal, so a bench or accent chair is the way to go. Just remember, a storage bench is perfect for doubling as seating and holding extra belongings. Next, you need a dedicated holding spot for smaller items (the keys, wallets, and other tiny trinkets). For this, a small table or stool with a valet tray can be a stylish spot for holding those things. Décor is the last step for your entryway ensemble! Again, photos and paintings can go on the wall, and rugs or other small decorations can be set on the floor or on the table.
If you have a small entrance space without a lot of wiggle room, then the basics are all you need! A smaller bench or chair is great, but if that’s still too big, a rug is a good indicator of where to take shoes on and off. Hooks or a small hall tree are perfect for hanging up coats and other outside clothes, and shoes can be set on the rug or underneath the hooks/hall tree. Hooks also work for holding keys and other small items (or if you want to get really creative - a wall basket!). For décor, the wall is your canvas!
In some homes, the doorway opens directly into a hallway. A hallway is significantly narrower than a dedicated entrance space, but that means you get to be extra creative with how you furnish and decorate it! Don’t forget, having a dedicated spot for shoes, coats, and other small belongings is essential. Let’s start with shoes! Having a small shoe tray or narrow shoe rack against the wall is a perfect indicator for where guests can place their shoes once coming inside. For smaller items, a valet tray or bowl on a narrow chest, end table, or side table can easily fit in the hallway. If the outside-facing half of the doorway is on a porch (either open or enclosed porch :D), shoes could be left out there before coming inside.
Now it’s decorating time! Again, since there isn’t a lot of space for things such as knickknacks or other trinkets, the wall is yours to fill. Hallways are long, so you could use this to build up the story of your home while walking through it. For example, having individual photos of family members, pets, or a row of vacation photos can give guests a mini-tour of your family while walking towards the next room. You could almost think of the hallway as the ‘highway’ of your home, and each room being a stop along the way.
If your doorway leads directly into a room, then this is the section for you! There are two lines of thought when creating an entry space that’s part of a room: you can either make the entrance part of the room, or you can make it a separate space that molds into the room. If you want the entrance to be part of the room, then all you need are spots for belongings – easy! If you want the entrance to be separate from the room, then there are a few other things to think about. We’ll talk about the two most common rooms that are connected to the main doorway: the living room and the kitchen.
The living room is one of the comfiest places in the home, so your entrance should match the comfort level! If you are choosing a bench or accent chair for shoe removal and retrieval, make sure it’s comfy to match the energy of your living room. Rugs, small tables, and shorter bookshelves are great pieces to separate the entrance space from the living room. They can act as a faux wall to make the distinction between the entrance and the living room. For décor, matching the living room theme is going to be your best bet!
The kitchen is one of the busiest spots in the home, so your entrance should provide a calm, relaxed spot for visitors to take a moment while coming inside. Not many kitchens have a place to sit beside a chair or stool, so a soft bench or accent chair is perfect for a kitchen entrance; it gives guests a comfy spot to sit while you’re making dinner, and you can still entertain conversation while the rolls are in the oven. A smaller table would work best for holding smaller items, but a faux wall isn’t necessary to create that space between the entrance and the kitchen; a rug in front of the entrance seating is plenty enough to make that distinction! To decorate, adding your home’s overall theme with a touch of food-inspired art is a perfect combination for your kitchen entryway!
Your entryway is the most-used section of your home. You, your family, and your guests all use this door to come inside, so it’s important to give this space your full attention! It shouldn’t be cluttered, crowded, or overlooked; it should be a place to show who you are and what your home means to you. This space should be welcoming to you and your future visitors, as well as a holding place for outside clothes and travel belongings. Give your home a fantastic entryway, so every first impression of your home is a great one!