Most entrance halls and lobbies are defined by coat racks and shoe mats—an area of the house solely used as protection against clutter and seasonal messes. Just as the exterior of your home is the first vision guests have of your lifestyle and aesthetic, entrance halls offer your guest a first glimpse into your life and style. Not only is your entrance hall a portal into your world for guests, but also for you!
With this in mind, consider ways in which you can make your entry more inviting, warm and pleasing. Whether you have a small entry way that seems overcrowded and insufficient, or if your entry way is large enough to seem as though a separate entity for you home, there are plenty of ways in which you can transform this space to say,
Wow! From wall colour and lighting to plants and furnishings, making your entry hall stylish and functional is easier than you think! Below we have ideas for you to think about the next time you walk into your home and feel unimpressed.
A more temporary way to design your entry way is to consider decorative accessories. Of course there are parts of an entry that should be more permanent, such as flooring, racks and shoe mats—but almost all other items can be changeable! Due to the fact that entry ways are one of the few areas of your home frequently exposed to the outside, you should consider accessories that reflect this fact.
Pick out accessories that are durable, sustainable and account for the change in conditions in your area. Waterproof materials and durable textiles are important to consider when it comes to an entry way. Think about welcoming mats that are hemp- or sisal-based, and textiles (pillows, etc;) that can handle water, mud and sunlight and easily be washed from home.
As for accessories that demonstrate your tastes, choose colours that work with the rest of the interior of your home and accessories that make your guests feel welcomed—candles, unique lighting, personal photographs and art work and reading materials. These items will not only be conversation starters, but will allow your guests to get a feel for you and your family environment!
ELEMENTY architects, based in Poland, have some great entry way designs—like the one seen here!
Since all entry ways include a door and usually some sort of windows—natural lighting should not be an issue. However, using the right kind of artificial lighting can be tricky and can require some thought. The lighting techniques and fixtures you choose will be largely dependent upon the size of your space.
In smaller entry ways, we suggest using overhead lighting as not to take away floor space and leg room for arriving guests and yourself. We suggest choose fixtures like the ones pictured here, simple and minimalist—and perhaps continue this type of lighting through the corridor to provide some continuity. For more eco-friendly options consider halogen-based lighting or bulbs specifically with energy efficiency in mind. Brighter lights and light-coloured fixtures should be used especially for when guests arrive in evening or night time hours—this can also be a safety feature when arriving home alone.
If you're blessed with a larger space that will allow for tables and other decorative accessories, then consider table lamps that will provide enough light to your space and in addition, some style! Take note: Table lamps might be a bit inconvenient as you or guests are fumbling to gather things and switching on lights individually by hand. If you still want to use lamps—consider connecting them to an electrical outlet where you can switch them on and off from the wall!
Definitely one of the more important aspects of an entry way is the flooring that you choose! Think about durability, sustainability and style. Hardwood flooring can be a great option for its value, look and durability. However, beware of water stains and harder residue as it might permanently stain or scratch the wood. There are plenty of hardwood floor alternatives such as imitation wood (more cost-effective) and laminate, where you can get the same look for a lot less!
Tiles are one of the most popular options for entry way flooring as they are durable, stain and water-resistant, cheap and best of all—relatively easy to install. When looking at tiles, consider darker colours that will hide water, dirt and anything else you track into the house. Another way to disguise imperfections from weather and wear-and-tear is to look at using artistic patterns and unique laying techniques.
In this example, the homeowner has made shades of brown work together with stark black accessories—they have also decided to use the same grain of wood flooring in the entry way as is used in the rest of the house. This technique can make your home seem larger and provide more of an open-concept feel to even smaller homes!
For more great ideas, check out some of these great projects on Homify!
Wall colour is really the option that you can play around with the most! No matter what type of flooring you have, any colours will work—but maybe consider colours that are more playful and welcoming—such as the colonial blue seen here. With thick baseboards, light carpet and white stairs, this homeowner has decided to let the pop of blue wall colour speak for itself with minimal accessories except a beautiful plant that plays up the corner and one piece of beautiful artwork.
If you choose to go this route and use a darker colour, then go easy on decorative accessories and carpeting. Using personal wall art, shelves and posters will be your best option to really personalize the space.
We suggest that no matter what style the rest of your home is—choose unique accessories and wall colour for your entry way to make your guests excited to see the rest of your home!
If you're choosing a bolder colour for your entry way, consider great quality textiles to match, like shown here!
Using mirrors can be incredibly effective in almost all areas of your home. Mirrors can either reflect or diffuse both artificial and natural light, add an artistic feature, or even create an illusion of space and depth to even the smallest of spaces. Mirrors are also seen as a courteous gesture in an entry way, as they will allow guests to put themselves together before welcoming themselves to your home, or that great cocktail party that awaits them in the dining area.
The illusion of space that mirrors can create is perfectly displayed in this example, as even the windows in the back of the house provide both an extra natural source and an illusion of more space to the entry way. To have more fun with mirrors, think about including mirrors of different shapes and sizes and placing them at different heights for an added specialty.
Accent tables and side tables are great in entry ways because of their varying sizes, shapes and heights. Now, even the smallest entry ways can have at least one table that can bring space for either decorative accessories, or as a place to place reading material, mail and keys for you and your guests.
Although accent tables are typically smaller, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are completely useless. Smaller tables can provide opportunities for hidden storage space and when chosen correctly (like shown here) they can add to the style and aesthetic of your home. Choose accent tables with brighter colours and different abstract shapes as to add to the space, rather than being a furnishing that's seemingly just
With all of these options, we hope we have provided you some ideas and design techniques in order for you to fully utilize the entry way to your home. After all, first impressions are important!