Everybody knows that first impressions count, and that’s also true of your home. If you want to make your visitors feel welcome and send a message about your home, you shouldn’t neglect your entryway. It is, after all, the very first glimpse they’ll see when they step into your home.
Go Beyond the Welcome Mat
Your entryway creates a mood that your holiday guests and others can feel. Whether you want to express the simple elegance of your home, a sense that you like to keep everything cozy and comfortable, or the idea that your house is a refuge from the world, you need more than a welcome mat to do it.
Take your cues, instead, from these simple, clever decorating tips (which are even easy enough to accomplish in time for the holiday season).
Start with the Color on the Walls
Clear out your entryway and take a good look at the empty space. This is the canvas for your work, so you need to prepare it carefully for everything else that you may want to add later. Start with a coat of paint that will set the mood for the rest.
Sherwin-Williams has declared Urbane Bronze to be 2021’s Color of the Year, and its deep, warm tones can make a sophisticated statement. If you find that color a bit dark for your liking or your entryway is small, you may want to go with something lighter. Some of the colors experts recommend for entryways include bright white, soft pink, cool gray and water blue.
Add a Chic Rug for Warmth
Trust us: Your guests will definitely notice what’s on the floor when they’re taking off their shoes and looking around. Your floor is an important part of your entry’s decor. You can either emphasize the shape of your entrance by picking a rug with a similar flow, like a runner for a long, narrow space, or you can use a round rug to distract from irregular corners or accommodate a smaller space.
When choosing a rug, you want to pick one that can withstand plenty of foot traffic. Jute, sisal and wool are popular choices, especially if you like a subtle, refined look. If you want something brighter or bolder, however, you can pick from thousands of synthetic rugs in all kinds of colors and designs.
Offer Your Guests Someplace to Sit
Is your entryway missing a seat? A chair, stool or bench is an essential item for your foyer because it gives you a convenient place to sit while you put on or take off your boots, open the mail and check your bags for essential items before heading out the door.
Pick a seat that will give your guests a preview of the rest of your home, whether you prefer furniture with simple, clean lines or something more ornate. If you want your home to exude comfort, add a few accent pillows and a colorful throw blanket.
Find a Statement Piece for the Wall
If you have a fairly large entranceway to your home, consider using a large piece of oversized art that reflects your vision and taste as a major focal point. Don’t be afraid to use a statement piece that will leave your guests with a lasting impression of your style and personality.
If you have a rather small entryway, however, a large piece on the wall can feel aggressive and overwhelming. Instead, you may want to rely on an old trick that’s often used to enhance tight spaces: a mirror or two. You could hang one large mirror across from the door or use several small ones in different shapes and sizes to create an interesting collage.
Choose Furniture for Form and Function
You can anchor your space with a few choice pieces of furniture that are both stylish and useful. This is your chance to showcase your taste — but make certain that all of your pieces have a practical function.
For example, a small, antique table that can be used to hold the mail and catch keys conveys a love for traditional things. A big, handmade basket can serve the same purpose but will read “casual” and “comfortable,” instead. Add a vase full of curly willow tree branches for a year-round organic touch, or use it for seasonal flowers when you’re expecting company.
Add a Few Unique Details
Do you still have some empty wall space that seems unpleasantly barren? Add a few small, interesting items that will help create more style and flair. Look for a charming coat stand or a unique row of hooks that can hold hats and decorative scarves or a curious, wrought-iron lamp that conveys your humor or taste.
Alternately, you can center your entryway’s decor around a unifying theme. Your love of gardening, for example, can be reflected in a floral design on the carpet, flowers in the art on the walls and a floral pattern in the seat cover on your chair. A theme can give your entrance a cohesive, well-organized feel.
Pay Attention to the Lighting
If your foyer looks a bit dated, change the look by changing the lighting. A chandelier can dazzle your guests and help fill a big foyer, while pendant lights can be used to direct your guests’ eyes down a hall or toward a focal point. Wall sconces have a timeless appeal, while recessed lighting will give your entryway a modern bent. If you want a more organic, natural feel, think about adding a skylight.
Updating your entryway may not be the first thing you think about when it comes to updating your home’s look — but it is the first thing guests to your home ever see, so make sure that you give it the proper consideration.