Invit­ing en­try­way ideas that make a stun­ning first im­pres­sion

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - JONATHAN STEINITZ Do­maine

If you only need one rea­son to in­vest in dec­o­rat­ing your en­try­way, let it be this: every­body needs a good spot to make an en­trance.

But even for those among us who pre­fer to come and go with less of a to-do, an en­try­way space serves a func­tional pur­pose. It’s some­where to take off your shoes, to set your keys, or to hang up your coat.

An en­try­way is also the first im­pres­sion inside the home, the room that sets the tone for the rest of the space. Think of your en­try as your very own three-di­men­sional wel­come mat (but much more chic, of course). It’s well-trav­elled, but most peo­ple don’t spend much time there once inside.

So how do you ap­proach dec­o­rat­ing an en­try­way that’s both heavy traf­fic and high speed? With high­im­pact dec­o­ra­tive ac­cents that set a stylish tone and well-ap­pointed vi­gnettes that say hello from the inside. Whether your en­try is a for­mal foyer or a mod­i­fied mud room, it’s all about putting to­gether fur­ni­ture, decor, rugs and light­ing that cre­ate wow fac­tor right when you walk in the front door.

Get ready to greet guests in style.

Up­grade your wel­come mat

OK, so maybe the ac­tual first im­pres­sion for your home is the front door. But a few knocks later, the view through the open door is just as im­por­tant. One sim­ple, stylish swap we’d rec­om­mend is right at your feet. Up­grade your wel­come mat with an an­tique rug that sets a clas­sic, worldly tone. But we’re not all fash­ion over func­tion; the rug’s well-worn ap­peal will also keep the first few foot­steps in the home from feel­ing too pre­cious.

Play with scale

Large and over­size art al­ways sets a chic tone.

“It’s all about cre­at­ing in­ter­est­ing vi­gnettes while play­ing with scale,” de­signer Wendy Black­band says.

In­vest­ing in the per­fect state­ment piece pulls to­gether a dra­matic en­try­way that leaves a last­ing im­pres­sion.

Em­brace fash­ion and func­tion

In any en­try­way, it’s im­por­tant to lead guests in with a mix of in­ter­est­ing decor and de­sign el­e­ments that ex­tend floor to ceil­ing.

“An­chor the smaller space with a rug that can han­dle the traf­fic and main­tain its orig­i­nal charm for years to come,” sug­gests de­signer Amanda Barnes.

Lighten up

For a fash­ion­able, quick fix in a small space, con­sider swap­ping out light­ing in an en­try­way, as de­signer Brady Tol­bert did in his own home. A chic chan­de­lier or pen­dant light can be truly trans­for­ma­tive with­out the risk of clut­ter.

Step out­side the or­di­nary

Some­times, the key to nail­ing a for­mal in­tro­duc­tion is to be dis­arm­ingly charm­ing. En­try­ways are no dif­fer­ent; in a more for­mal foyer, try adding per­son­al­ity with un­ex­pected art. Af­ter all, it’s al­ways more in­ter­est­ing when invit­ing guests inside ac­tu­ally means step­ping out­side the or­di­nary.

Have a seat

A sim­ple way to make guests feel at home is to have a seat po­si­tioned promi­nently in your en­try­way. Benches and chairs alike pro­vide a prac­ti­cal op­por­tu­nity to sit down while putting on or tak­ing off shoes (or to sim­ply take a load off for a few mo­ments).

En­try seat­ing can also be eas­ily ac­ces­sorized with throw pil­lows and plants that show­case your per­sonal style as a pre­view of the rest of the home.

Take the op­por­tu­nity to re­flect

Work­ing with a smaller space? Shan­non Wol­lack of Cal­i­for­nia de­sign firm Stu­dio LIFE.STYLE. says mir­rors “can help make smaller en­tries feel big­ger.” And with mir­rors of all shapes and sizes avail­able, there’s no short­age of op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­flec­tion. Be­sides, it never hurts to take one last op­por­tu­nity to en­sure you look your best on your way out the door.

Let the details speak for them­selves

If less-is-more style is your thing, in­vest in a few small details that shine brightly. In the all-white en­try stair­well shown here, the min­i­mal­ist ap­proach to decor lets the tile de­tail speak for it­self. The high­con­trast re­sult is sim­ple, chic and down­right stun­ning.

Draw the eyes up

An en­try­way is a per­fect op­por­tu­nity to show off high ceil­ings and other ar­chi­tec­tural details that cre­ate a grand en­trance. Don’t be afraid to em­brace a com­bi­na­tion of geo­met­ric shapes, lines and curves to lead the eye around the room in a ma­jor wow mo­ment.

Mix it up

A con­sole ta­ble is a clas­sic choice for adorn­ing an en­try­way with a few chic pieces and a lit­tle bit of sur­face area to set keys or mail (or a host­ess gift, should we be so lucky!). But where does one start when styling a con­sole vi­gnette?

“Al­ways re­mem­ber the rule of threes, es­pe­cially for an en­try­way mo­ment,” in­structs de­signer Jenn Feld­man, cit­ing a few ex­am­ples on how to mix heights and tex­tures on an en­try ta­ble. “An in­ter­est­ing lamp, catch-all tray and a flo­ral ar­range­ment; a sculp­tural ob­ject on a stack of books next to a photo frame.”

Give your best friends a warm wel­come

If you’re plan­ning to do your share of host­ing and en­ter­tain­ing this spring and sum­mer, a warm and invit­ing (and fo­cused) neu­tral pal­ette is a great way to wel­come guests. Nat­u­ral wood tones and neu­tral rugs are the per­fect com­bi­na­tion for greet­ing, en­ter­tain­ing and bid­ding an end-of-the-evening farewell to best friends.


In the all-white en­try stair­well shown here, the min­i­mal­ist ap­proach to decor lets the tile de­tail speak for it­self. The high-con­trast re­sult is sim­ple, chic and down­right stun­ning.

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