Entryway- where there is no way!

Everyone loves the grand entrance of a Foyer. That room that has been waiting for you to arrive. The one that greets you and shakes your hand. Where Scarlett O’Hara is cascading down her curved stairs and making herself known to her guests. The room where you get a feeling of the whole house and all that awaits you…..

Not every home has the luxury of a Foyer. But every home, house, and the small apartment has an Entryway. And just because you don’t have a formal room, doesn’t mean that you don’t need a landing spot when you get home.

Here are 5 ways to look at Decorating Small Entryways. Even when there seems no way!


The Rancher

I used to have a foyer in my 1960’s Ranch house before I gutted it and tore down all the walls. So when you open my front doors, you are dropped into the main part of my house.  I have a mudroom from my garage entrance that is our main drop zone for shoes, coats, etc., but I had to put some thought into my guests entering my home.

Step outside and walk back through your front door. How are you welcomed? Does everything in the room have it’s back towards you? Or are there greeters? Sound silly? Make sure there are things in your entry that are facing the front door or at least both sides.

The rancher is a console table anchored behind a sofa. It is a hard worker because he serves the people lounging as well as the ones entering in the room. He gives a tip of his hat and says, "Howdy!"



THe Studio

When dealing with an apartment or small condo, sometimes the best spot is around the corner. The studio entrance picks a corner of the first room you come upon and says, “I’m hanging out right here. This is my jam.” Since this is usually the way everyone enters your home, it has to function as your home’s greeting card and your essential drop zone.

A small chest with mirror to check yourself before stepping out. Place a tray for keys and mail. Have a storage cabinet or table with baskets that can hold frequent returns, donations, or whatever else you might need to take with you. An umbrella stand is also handy in these main entrance rooms.



The close wave

Have you ever walked in a house and you are greeted with a wall? This may feel like a cold stop, but if it is done well, it can be a close wave welcoming you in.

Lighting brings warmth to this rather weird area. Having a plant or flower in your entry way says, “I know it doesn’t look like much, but life happens here.” Art placement and selection can also give a preview to your home and you as the homeowner.  A table with architectural interest can be like a piece of art on  it's own. Instead of ignoring this wall, make it a snap shot of your home.



the straight shooter

Some apartments or small homes have a basic hallway entrance. For those entrances you have to find creative ways to use one or both sides of the hall without crowding your walkway.

Use a mirror to open up your hallway and brighten your path. Add a long rug to give the hall texture. Hang some floating shelves or make a gallery wall. Place hooks for keys and your bag. Hallways are perfect opportunities to create the mood for your home. And while it may seem like a tunnel you can tell a story to your guests as they walk in. Hallways are rooms begging to be counted. (OOOH I can see another blog post coming about that)


the stair---you dead in the face

Then there is the very popular stair holder. The house that opens right into a staircase. Anyone that studies Feng Shui will tell you that your home’s energy goes right out the door and that it creates a negative energy. But everyone knows that this was developed by a builder up North who thought the best way to slide out into the snow, was to start at the top of the stairs! 

There is a way to pull some positive energy back into your home. First let’s talk balance for a minute. That staircase is visually heavy and needs you to balance it out. Try placing a mirror, even a floor mirror if you can to command some presence. Even in the smallest Entryway or Foyer there is vertical space to drive the attention away from the stairs and balance it out.

Use a floor plant by the mirror to give a height variance. Then carry your guests in with a stair holder. You know the one. He is the guy that anchors himself to the stair well and pulls you into the home. A bench or sette can grace the staircase. Paired with a small table for light and landing, Even though this entryway is spread out, they all work together.

The Entryway is essential to your home. Even if you have a second entrance, make sure to put some thought into how people are seeing your space and what is greeting them when they walk into your home.


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p.s. here are some tables that inspired my sketches. check them out!