How to Create a Welcoming Entryway

October 17, 2018

Don’t discount the entryway with staging, even if it’s tight on space. It’s the first area that potential buyers see as they walk in the front door. It’s your chance to make them feel welcome and fall in love with the home instantly. The entryway is also a high-traffic area, so it needs to be functional, too—a ready place for muddy boots, wet umbrellas, and shoes.

“Entryways set a tone for the rest of the home,” Aimee Lagos, who co-founded Hygge & West, a wallpaper and home-goods company, told The New York Times. “It’s the first thing you see when you enter and the last thing you see when you leave.”

The New York Times recently asked interior designers for their best tips on enhancing a front entryway, whether it’s big or small. Here are a few of their tips:

Make it functional.

“While you want your entryway to make a visual impact, functionality is also important,” Anne Chessin, an interior designer based in New York and Fairfield, Conn., told The New York Times. “You need a place to put your keys, mail, coat, and shoes.” She likes to use a dramatic light mixture, hang a mirror so you can check your reflection before you leave, add a console table for keys and mail, and hang colorful art or wallpaper.

A vase silhouetted in an entryway

MUmland - Morguefile

Splurge where it’s needed.

Chessin suggests splurging on an investment or statement piece and saving on accessories. For example, she recently splurged on a walnut console table, making it the biggest item in the entryway, and then saved by adding a fresh coat of paint and lower-cost accessories, including a mirror and vases. She also suggests picking budget-friendly options when it comes to a runner or area rug because it’ll get a lot of wear and tear in the entryway.

Stage it.

Lagos and fellow co-founder Christina Coop offer a vignette in their new book, Hygge & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life: Hang a rounded mirror above a minimalist seating area with a tufted bench and add a patterned kilim pillow for a splash of color—in a shade such as red or blue—to keep the area from being too neutral. On the opposite wall, hang a row of hooks for coats and hats.

Take into account the architecture and overall home’s style.

The entryway is setting the tone and should mix in well with the rest of the house. It shouldn’t look like a stand-alone space, but the perfect lead-in and introduction to what else potential buyers will see as they tour the house. CeCe Barfield Thompson, an interior designer in Manhattan, told The New York Times she used an entry door’s color, Prussian Blue lacquer, throughout the home too. “The door stands out at the end of the hallway and also creates a strong connection to the other rooms in the home,” Thompson told The New York Times. “For the walls, we chose a white Venetian plaster with a reflective quality, to give it light and serve as a neutral palette for rooms stemming off the entry.”

View more tips and photos in enhancing a front entryway at The New York Times.

Making an Entrance,” The New York Times (Oct. 16, 2018)