Bailiwick Interior Design


Tips To Create a Welcoming Entryway

When we think about redecorating or decorating in general, we think of living spaces, kitchens, and bathrooms, but not much about the entrance way of our home. Your entranceway is your first impression to those entering and should receive just as much attention as those other spaces. Whether you call it your entrance way, foyer, or main hall, it's basically space right inside your front door.

Below are a few tips and ideas to get you started on creating a fabulous entrance to your home. Keep in mind how you use your space and how you would like it to function. Knowing this going into the project will help you get to the finish line much faster.

The Floor -

If you have hard surface flooring in your foyer a gorgeous area rug can add texture and a pop of your personality. Believe it or not, the placement and size of this area rug are often the cause of great angst for homeowners - this is where function and beauty can be at odds. You should first consider some sort of smaller doormat right inside your front door that can catch the dirt that people's shoes drag in. You might not need this at all times, but it's sure nice to have for nasty weather conditions. I suggest making this workhorse the same color as the floor itself so it blends and visually goes away. Always make sure your door clears the surface of any added rug or mat!

This is a situation where you definitely need to think outside of your "symmetrical self" - the best placement for your rug may not be centered in the middle of your foyer. Look at all the aspects of the space and play with various shapes, sizes and orientations for your area rug. I've even made paper templates for clients who are having trouble seeing the big picture.

Light Source -

Lighting can be one of the most important additions to your foyer. This is your opportunity to create warmth while directing focus to your wall art and decor. A great option is an oversized lantern or even better, a beautiful chandelier. One common mistake I see is that homeowners hang their light too high and it loses the welcoming effect of proper foyer lighting. (I've seen this mistake made most often when people are trying to center their light fixture on a large two-story foyer window.) Oh - and be sure to always add a dimmer to your light, so you can change the mood or use it as a night light for guests.

Walls -

Deciding on paint or wallpaper for your entranceway can be tricky, as typically these walls continue into other areas of the home. I like to choose a more neutral wall color for these expansive walls and then go to accent walls for smaller wall space. The wall area around a front door is a great spot for this bolder color! Wallpaper adds color and drama in a space that usually relies on an area rug for this design element. A trick I like to use is to create a framed wallpaper panel that contains the wallpaper so I don't feel the need to continue the design over an entire oversized wall or hallway.

Furnishings -

Furniture may be a problem if you have a small space, but you would be surprised with what you can do even with a smaller foyer. Whatever you do, do not clutter the space. Take into account possible storage piece that you can incorporate into your decorative style. Some of the most popular and functional pieces you can add to your foyer would be a table, dresser or bench. Make sure these pieces are functional - a place to throw your keys, gloves or umbrellas - or just somewhere to sit and put on your boots!

Accessorize -

Now the fun part. You have the wall, floor, lighting and furniture in place. Now to add those finishing touches. This is where you can truly add your own personality. Popular accessory ideas for your entranceway are:

  • Large art piece
  • Wall of family photos (but not too many!)
  • Large mirror
  • Dish for personal items
  • Baskets
  • Pillows or upholstered seat cushions for chair or benches
  • Floral arrangement
  • Table lamps (think about adding an outlet if needed, it's often easier than you think!)
  • Books
  • Candles
  • Indoor Tree (floor or hall tree)

Take a look at the entrance to your home and decide if it is a welcoming place for your guests and speaks of your individual personality and style! If not, I can help you make it happen!


Carrie Oesmann