Although it may be a small part of the big picture, a home's entryway is an important room. This is the first room that greets you—and your guests!—on arrival, and it can set the tone for your home’s style and feel. An entryway that is crowded with junk mail, winter coats, shopping bags and enough shoes to fill the bottom of a closet is sure to make a bad impression on guests—and is sure to increase your stress level before you even make it in the door. Although each space is different, and how you design it is up to personal taste, here are five key elements to good entryway design.
No entryway is complete without a table of some kind. If you want to keep your dining table and kitchen counters clear of junk mail (and if you want to be able to find your keys at a moment’s notice), then a table is key to a good entry. Top it with baskets for holding keys, cell phones, loose change and anything else that might come out of your pocket. An entry table is also the perfect place to set up a home mail processing center.
Although we would all love to have an uncluttered, minimalist entry, this image is far from being conducive to our lifestyles. As the home’s main entrance and exit point, the typical entryway is filled with a collection of odds-and-ends: shoes, scarves and hats, dog leashes, shopping bags and more. Look at the items that usually end up in your entryway and think about how you can best corral them. Hooks for coats and scarves and baskets for shoes and gloves are a good place to start.
Most entryways are narrow. Adding a mirror can help open the space up by bouncing around light and reflecting the space, making it feel larger. (It’s also handy to have a mirror for last-minute touch-ups to your hair, makeup and general appearance as you head out the door.) Learn more about decorating with mirrors.
Unless you want to stumble around in the dark every time you come home, lighting is crucial to your entry, whether that means a single pendant above the door, sconces on the wall, a lamp on the table or mood-setting track lighting.
Seating is also crucial to a good entryway, primarily for putting on and taking off shoes. If your entryway is short on space, look for a bench that can slide under the table, above the storage bins.
For more on creating a personalized, organized entryway for your home, check out the article "First Impressions" from our March/April 2012 issue.