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6 Essentials for your Entryway

We started talking about entryways at the beginning of February (read that post on decluttering and organizing here) and I’m back to take you through the essentials for this space.

The entryway has to meet so many needs. It is where we greet friends and family, it welcomes us home, it sends us off into the world. It only makes sense to decorate your entryway to be a welcoming and joyful area.

But if it just looks pretty and you don’t have a place to set down your stuff, it’s going to be a mess all the time. Think about your lifestyle and how your family lives and build the entryway around that and then think about how to make the space beautiful and full of personality.

As with every room in your home, I ask you to think about how you want this space to feel? And how do you want to feel in this space?

And one more question which is SO important: What story do you want to tell? This is the introduction to your home, so show it off well. Your entrance should not simply be a utilitarian space for storing shoes and coats. Your entrance should reflect who you are as a family.

Cup of Jo
This is a great example of Ikea shoe cabinets as the base of storage in this long, yet very personal and stylish entryway.

Start with storage. If you have a family this is the most important thing to think about and get right. Storage is the groundwork in the entryway. Once you get this right then you can add all the personality on top of it. It’s ideal if your storage can be beautiful, but it’s more important that it’s practical. The goal is to have a space for all the shoes and coats and umbrellas and bags. If you need to source a simple yet utilitarian storage vessel from Ikea or or another big box store, go for it. Know that you can add plenty of other elements to the space to make it come alive.

The tray on this table looks so well-styled and has receptacles for glasses, keys, phones, loose change.

Creative catchalls. Baskets, big and small, and trays are essential in this area of your home. Use baskets for scarves and hats in the winter and flip flops and sunscreen in the summer. Trays are perfect for men’s wallets, keys, glasses. Don’t forget about catchalls on the wall like a place to hang keys. There are so many inexpensive accessories of this type that there’s no excuse for boring or ugly 😉 This is one way to make the space both beautiful and practical.

via Flickr
Even a narrow space can provide for a mirror, console table with trays and baskets.

Mirror. I like to have a full length mirror near the door so I can check myself head to toe before I leave, but any mirror will do. And a mirror can make a great statement piece. If you don’t have space above a table or dresser, try a flat full length mirror behind a door or on the wall adjacent to the entrance door.

One lamp or a pair are the perfect addition to a console table or dresser.

Lighting. I can say this about every space in your home: lighting is crucial. First of all because lamps can be so beautiful and such a fantastic design element to a space, but also because lighting itself sets the mood in your home. It’s useful to have a bright overhead light in an entryway so everyone can find their shoes and necessities in the morning, but it’s also wonderful to have soft light here to welcome guests in the evening. Add dimmers or Philips Smart light bulbs to your overhead lights if possible and add a table lamp if you have the space.

Rug. This is often overlooked in an entryway and yet such an easy way to add warmth, texture, color and style to a space. I always suggest using an outdoor rug in the entry because they are so amazingly easy to clean. I have had an outdoor rug in my entryway for more than three years and it looks perfect. I have never done anything more than vacuum and shake it out. But know that you can scrub it (I do this to the outdoor rug in my kitchen when my kids spill berry smoothies on it) or even hose down an outdoor rug (I do this to my outdoor rug that I keep on my terrace all year round) and they really do come clean this way. Westwing Now is a great source for this type of rug, you can find them here.

Personality. Art, family photos, color or wallpaper on the wall, statement pieces, something quirky. This is where you start to tell the story of you and your family – your tastes, your interests and your life. Your entryway should look like no one else’s. Please don’t forget this part. Imagine the photo above with six pairs of kids shoes strewn in front of the console (can and will happen to the best of us). The space would still be glorious, just a bit messy. A glorious mess beats a boring mess any day, hands down.

Enjoy the rest of the month and I will see you back here in March for the next theme of A Year of Details: we’re heading into the kitchen!

If you feel you need extra help in your entryway or anywhere else in your home, check out my design packages here and feel free to get in touch. I also do E-design so we don’t even have to live in the same city!



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