When you were young, you mother or grandmother likely told you that first impressions mattered. As it turns out, this saying not only applies to your personal demeanor but also to your home — and in both cases, you only get once chance to make a good one. Whether you’re welcoming a new friend, hosting long-lost relatives for the holidays, or simply receiving a package delivery, your entryway decor is the first glimpse people have into your home, which many perceive to be a reflection of your personality.
Making a Stylish Entrance
You can call it a foyer, hang a garish crystal chandelier overhead, line the walls with satin, and even burn aromatherapy candles in your entryway, if you feel like it — but only if that style is similarly reflected throughout the rest of your home. If you’re a person who’s a little more low-key and leans more towards making visitors feel welcome and comfortable, the front of your home should exude hospitality and relaxation.
Even if your entryway is small, a chair or low-profile bench is sure to add a welcome touch. A simple straight-backed chair with a lightly padded seat is ideal, as is a low-slung bench around 14 inches tall. Both are perfect for putting on or taking off shoes and boots, giving dates a place to cool their heels and compose themselves, sitting down while waiting for a ride, and providing a convenient place to stash purses and backpacks.
Cluttered entryways make people fidgety and nervous. For that reason, you’ll want to avoid making the mistake of stuffing yours with plants and gewgaws that take up precious floor space. You should also keep it completely free of kids toys. A coat closet is ideal for holding your outerwear and umbrellas, but a line of coat hooks and a simple round receptacle will just as easily organize things and instill a sense of order in smaller spaces. If you have room for a coat rack, get one. It’ll keep your coats and umbrellas nice and tidy in a single place. Boots and shoes can be kept on a wide wooden two-step stool, and keys and gloves can be picked up and dropped off on a conveniently-placed wall shelf.
Let There Be Light
Just not too much light. A floor lamp equipped with a soft glow bulb creates a welcoming ambiance when demurely posed in the corner. Overhead lights on dimmer switches also work well. Avoid brash lighting that makes visitors feel like they’re being interrogated or burns so intensely it makes the entryway feel hot. You should also steer clear of table lamps, which can easily be toppled by a rogue coat or an unsteady toddler. Make the most of any nearby windows you might have by allowing natural light to filter through them and fill the space on bright, sunny days.
Foyer Floor Plans
Even if it’s covered in inlaid tile from a tiny village in Italy, you’ll find a rug to be an essential part of your entryway’s decor. Rugs add warmth and texture to living areas and prevent dirt from being tracked through other rooms. Choose a natural fabric in a soothing earth tone to recall the entryways of old, and make sure it has a good backing to keep it in place and prevent slips and falls.
Table For One
Before furniture companies started making specialized pieces for every nook and cranny of the home, small occasional tables were all the rage. Ranging in styles from three to four legs, round to square, rectangular to hexagonal, these tables nicely fit in tight corners and were typically topped with a simple dish of wrapped hard candies, a single pillar candle, or a diminutive figurine. Some contemporary furniture makers still produce a limited selection of these tables, but you’ll find the most charming styles at antique stores.
When It Comes to Decor, Personality is Key
It goes without saying that personality is the most important part of any great decor. We’ve all visited homes that are beautifully designed and decorated with fine art, top-of-the-line furnishings, and lush floor coverings. But when you survey the surroundings, do you honestly feel like you know anything about the person who lives there?
Adding personality to your entryway doesn’t mean covering the walls with pictures of your kids and dogs or hanging up corny plaques you bought in a turnpike coffee shop. The trick is to be subtle but interesting. Make people wonder enough to ask a question or two. Consider framing a pair of old tickets to your favorite Broadway show or concert. Place a unique family heirloom like a military medal or antique necklace up on a shelf by itself. Anything that inspires conversation or sparks the imagination will definitely make your entryway immediately interesting to all who pass through it.
Whatever items you choose to decorate your entryway with, you should never forget that they can always be changed to reflect seasons, holidays, and simple spur-of-the-moment whims. That rule applies to all the decor in your home. Changing things up now and then is not only good, it’s necessary!