How to Decorate Your Home’s Entryway

Make an entrance that stands out and welcomes

Pottery Barn’s Norfolk Bench has a perfect surface for stashing your stuff

Welcome visitors and residents alike into your home with a stylish and functional entryway

The entryway is the one part of your home that every visitor sees. It’s also one of the highest-traffic areas in the home – a catch-all for shoes, jackets, mail, keys – and too often, clutter. Read on for seven simple ways to make a better entrance.

1. Dress up your door. You’ve already entered your home, but that doesn’t mean the inside of your door doesn’t deserve attention. If your door is a ho-hum type of wood, consider giving it some oomph with a couple coats of paint in a shade that complements your walls and flooring. Our choice: Farrow & Ball’s Manor House Grey. Grey is the new neutral, and this shade strikes the right balance in both contemporary and traditional homes.

2. Wake up your walls. Long, narrow hallway? Think: gallery. This is the perfect place to hang a collection of family portraits or that triptych you haven’t found a home for. Just remember the rule: Hang artwork at eye level. Add a mirror to the mix so you can check your appearance after you doff your hat.

3. Focus on your floor. The area immediately inside your home is a high-traffic zone, and muddy boots and spiky stilettos can wreak havoc on hardwood. Consider creating a shoe-on/shoe-off space with durable marble or terrazzo tiles. Too decadent? Opt for honed slate or ceramic tiles that mimic the look of wood. You can also add an area rug that suits your home’s esthetic.  

4. Light it right. No one wants to fumble around in a dark entryway, so lighting is key. Go for glamour with a chandelier or super-chic pendant. And don’t forget the walls. Sconces work wonders at night, when you’re trying to sneak in late and can’t bear the overhead glare. Plus there are plenty of contemporary choices.

5. Stash your stuff. Keys, cellphones, mail … a surface for stashing your stuff is essential. Armoires, credenzas and consoles add form and function. Top with a leather tray or ceramic bowl for corralling keys and change. Our pick: Pottery Barn’s Norfolk Bench (pictured above). Remember, it is an entrance, so make a statement with a vase of fresh-cut flowers or an objet d’art.

6. Take a stand. Hats up high and umbrellas down low. It’s a simple solution for those items you forget to grab before heading outside. The bonus? Wet hats and umbrellas last longer when stored smartly. (And who wants those drips on the floor anyway?) No room in the coat closet? Hang some sturdy hooks on the wall or make room for a fun free-standing coat rack.

7. Have a seat. A place to drop your purse, or a perch for pulling off boots? Both! A cozy chair or sturdy bench (find one that does double duty with storage space) is a welcome addition to any entranceway. People often buy chairs in pairs, so it’s easy to skip over that solo steal. No more! Find a retro gem or reupholster a fab flea market find.