How To Design a Great Entry Way

When you walk into a home for the first time, it's like opening a book, and the entryway is that critical first page, where the words either draw you in or drive you away from the rest of the home. Today's interior designers are getting inspiration from the past.

When you walk into a home for the first time, it’s like opening a book, and the entryway is that critical first page, where the words either draw you in or drive you away from the rest of the home. Today’s interior designers are getting inspiration from the past. 


(see above pic) The opposite of the foyer, this area is the essence of breeze and breadth. The modern atrium is painted in fresh, luminous colors that absorb the day’s sun paired with natural slate tiles or lighter wood floor treatments and stains. Other features include a skylight in the center of the ceiling, a dramatic stained-glass window, and hand-crafted bench running the length of the wall for people to remove their shoes before entering the home.


Credit: Wayne Design Group

A concept popularized in the 1950s to denote the area of suburban homes where residents removed their muddy clothes before entering the main living space. Now, a more modern take includes an independent room separated by a secondary entryway, such as a glass door or sliding barn door with metal wall mounts. The floor is lined with easy-clean tile patterned to resemble wood and includes creative storage units like woven baskets and recycled crates to contain dirty clothes, sports equipment, and shoes.


Edinburgh Castle has a huge fireplace in the entrance hall. 

An 18th century French term meaning “fireplace,” this was originally the area in a theater or home where the air of the fireplace was “locked” in place. Therefore, the modern foyer is the embodiment of warmth and comfort achieved by painting the ceiling a darker hue, draped with a soft fabric pulled upward and centered with a mounted chandelier. Furniture should be cozy and functional paired with an antique vanity, tall vertical mirror and bold runner leading into the rest of the home.

Cloakroom / Cloak Area 

This space may call to mind images of Downton Abbey, minus the servants bell board. The modern-day cloakroom is both functional and stylish, providing a place to store coats and jackets with whimsical wall hooks and woven baskets, hat racks and wooden wardrobes, antique trunks and closets built-in.

Entrance Hall

Credit: The Telegraph

Here, the entryway is akin to a reception area, a designated space for guests to wait your arrival. This area encapsulates hospitality, charm, and courtesy, furnished with comfortable seating, an old fashioned bar cart stocked with fresh mint water, a reachable console with art books and magazines, wall hooks to remove outerwear and bags, pleasant lighting, and a bold centrally placed mirror for that last outfit check before coming and going.

Go Your Own Entryway

There are countless ways to break the conventional entryway mold and define your own unique space. Here you have an open floor plan that flows directly from the front door to the main area of the home, a blank canvass to do any of the following:

Mini Art Gallery

Install crown molding, picture hooks and mantel lights to showcase your favorite art and use a bold runner to guide guests into the rest of the home.

Mini Library

Use the entryway or space under the stairs as a cozy reading nook with built-in bookshelves, recessed lighting, and a snug armchair.

Entry Wall

Credit: Bowerbird

Paint one of the entry walls in a different accent color or pattern, funky wallpaper, or replace the drywall with shiplap to create a dramatic focal point to feature photographs, artwork, quirky collectibles, cuckoo clocks, antique tools, and oversized mirrors. Also, with neutral walls consider painting the ceiling a bold color, pattern, or texture like tin tiles or leather slates.

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