Designing Your Entry (the magic of the entry is you)

The magic begins before you ever open the front door, but today we are focusing on what awaits one just inside the door.  The perfect entryway is the window to your home or your business or your life.  As a re result, this first impression should reflect you.

The entry or entry hall may be one of the smaller rooms but it is one of the most important.  Or, it may be a large, grand statement.   It is the first impression you make…it is the first room that is seen…it sets the stage for initial opinions.  It is also a very functional space.  So it should be very welcoming.  It might be soft and gentle; it might be contemporary and engaging; or, it might be wild!

Regardless of style, there are several basic ideas to consider:

  1. Color is the first impression.  Select carefully a color palette that well-represents you and that transitions well into all rooms that open off the entryway.  Determine your core colors upon which you will base the entire space.  It might be one color for a monochromatic approach or three colors that enhance your final delivery.

It is time to think walls, flooring, ceiling.

2.  The flooring of the entryway should be selected to withstand the expected traffic, ranging from wood to tile to cork to carpet.   Once the primary flooring choice is made, don’t forget to strategically place the entry rug.  This first rug has a solid purpose:  collect everything crossing the threshold that should immediately stop upon entry.   Additional rugs are for décor.

 3.  The lighting should be designed in layers. First, good lighting for secure entering is necessary.  This might be a simple overhead light or a grand chandelier – it must flood the space with light when necessary.  To easily adjust the “feel” of this overarching lighting, a rheostat works wonders.  To further adjust the feel, space permitting, it is nice to have either wall sconces or table lamps as the second layer of light for the entry.

 4.  Introduce furniture based upon available floor space. Remember, this is the entry…leave room to entry.  It is nice to have a space to sit to tie a shoe or remove a muddy boot:

 A flat surface beside a table lamp is also enjoyed by those who enter with something in their hands.    Depending how formal the entry, a guest book or a business card dish might be present.

5.  Corralling shoes, warps, mittens, etc. can be challenging. Some entries have the perfect closet, while others have none.  If there is no closet, consider hooks or pegs or be prepared to place these items into another room.  But, above all, the entry is not the space for clutter.   If you intend to leave your keys upon entry, you need a hook or a small dish specifically for the keys.Call it old fashioned, but an umbrella stand can certainly save your flooring from water drips and damage.

 6.  A critical item that is often over looked is the mirror. A quick glance upon entering or just before departing is always appreciated.

7.  If the space is large enough to host a table, a settee, books, plants, etc., by all means enjoy the additional decorating challenge. If the entry hosts a set of stairs, never – absolutely never, store/place anything on the stairs!

 The entry creates the first impression and is also the last impression.  Make the entry functional, as well as inviting. And, make sure it is not a “catch all” space.