If you could describe your household in a single paragraph, what would it say? What is the basic gist of the colors, energies, lifestyle and values of the people who live there? Now, take a look at your entryway. Is there anything of that paragraph inherent in your entryway design?
Your Entryway Is an Overarching Snapshot of Your Home
In my mind, the perfect entryway is one that not only looks great, and welcomes visitors – it also serves as a single snapshot of your entire home. Not only should its style serve as a precursor to what comes next, the mood, energy and features should reflect the people, creatures and beloved furnishings that call your household Home.
Here are some ideas for creating not just the “perfect entryway” – but for creating the perfect entryway for your home.
Brighten it Up. Even if you are partial to darker shades, the entryway is a place for a little lighter and brighter palette. You want guests to get a burst of energy as they walk in, so use lighter shades that complement your darker interior palettes. That way, the first impression isn’t gloomy or cave-like. If your entryway lacks natural light, consider adding a solar tube or skylight. Change the light fixture out for one that has more reflective or refractive qualities – perhaps a metallic or glass chandelier, for example, that will maximize the light.
Add a Mirror. Speaking of reflective qualities, it’s a rare entryway that isn’t dressed up by a mirror. In addition to enhancing illumination and making a smaller or more narrow space feel larger, it’s nice to give guests a space to take a peek and fix any stray hairs or wardrobe mishaps that may have taken place between their car and your doorstep. Similarly, on the way out, it gives women a spot to reapply lipstick or for men to adjust their coats and ties before heading to their next destination. Again, choose a mirror with a frame that somehow ties into other furnishings in the main living spaces.
Create Interior Design Echoes. Look around at your interior and see if it is echoed by your entryway. Are there similar lines or shapes? What about textures and fabric? Is the entryway formal while the rest of your home is casual? If the entryway isn’t an echo of your home, it can create a disconnect of sorts. Find ways to repeat basic design principles as well as specific motifs, so the entryway resonates with the rest of your design.
Add Personal Touches. Sometimes, people fear that adding personal touches will take away from their “picture perfect” entryway. Quite the contrary. The entryway of this Suburban Oasis in San Francisco is a prime example of why personalization matters. These homeowners hired me to create a transitional design in their new home. The entryway is striking with its high ceilings and fun mish-mash of arches and angles. However, all that open space, combined with a cool color palette and hard surface flooring could easily have come across as stark and modern. Instead, we installed two colorful pots with indoor plants (literally adding life to the space) as well as gorgeous shelves that are laden with family keepsakes and more greenery. It completely changed the energy of space.
Consider adding seating. If you have the space for it, it’s nice to add some seating options. The easiest and most space-saving way to do this is to use a bench that can run along the wall. Not only does it give people a chance to sit down to add/remove shoes or boots, it also gives you a place to display some fun art or collectibles, and provides a spot where guests can place their purses or bags – just be careful that it doesn’t become a clutter catchall.
Once you’ve run through this entryway checklist, the space is bound to be a more personalized and stylish entryway than it was before.