Considering that it’s the first thing people see upon entering your home, it’s funny that many of us put our entryways last on our home decorating priority lists. It’s not until the packages are piled up, the shoes are scattered, and the keys are missing that we finally realize that this one area of our house could be making our lives so much better. And with the right furniture, decor, and organization, it can look beautiful too. Think getting this space right is as simple as buying a console table? Think again. The ideal entryway is one that fits both the space and your lifestyle. Keep reading for 7 factors to consider before you get to work on yours.

1. Stick to the classics.

Nothing feels more “appropriate” for an entryway than a slim table pressed against the wall, with some carefully placed decor items on top of and around it. Decorative books, a lamp, some art, a floral arrangement — they’re all there to add visual interest and distract from the less attractive key rings, dog leashes, and mail piles. While this arrangement is certainly a tempting default, be sure to take your space into account — a lightweight table can feel shrimpy against a long wall with high ceilings.


2. Make it a statement.

If your entryway is too tight to allow for furniture, why not dress your walls up for a first impression that’s just as exciting? In this whimsical New York apartment, the owner added paint, trim and decorative wallpaper to folding doors to bring her personal style to a space that might otherwise sit blank.

3. Make it work for you.

Ask yourself: what do you need? If it’s cubbies, hooks, baskets and benches, nothing is more functional than a mudroom for a family on the go. All that’s needed to bring this look into your own home is an empty wall and just enough depth to allow for some built-in storage. We love this space for its thoughtful touches, like a bulletin board, chest-high drawers, and a vintage runner.


4. Make it makeshift.

The good thing about hooks by your front door? An instant catch-all for your handbags, hats, and shopping totes. The bad thing about hooks by your front door? An instant catch-all for your handbags, hats, and shopping totes. Still, we can’t get enough of this practical piece in our homes to keep the clutter contained, much like in Serena Mitnik Miller’s Malibu home pictured above. Even if you don’t have a bonafide entryway, a well-placed hook give you the benefit of a mudroom at a sliver of the cost.


5. Have a fine art moment.

Fancy yourself a minimalist? In lieu of an entryway that does the absolute most, you might opt for something with quite a bit more restraint. In Scott Parks’ Mid-Century Dallas condo, a delicate statue atop a pedestal creates a gallery-like dramatic moment for visitors as soon as they walk through the front door.

6. We always love a bench.

Kick your shoes off underneath it or throw your handbag down on top of it, either way, you’ll love having this low-profile piece of furniture by your front door. More affordable than that Mid-Century credenza you’ve been eyeing, yet equally equipped to offer a temporary home for your belongings and show off a few of your favorite items. Just take it from Kate Zimmerman’s perfectly appointed Sunday house.

7. Show off your collections.

Larger homes often come with larger entryways, and all that space usually means your front door area can be less function, and more form. A classical arrangement is a round table in the center of a foyer, topped with beautiful items like over-the-top florals, stacks to books, and items from a favorite collection. Yvette Leigheber has her seashells on display in her French-inspired home.

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Justin Coit