As the first space guests see when they walk through your front door, an entryway is arguably the most important room in your house. “It really sets the tone for the entire home,” says Carrie Ingalls of Ambiance Home Staging. Whether you’re throwing a party, hosting out-of-town guests, or conducting a showing, make a good first impression with these seven tips for creating a welcoming foyer.
Create curb appeal.
“A welcoming entryway starts at the curb,” says Ingalls. Accessorize your porch with décor that matches your front door or trim accents, such as Adirondack chairs styled with pillows that add a pop of color, or planters that you can switch out seasonally. This “makes it look inviting.”
Consider the layout.
Your entryway should feel styled but not cramped. “Think about how the door opens up. You don’t want it bumping into furniture,” says Janet Lawrence of Set To Show, recommending at least 36 inches of walkway space. Where your eye lands when the door opens also determines your focal point, the area where you’ll want to focus your decorating.
Think about function.
Function and fashion are equally important when it comes to your entryway. If space allows, add a console table where you can drop keys or mail, or a bench for putting on and removing shoes. Place hooks nearby to hang guests’ coats when you entertain.
Hang eye-catching artwork.
Reflect your style and personality by hanging artwork above your entryway table that incorporates colors found throughout your home. If you’re unsure about the appropriate size, “a good rule of thumb is that an art piece should occupy about 75 percent of the width of the table,” says Kristina Leone of Lionheart Home Staging.
Rugs instantly add a layer of coziness. Pick one that’s as “large as possible” for the space, says Ingalls, but that’s also practical for a foyer, where people will be tracking in dirt from outside. “There are some great indoor/outdoor rugs that don’t feel like outdoor rugs. They feel very nice and soft.” Pro tip: If you’re trying to sell your home, Lawrence recommends neutral-colored rugs that don’t draw the eye toward the floor. “You want them to look forward,” she says.
Light the way.
Lighting is key for setting the mood. Leone recommends a tall buffet lamp with a thin shade “because it doesn’t take up a lot of space but gives that nice ambiance lighting and a line of height on the hallway table.” Rather than fluorescent lighting, use incandescent bulbs, which give a warm glow.
Don’t forget about smell.
How your home smells is just as—if not more—important than its cleanliness. “Smell is the first thing people notice,” says Lawrence. “What a smell communicates is that the house could be dirty.” To combat any unfavorable odors, use air fresheners in scents like linen, lavender, or vanilla.
Written by Taylor Hugo
Taylor Hugo (taylorhugo.com) is a freelance writer and editor who has experience creating content for regional and national magazines, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. After spending most of her life in Minnesota, she recently relocated to Colorado, where you’ll find her hiking the Rocky Mountains and decorating her first home that she shares with her husband and dog.