Having a stylish entryway sets the tone for your entire home. It creates a great first impression on guests and provides a functional space for storing shoes, coats, and other items when entering or leaving the house. A well-designed entryway is an opportunity to showcase your style and make a statement. Follow these keys to create a beautiful and functional entry to your home.

Choose the Right Flooring

The flooring you select for your entryway helps define the space while withstanding high traffic. Popular options include:

  • Tile: Beautiful patterned or solid tiles are elegant and durable. Opt for textured tiles to prevent slips.
  • Wood: Classic hardwoods like oak or maple add warmth. Consider engineered wood flooring since solid hardwood can be damaged by moisture from wet shoes.
  • Stone: Natural stone like slate, travertine, or marble creates an upscale look. The variety of stone patterns and colors allows for customization.
  • Vinyl: Affordable, waterproof, and easy to clean. Choose vinyl planks for an authentic wood look or vinyl tiles with stone finishes.

Consider foot traffic patterns when laying out flooring. Place walk-off mats by exterior doors to catch dirt and moisture.

Create Functional Storage

The entryway tends to accumulate coats, shoes, umbrellas, keys, and other items. Well-designed storage keeps the space organized and clutter-free.

Coat Storage

Hang coats out of the flow of traffic. Options include:

  • Coat hooks on walls, pillars, or furniture
  • Coat racks, trees, or stands
  • Built-in or freestanding coat closets

Consider the number of household members when determining coat storage capacity. Include storage for hats, scarves, purses, and bags.

Shoe Storage

Prevent pile-ups of shoes by incorporating dedicated shoe storage. Solutions include:

  • Shoe racks or cubbies by the door
  • Bench with shoe storage underneath
  • Built-in cabinetry or shelving for shoe storage
  • Mudroom off entry for shoe removal

Look for storage that fits the shoe styles and quantities needed. Opt for open storage for ventilation.

Keys & Accessories

Designate a spot for household members to deposit keys, sunglasses, gloves, and other daily accessories. Possibilities include:

  • Wall hooks or a valet rod
  • Table or tall chest with drawers
  • Built-in cubbies with custom storage hooks and compartments

Place near the entry door for convenience. Include electrical outlets to charge devices.

Light the Space

Proper lighting transforms a dark, unwelcoming entry into a bright, cheerful space.

  • Install overhead lighting on the ceiling to brightly illuminate the full area.
  • Layer ambient lighting like wall sconces or accent lighting on artwork.
  • Incorporate task lighting to highlight storage furniture and illuminate specific zones like a seating area.
  • Use dimmers to adjust light levels.
  • Opt for energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Make the space inviting after dark by lighting the exterior as well as the interior. Outdoor lighting also provides security.

Include Seating

Seating in the entry allows you to sit while removing shoes or stopping to talk. Options for entryway seating include:

  • Bench or upholstered ottoman with storage inside
  • Pair of chairs alongside built-in storage
  • Small table and chairs situated out of traffic flow
  • Window seat with coat storage underneath

For a compact entryway, look for furniture with dual purposes like storage benches or a stool that can be moved as needed.

Add Decorative Touches

Accent the entryway with decorative elements that show off your style:

  • Mirrors visually expand the space and allow a last glimpse before heading out.
  • Artwork livens up blank walls. Opt for large statement pieces or a gallery wall.
  • Rugs define spaces within the entry and add warmth underfoot. Use durable, low-pile rugs that can handle dirt.
  • Plants bring life and greenery. Opt for hardier varieties that don’t need frequent watering.
  • Wall Décor like sconces, shelving or molding finishes the space.

Update décor seasonally to keep the entry looking fresh and inviting.

Consider the Floor Plan

The layout of the entryway impacts how you furnish the space:

  • Small entryways: Opt for vertical storage like coat racks. Layer lighting to make the space feel open rather than cramped.
  • Long, narrow entries: Use flooring to define zones like seating near the door and storage along a wall.
  • Open entryways: Designate specific areas while maintaining an airy, uncluttered aesthetic.
  • Foyers: Grand entrances allow for flexible furniture placement and using the space as a sitting area. Measure the entry carefully during planning. Know traffic patterns and allow adequate clearance.

Maintain the Space

The entryway tends to show dirt and clutter quickly. Stay on top of maintenance:

  • Frequently vacuum rugs and mop tile or wood floors. Clean entry flooring weekly.
  • Quickly wipe spills to prevent stains. Clean walls and switch plates.
  • Dust surfaces and clean mirrors. Keep lighting fixtures dust-free.
  • Freshen entry rugs and carpets with steam cleaning every few months.
  • Declutter weekly and keep items organized. Donate or discard unused items.

With regular care, your stylish entry will continue looking welcoming for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Entryways

What are some small entryway ideas for tight spaces?

For small entryways, look for furnishings that serve dual purposes or can be tucked out of the way when not needed. Ideas include a slender console table, coat hooks on the wall, a narrow bench, or a unique coat rack that folds up. Also make sure lighting is adequate to make the space feel bright and open.

What flooring is best for entryways?

Durable, low-maintenance flooring that can handle high traffic works best for most entryways. Top options are tile, natural or engineered stone, vinyl plank, and resilient engineered wood. Tile and stone offer an elegant look. Vinyl is budget-friendly. Engineered wood adds warmth.

Should you remove shoes in the entryway?

Creating a space to remove and store shoes helps limit the dirt that gets tracked into the home. Consider incorporating a mat or rug by the door where shoes can be slipped off. Provide seating too like a bench with shoe storage so it’s easy to sit and remove shoes comfortably.

How can you decorate a boring entryway?

Even the most basic entryway can be stylishly decorated. Add interest with wallpaper, wainscoting, or board & batten on walls. Install decorative molding or paneling on the ceiling. Update lighting fixtures. Bring in furniture with style like a storage bench or accent table. Add plants, art, mirrors or a rug to personalize the space.

What should you avoid in an entryway?

Avoid clutter in the entryway. Store items like shoes, coats, umbrellas, and bags out of sight. Don’t place furniture in high traffic areas or narrow walkways. Prevent a dark, unwelcoming ambiance by lighting the space adequately including lighting outdoors. Avoid large area rugs which collect dirt and are hard to clean.

How do you design an entryway on a budget?

On a budget, opt for inexpensive finishes like paint instead of wallpaper. Look for deals on lighting at home improvement stores. Choose budget-friendly flooring like vinyl plank. Include affordable storage furniture like a coat rack and bamboo shoe rack. Decorate with inexpensive accents like plants, a decorative doormat, and framed art or photos you already own.


A thoughtfully designed entryway makes a powerful first impression and provides functionality every time you come and go. Evaluate your needs and style, then incorporate storage, seating, décor and architectural details that reflect your vision. Pay attention to maximizing space in the floorplan and lighting the area both inside and out. With careful planning and regular maintenance, your entry will be a stylish and welcoming start to your home.