29 Entryway Decorating Ideas That Make a Stunning First Impression

Gabrielle Savoie
29 Entryway Ideas That Make a Stunning First Impression
Entryway rug ideas

Ryan Garvin ; DESIGN: Becki Owens

If you only need one reason to invest in decorating an entryway, let it be this: Everybody needs a good spot to make an entrance. Even for those who prefer to come and go with less to-do, an entryway space serves a functional purpose. For one, an entryway is somewhere to take off your shoes, set your keys, and hang up your coat. It also imparts the first impression of your home, thereby setting the tone for the rest of your space. Think of your entry as your very own three-dimensional welcome mat: It’s well-traversed, but most people don’t spend much time there.

So how do you approach decorating an entryway that’s capable of accommodating brief, yet heavy traffic? A good place to start is incorporating high-impact decorative accents that set a stylish tone and well-appointed vignettes that say hello from the inside. Whether your entry is a formal foyer, a modified mudroom, or an apartment layout that immediately opens up into the kitchen and living room, it’s all about putting together furniture, décor, rugs, and lighting that create a wow factor as soon as you (or guests) walk in the front door.

01 of 29

Upgrade Your Welcome Mat

Arched entryway features rectangular rug

Ryan Garvin ; DESIGN: Becki Owens

Okay, so maybe the actual first impression for your home is the front door, but a few knocks later, the view through the open door is just as important. One simple, stylish swap we’d recommend is right at your feet. Upgrade your (indoor) welcome mat with an antique rug that sets a classic, worldly tone.

The rug’s well-worn appeal will also keep the first few footsteps in the home from feeling too precious.

When selecting a rug for your entryway, a few more tips to keep in mind include choosing a rug made with durable material, such as wool. Natural rugs, as opposed to synthetic, cotton, or silk rugs, can handle the wear and tear of heavy foot traffic. Also, consider mixing up the shape of your rug. While a rectangular shape is popular, a square or oblong shaped rug, and even a runner might be a better fit for your space.

02 of 29

Play With Scale

Entryway features large-scale photograph, seating, and a dog perched next to it

 Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Blackband Design

Oversize art always sets a chic tone. “It’s all about creating interesting vignettes while playing with scale,” designer Wendy Blackband says of this elevated entryway. Investing in the perfect statement piece pulls together a dramatic entryway that leaves a lasting impression. 

To choose a statement piece for your entryway, consider that this will be one of the first things people will see when they enter your home, so select something that best expresses your personality. After all, your home is an extension of you!

03 of 29

Embrace Fashion and Function

A textured rug and vanity featured in entryway with dining room in background

 Alyssa Rosenheck ; DESIGN: Amanda Barnes Interiors

In an entryway, it’s important to lead guests in with a mix of interesting décor and design elements that extend from floor to ceiling. Designer Amanda Barnes outfitted this enviable vignette in an eclectic style that balances glam touches like polished brass and fresh pink peonies with more organic elements like leather stools and a decorative horn. The cowhide rug serves a practical purpose as well: “Anchor the smaller space with a rug that can handle the traffic and maintain its original charm for years to come,” Barnes suggests.

04 of 29

Lighten Up

Sculptural chandelier featured in entryway

 Zeke Ruelas ; DESIGN: Brady Tolbert

For a fashionable quick fix in a small space, consider swapping out the lighting in an entryway, as designer Brady Tolbert did in his own home. A chic chandelier or pendant light can be truly transformative without the risk of clutter. With plenty of options to work with, you can find something that fits your preferences and style without much hassle.

05 of 29

Step Outside the Ordinary

A café table and framed art featured in entryway with curved staircase

 Paul Johnson ; DESIGN: Nancy Mayerfield

Sometimes, the key to nailing a formal introduction is to be disarmingly charming. Entryways are no different; in a more formal foyer, for example, try adding personality with unexpected art, as designer Nancy Mayerfield did in this space. Alternatively, unexpected art can also extend to the type of lighting, coat stands/hooks, and console you choose to display in this space.

06 of 29

Have a Seat

A bench flanked by two potted plants featured in entryway

 Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Blackband Design

A simple way to make guests feel at home is to have a seat positioned prominently in your entryway. Benches and chairs alike provide a practical opportunity to sit down while putting on or taking off shoes (or to simply take a load off for a few moments.) Entry seating can also be easily accessorized with throw pillows and plants that showcase your personal style as a preview of the rest of the home.

07 of 29

Draw the Eyes Up

High, wood-beamed ceilings and a starburst chandelier in an entryway

 Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Blackband Design

An entryway is a perfect opportunity to show off high ceilings and other architectural details that create a grand entrance. Lighting is a fantastic way to do this, and nothing catches your attention quite like decorative, elaborate fixtures. Don’t be afraid to embrace a combination of geometric shapes, lines, and curves to lead the eye around the room in a major wow moment. 

08 of 29

Mix It Up

A half moon table, round mirror and stack of books topped with a potted plant in an entryway

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Jenn Feldman Designs

A console table is a classic choice for adorning an entryway with a few chic pieces and offers enough surface area to set keys or mail (or a hostess gift, should we be so lucky!), but where does one start when styling a console vignette?

“Always remember the rule of threes, especially for an entryway moment,” instructs designer Jenn Feldman. She cites a few examples of how to mix heights and textures on an entry table: “An interesting lamp, catch-all tray, and a floral arrangement; a sculptural object on a stack of books next to a photo frame.”

09 of 29

Give Your Best Friends a Warm Welcome

Entryway features a runner and a golden retriever in front of doorway

Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Amber Interiors

If you’re planning to do your share of hosting and entertaining, a warm and inviting (as well as focused) neutral palette is a great way to welcome guests. Natural wood tones and neutral rugs are the perfect combination for greeting, entertaining, and bidding an end-of-the-evening farewell to best friends.

10 of 29

Choose a Theme

Desert-chic entryway

Alyssa Strohmann / Unsplash 

For a cohesive look and a first glimpse of your home’s style, chose a unifying look to center your dećor choices around. If you want to go eclectic, you can add plenty of bold colors and slightly mismatched items. If you prefer something more boho, you’ll gravitate towards natural textures and botanical aspects. Your preferences can set the tone for the space and make it easier to decide what to include and what to leave out.

11 of 29

Create Extra Storage

Woven basket next to white chair in entryway

 Sarah Dorweiler / Unsplash

Storage is certainly something to keep in mind when decorating your entryway. Given that important items like shoes, umbrellas, and even keys are often left in that area, ensure you have dedicated spaces to put them. A woven basket positioned near the entryway to hold various items or a set of decorative hooks hanging on the wall are perfect examples.

12 of 29

Add a Small Table

A small concrete side table next to a round wicker chair in the entryway

 Sonnie Hills / Unsplash

Have enough floor space? A small or slim console table can serve as a practical storage area without taking too much room. Plus, you can style a vignette with personal items or a table lamp.

13 of 29

Go Bold With the Front Door

Blue doors accentuate a townhome

Brandi Ibrao / Unsplash

There is no problem with sticking to a wood or white door, but sometimes it can be fun to try something different. Draw attention to a small space and paint the door to your home an unforgettable color. We’re a big fan of a gorgeous blue to emit feelings of calm and serenity.

14 of 29

Add Mirrors

entryway with mirror, floating shelve, and bench with decorative pillows and furry throw

House of Chais

A common secret that designers share is to reflect more light and give the appearance of a larger space is by using mirrors. In addition to allowing you to check how you look right before you walk out the door, it truly adds a level of elegance. Whether you want to go with a floor-length or an arrangement of multiple small ones, mirrors can really pull together a space.

15 of 29

Add Decorative Tile

entryway with blue pattern decorative tile

Bespoke Only

While rugs are always a godsend in changing things up, it isn’t the only way you can make your floor stand out. With the entryway usually being a smaller space, have some fun with it by placing decorative tiles. With stunning visual patterns and gorgeous colors to choose from, it will make quite the impression.

16 of 29

Paint a Stunning Mural

white entryway with murals of faces

Brexton Cole Interiors

Nothing says eye-catching like a gorgeous mural—but murals aren’t solely meant for accent walls in a bedroom or living room. Add a gorgeous design to the entry hallway and create an artistic space you love coming home to. Not much of a painter? Don’t worry; there are plenty of wallpaper options that can provide you the same effect.

17 of 29

Dress Up Your Stairs

entryway with seating, artwork and painted railing of staircase and decorative rug on stairs

LA Designer Affairs

If one of the first things you see when walking into your home is the staircase, try dressing it up a bit. Draping fabric over the stairs (securely held in place to prevent slipping, of course) can add a splash of color and design in an unexpected place. Another option you can try is adding decorative tile to the front of each stair.

18 of 29

Add Some Plants

risers with pants placed around and beside

Leaf + Lolo

One of the easiest ways to brighten up any room is by adding plants, and near your front door is no exception. With plenty of varieties and styles to choose from, it allows you to bring the outdoors in. Whether you want to stick to a small collection in different pots and arrangements or choose one large plant to steal the show, plant presence will add a decorative yet natural touch.

19 of 29

Get a Statement Area Rug

entryway with large area rug that has print of two snakes on it

Studio KT

Adding a welcome mat is an inviting way to make guests feel at home, but why not go bigger if you have the space? Adding a large area rug with a striking design can do wonders to change the atmosphere in your home. We love this gorgeous one featuring black snakes in this entry designed by Studio KT—it adds the perfect level of intrigue and elegance.

20 of 29

Bring Furniture to the Forefront

entryway with silver ornate mirror and dresser

Ashley Montgomery Design

Adding a table to your entry is a great place to display dećor or keep important items on hand, but tables aren’t your only option here. Using a decorative desk or a vintage dresser is a great way to mix things up and create a gorgeous arrangement. Plus, extra drawers for storage are always a good call.

21 of 29

Add Pops of Color

entryway with dark wood table and red ornate mirror

Blakely Interior Design

Trust us; you don’t have to go overboard with different colors to create a welcoming, delightful atmosphere. Especially when working with a neutral space, a small dose of color can go a long way. From one lone colorful piece of artwork to a bright red mirror, you can undoubtedly make an impact with just a little pop of your favorite hue.

22 of 29

Add Texture to Your Walls

entryway with white walls and raised texture

Blue Copper Design

Want to get creative with your walls but not wanting to paint? We totally get it. However, there are other methods you can try to help bring your wall to life. Adding texture is an often overlooked yet worthwhile option to consider. With some effort, adding paneling or wainscotting with wooden strips to create a gorgeous design can transform your wall from bare to chic!

23 of 29

Display a Curated Collection

entryway with black door, white walls, stairs with a wine collection displayed inside the wall

Brophy Interiors

You should always feel free to make your space personal, so why not display a curated collection? Whether you decide to implement a gallery wall, or even create a space designed to display your favorite wine, you can allow your interests to shine through in a big way.

24 of 29

Get Playful with Pattern

gray and white entryway with triangle pattern wallpaper, large circular mirror above modern style table and gray pouf stools underneath


There is no easier way to add pizzaz to your entry than trying out delightful patterns in your decorative choices. Wallpaper is often the most common (and easiest) way to go about this, and for a good reason—your wall can set the backdrop for the rest of your theme. Even when choosing a neutral color scheme, pattern and texture are surefire ways to create a lasting impression.

25 of 29

Create a Nook

entryway that has sitting nook craved out in side of staircase

Erin Williamson Design

Adding seating and a place to relax is optimal, but adding a nook takes things up a notch. Whether you have the space under your stairs to add a cozy cushion that shields itself from the outside world or add a small couch/bench with a table to hold books, you can’t go wrong creating a dedicated nook space.

26 of 29

Layer Your Dećor

room with two tall decorative teal chairs, oversized artwork serving as backdrop between them. Decorative mirror on desk leaned against artwork

Erin Williamson Design

Never underestimate the power of layering your dećor to create something fresh and new. You don’t even have to go out and buy new items; take a look at what you already have and test different combinations together! We love how this oversized piece of art forms a background behind the desk and the gorgeous silver mirror perched on top—all the pieces work cohesively together to create something classic and bold.

27 of 29

Paint Your Ceiling

entryway with starburst painted ceiling, rustic orange and white

Erin Williamson Design

Rather than taking a paint roller to your walls, turn your eyes up! Painting your ceiling, especially in a bold color or striking pattern, keeps everyone’s eyes focused up—which is a major bonus for small entryways. Especially if your ceiling is sectioned away from other rooms, you can feel free to get playful with the possibilities.

28 of 29

Use Your Stairs to Display Dećor

white entryway with stairs used to display decor

Jessica Nelson Design

Making use of what you have is always a good move, and your layout will have quite a bit of say regarding how you can decorate. If you don’t have much space to add tables, or even if you want to take a different approach, try using your stairs as a place to display a select few items of dećor. You don’t want to go too large with your options or add too many and block the path up the stairway, but a simple plant or a couple of books propped against the wall can add the perfect touch.

29 of 29

Try a Minimalist Approach

entryway with wooden rounded door, golden chandelier, wooden bench

Katherine Carter

If you’re a “less is more” type of person, we can’t truly blame you. Sometimes all a space needs is a select few necessary items to make an impact. Adding a simple bench, a large plant, or a single piece of decorative lighting can allow those items to stand out without competing with other decorative aspects.

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