Creating an Entry with Impact

It can be a diminutive nook, narrow hallway or grand vestibule. Whatever its shape or size, the entry of your home serves as the official welcome to all who enter. It offers visitors a brief snapshot of your home’s overall character and hints at what lies beyond. Give your entry the prominence it deserves. Transform this oft-overlooked transitional space into a stylish entry with impact.

Play Up Architectural Elements
Emphasize existing architectural details. Paint and new hardware will take your front door from boring to bold. Refinish stair treads or add a colorful runner to update an aging staircase. Update a generic entry by installing wainscoting or chair rail to add dimension to walls, crown molding to create visual height and decorative trim to spruce up unadorned window openings.

Add Impact with Color
Color is an excellent way to define space and influence mood. When choosing a wall color for your entry, a good rule of thumb is to make sure it flows with the rest of the house. One way to achieve consistency is to use progressive shades of the same color--beginning with a saturated hue in the entry. Lighten the pigment as you move into adjoining spaces. This technique not only adds impact to your entry; it gives your home a more spacious feel.

Size Up the Space
In the case of furniture selection, size does matter. Pick pieces in relation to your entry’s overall dimensions. Obviously, a circular lobby sofa is not the proper scale for a small entry. Also, plan your layout by determining the entry’s focal point. In a large entry, it typically falls in the center of the space. Fill the void with an oversized, round foyer table. In a small-scale entry or narrow hallway, the focal point may be nothing more than a corner or wall. A simple side table, a petite accent chair or a console table and mirror work to anchor the area.

Provide Function
If the front entry is your home’s main point of departure and arrival, incorporate functional storage pieces to help contain personal clutter. Bench seating with baskets beneath will hide a multitude of sins and give you a spot to remove your shoes after a long day. Short on closet space? No problem. A simple row of wall pegs or a coat tree will organize the family’s coats, sweaters and bags.

Illuminate the Entry
Layer your lighting to create impact. Most entries already feature an overhead ambient light source. Use this to your advantage. Choose a classic drum pendant or formal chandelier in an entry with high ceilings. For average height ceilings, get the same effect with a stylish flush or semi-flush mounted fixture. Add a subtle layer of accent illumination by including a single table or buffet lamp. Wall sconces offer a nifty lighting solution for entries where space is at a minimum.
Make Things Right Underfoot
Hard surface flooring obviously makes the most sense for high-traffic areas. Low-maintenance flooring like ceramic tile, laminate or even vinyl are great options in homes with little ones and pets. Regardless the material, you may want to soften things up a bit. A small entry rug at the front door will prevent dirt and water from tracking into the house. Larger area rugs and runners not only warm up your entry, they add color and contrast underfoot. 

Give It Your Signature
Welcome family and friends with an eye-catching wall arrangement. Feature a piece of artwork to convey your personal style. Show off your eclectic side by displaying a grouping of vintage mirrors against a dramatic wall color. Brighten the entry with a brimming arrangement of your favorite seasonal flowers. Add small accessories judiciously to create a sense of calm, not chaos. Use items that speak to your sensibilities, whether it's your passion for travel, love of antiques or respect for nature.

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