What’s in an Entryway?
Entryways: they’re the rooms that seem to get the least amount of TLC in this day and age. So little love that we sometimes forget that they are, in fact, rooms in and of themselves. Rooms that deserve great ideas. Gone are the days of the Grand Palais of yore, when kings and queens and knights and nobles would decorate their antechambres with the plunders of war and the spoils of the great painters of Rome, Paris and Flanders in order to leave an indelible first impression on their guests. If you love our entryway, they seemed to say, what ‘til you see the rest of the estate!
But now we’re in the 21st century, you might even call it: the dark days of the entryway. In the best case scenario the entryway is an aesthetically sparse nook that we scurry through on our way to the kitchen or living room, and –in the worst case– it is a neglected eyesore, cluttered with the spoils of the day, when all we want to do is get to the couch as soon as possible.
Rise to the Challenge
Most of us don’t live in the kinds of Chateaus where entryways seem like they are worth doing more than just entering into and exiting out of. If your home was designed after, say, the Renaissance, or you live in an apartment, chances are your entryway is either tiny, or narrow, or both.
Spaces that small can be a pain to decorate. Underdecorate it or leave too few points of interest and you will leave a cold, even bland impact. Over-furnish it with too many quirky artifacts and you run the risk of making the space seem intentionally cluttered, overwhelming yourself and your guests. A lose-lose.
1. Entryway Inspo
Since we’re a mat company we like to think an entryway mat is the focal point of that space. After all, an entryway runner or area mat is an easy hack in terms of tying a space together through a color or print, and has the added practical function of absorbing and filtering out whatever the cat dragged in (literally). Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of an entryway mat is the way that it can dampen outside street or apartment hallway noise pollution, and really quiet a space.
If you have room, consider a runner instead of a typical doormat-sized mat inside. A runner adds more visual interest (even a palatial touch!) and gives more runway to capture dirty paws and feet.
2. Entryway Decor
Since your entryway is the first place you’re going to showcase your interior eye, you may need a few ideas in terms of decor. Flourish the space with bespoke artwork, mirrors, vases, plants, a postmodern lamp… whatever fits without crowding the space.
If you have the ceiling span, something like a funky, bright retro pendant fixture can give your entryway a fun, space-age feel. If your ceiling isn't very tall, an upgraded wall mount fixture or wall sconces instantly elevate an area and turn a home into a cozy little castle.
3. Entryway Furniture
A lot of people forget that an entryway is still something of a storage space, and as such, sometimes requires some movable pieces.
Furniture can be a necessary evil in small entryways. For example you may need a stool to sit and put shoes on if you have enough space, and an antique coat rack can bring some flavor. You can also never fail with a console table, which always looks great if it’s styled with a nice piece of art, a mirror above it, or a fun table lamp. Plus you get the added benefit of having a little extra storage for keys, mail, and necessities.
It should be self-evident, but the most important thing if you want to add furniture is to make sure it doesn’t crowd the space. Remember that the entryway is something of a decompression chamber, and you’ll need the room to do that. If a console table won’t fit, for example, consider a wall shelf, which adds storage space and can be a great place to put a small plant, vase, and the Phaidon monographs you want to show off.
Finally, give some consideration as to how to tie the furniture and décor together. One idea is to match the ceiling color with your floor material. With this one, just make sure that you don’t overwhelm your guests with too much brightness up top. Another idea is to pick up the color of your light fixtures with your flooring color. Choosing colors on a gradient can always give a space a retro feel – like the combination of our Insider in Fans (Green) with an old school banker’s lamp on your console table!
You’re Good to Go
Remember that your entryway is the first thing that most people are going to see when they enter your house, and a neglected or cluttered space can leave either a cold or overwhelming first impression. With a little imagination and the right items you can make your entryway beautiful and inviting. Even a small entryway can be decorated and furnished impressively.