10 Tips for Creating a Pretty, Functional Entryway

10 Ways to Create a Compelling Entryway

Jana Bek is an interior designer with a fantastic eye for color and an even better sense of style. Through Bek Design, she works with clients all over the country to design spaces that suit her clients’ needs and budget. After being dazzled by this entryway which features our Augusta Dining Table, we asked Jana to share her best tips for creating a purposeful entryway for your home.

The entrance into your home, whether it’s a full foyer or slim space of wall, is the first to greet your guests – so it should be fabulous, functional, and fit for you. Here are 10 of my tips for creating a compelling entry.

1. Your entry starts on the other side

Though you may be focused on creating a beautiful entryway, a beautiful foyer space begins before your guests walk through the door. Check that outdoor lighting is in working order and the path to your door is clear. In warmer climates, a pair of plants flanking your door provides a happy hello to your home.

Tips for designing an entryway

2. Organize the Chaos

You don’t want to be welcomed home by an elusive heap of stuff. Find the best solution for you – a bench with baskets below and hooks above, a vintage trunk for stowing clutter, or a simple tray for your keys.

3. Hey Good Lookin’

A mirror in your entryway will brighten up your space. Not only does it reflect light from a fabulous light fixture or glass door, it will prevent a Bridget Jones lipstick-on-your-face scenario later. A gilded mirror, like the one above, brings an elegant feel to a white-washed console table.

Tips for designing an entryway

4. Lighten Up

Whether it’s a table lamp, a swoon-worthy sconce, or a perfectly placed pendant – a well-lit entry makes for a welcoming one.

Natural elements lend a warm vibe to an entryway

5. Naturally

Natural elements are one my of my favorite ways to add another layer of character to a welcoming space, whether it’s a tiny topiary, reclaimed wood shelf, or coral object.

A place to sit is essential in an entryway

6. Seat Taken

Who doesn’t have a random chair that’s begging to be put to use? Reupholster it with a punchy print for a place to put down your purse when you walk in the door.

Designing an entryway

7. Pattern Play

Entryways are a perfect place for wallpaper, painted stripes, or a stencil. If you prefer neutrals, I love the effect of creating a subtle pattern using flat and semi-gloss paint. First, use a flat finish on your wall, then stencil on a pattern in the same color, but in a glossy finish. The effect is simple and stunning.

Must-haves for an entryway

8. Let’s Get Personal

As the first glimpse into your abode, your entry should have a little character. A few framed photos on a console table or a cup of your favorite candy add some personal panache.

9. Up to Snuff

I like to keep a candle or, most recently, a wonderful-smelling diffuser, in my entryway so guests are greeted with a pleasing scent.

Must-haves for an entryway

10. Feet First

A runner or entry mat draws people in and defines your entry space. An indoor/outdoor rug is a smart option for durability and easy upkeep.

Browse more entryway inspiration on our Entryway Pinterest Board, or browse rooms from our catalog in our Photo Gallery.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    April 20, 2015

    Hi! I love this site. I never thought to re-do our entry way until I read this article! Boy, does it need a make-over. May I ask where the wall paper is from in the last photo? Do you have any mid-range price wall paper brand suggestions? I’m looking to do a low budget make over, our entry way is very small. Thank you!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      April 24, 2015

      Hi Alexandria,
      Thank you so much for your comment! Unfortunately, we don’t have information source information for the wallpaper featured in the last photo of this post, but we do offer some really lovely wallpaper options, including some colorful florals that have a similar watercolor effect. You can find all of our wallpaper options here.
      Happy decorating and good luck on your entry makeover!
      The How to Decorate Team

  2. Reply

    Susan Carlisle

    February 16, 2014

    My foyer is 12×15 with a 9-foot high ceiling, no furniture in the center of the room. What size chandelier should I look for, and how high off the floor should it be installed?

    • Reply

      How to Decorate Team

      March 6, 2014

      Hi Susan,

      Our rule of thumb for selecting the right chandelier size is this: add the length and width measurements of the room together, and your answer equals the right size diameter your chandelier should be! So, for your entryway, we would suggest something around 27 inches in diameter, like our Claire 6-Arm Chandelier or our Cosette 6-Arm Chandelier. As far as how high to hang it. The lowest point in the chandelier shouldn’t be below 7 feet.

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  3. Reply


    January 9, 2014

    Just finished reading your ‘entryway’ article and am looking for further inspiration. I recently renovated my kitchen (which flanks my entryway) and purchased a coat rack from Ballard design to update the entry (which is small and functional and looks on into my kitchen; which is now white, bright and beautiful.) I do love the new coat rack and it served us very well with all the holiday guest, but the rest of the small room needs some help and a welcoming feel now. Can you give me some suggestions on something (smallish) that I can do to make this space more welcoming? Function has been taken care of with the coat rack and a few baskets and boxes, but it seems a bit dark and cold compared to the surrounding space.

  4. Reply


    January 7, 2014

    I need help decorating a small condo in Fl. Want the look of sea side beach.

  5. Reply


    January 7, 2014

    I’ve always wondered about this!