Design Ideas for a Stylish Entryway

February 12, 2015

The entryway to our homes can often get overlooked. Like a sturdy handshake or friendly smile upon meeting someone, your entry or foyer gives off the first impression of your space! What’s your entry space saying at the moment? Does it jive with your style and how you would like to present your home/apartment? If not, read on because I’ve pulled together some easy and (in some cases) affordable design ideas for a stylish entrance.

First, we’ve got a Centered By Design entry project. We have worked with two clients on entry styling lately. This first project is finished and you can see the before and after photos below. The second project is still in the works and involves an awesome stencil. Can’t wait to show you that one too!

This project involved a fairly typical Chicago entrance. It has that loooong entry wall supporting the staircase and a whole lot of empty space. Our client had searched high and low for a table long enough to fill the wall, but could not find anything in the right size. And so, she commissioned a table from Centered By Design’s woodworker (a.k.a my husband Luke). The table top was built from a single salvaged floor board that we sourced from the Rebuilding Exchange. It was also custom stained to match closely with the floor and banister detail.

entryway styling ideas

BEFORE: Sad entryway…getting better with addition of the custom table.

entryway styling ideas

AFTER: Affordable updates make for a welcoming and artful entry!

I styled the table using two pieces of artwork the client already owned and added a third (the gold print) to accent the black and white art. I also used the two matching baskets, the vase on the right and the marble accessory from her collection of items around the house. By adding a third basket (striped basket from IKEA), using a few flea market finds (suitcases and dress form), tossing in another gold vase and small accent star the entry looks much more cohesive. Also, if you look closely you will notice we were able to hide the thermostat behind the tallest frame.

More detailed shots of the refreshed entry and custom table.

Alright, onto some other ideas for your entry! These photo pairs all offer some great examples.

RUNNERS: Try using a bright or graphic runner/rug to make an impact upon entry. This works especially well if you’ve got a very narrow space and furniture is not really an option. I like the company FLOR for graphic rugs especially. You can order samples online, or if you happen to live near a brick and mortar location you can practice creating your own runner design in the shop.

WALL TREATMENTS & SCONCES: Faux finishing (teal wall) or cheery wallpaper both work as bright accents here. Both designs are working to create symmetry with the use of a console table, a mirror and sconce lighting fixtures. If you have the space and some sort of division in your walls that creates a break where it would be appropriate for an accent wall this is bold and unforgettable option. (This look is harder to achieve in an open concept space like the above client).

STORAGE UNITS: A practical solution especially if you have kids and some depth in the entry hall. I like units that attach to the wall and mostly keep items hidden. You can still add artwork, a mirror and/or other personal touches.

UNIQUE MATERIALS/TECHNIQUES: A detailed stencil and wood paneling add a unique texture to the space. Options like these create a strong focal point and communicate the home owners style right away. Not for the faint of heart, detailed project these can be DIY, but I’d recommend a professional in most cases.

Hope this gave you some entryway ideas to ponder! Would love to hear some of the adjectives you think describe you and your “dream” entry.


Photo sources for paired examples: the chronicles of home, ty pennington, hautekhuuture, better homes and gardens, ikea, apartment therapy, hgtv, lonny.






  1. Aurora says:

    I love these ideas! We have a tiny entry with just some hooks for hanging coats and really very little floor space to put anything, but the slim table Luke made is wonderful and maybe we could do something tiny and similar!

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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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