As important as your yard and the exterior of your home is in making a first impression, your entryway offers you another important opportunity to make a first impression – not only of your exterior, but also the interior and main part of your house. Not only do you want it to look great, but you might want it to be useable space, especially if you need a mudroom area before people come inside. The first thing to remember is that you’ll need to treat it just like any other room in your house.
Space: If you have a small room coming in from your front door, make sure it doesn’t get too cramped. You’ll likely need quite a bit of storage space, since the entry is often where you’ll need space to put coats, boots and outdoor shoes, and any other heavy clothing as you come in (not to mention for storage the rest of the year.) A chair will be enough seating if you don’t have room for a bench. Instead of hooks or coat racks that can leave the area disorganized, try a cupboard or armoire, especially one with shelving at the bottom for shoes. This will take up more space and will also look neater (if nothing else, you can just close the doors.) Make sure you have enough storage to keep the area from getting cluttered.
Style: For entry spaces within larger rooms, think about how to create a separate space while still integrating into the room as a whole. Seating, and larger armoires and other storage options, can help create greater intimacy and warmth. Lighting options can also be important to decoration. For a space with just couple of smaller items, like a chair and coat rack, a simple floor lamp will complete the arrangement.
Convenience: Since the idea is to create a space that’s easy to use, make sure the furniture is designed and placed so that guests can just walk in and put away their things without too much fuss, and also find everything on the way out. You don’t want to give guests an incentive to ignore the coat rack and toss their jacket on the floor anyway.
Lighting: As in any other room, the light fixtures should fit well with the décor as a whole. The lighting should be strong enough to see and move around easily, since you’ll often be looking to gather things as you go out the door, and switches need to be convenient for when you’re coming into a dark house. Some wall-mounted scones can even be plugged into nearby outlets without the need for extensive rewiring.
Setting up your entryway will create the atmosphere for the rest of your home, both in look and in feel, so don’t be afraid to spend some time looking for pieces that fit your style and the rest of your décor. Just because you might not be spending as much time there doesn’t mean it’s worth ignoring.
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