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Grand Entrance: 7 Ways to Design an Inviting Entryway

November 2, 2023
Inspiration for a contemporary entryway remodel in Chicago

The first opportunity to welcome guests and give them a preview of what’s to come, entryways are a home’s way of introducing your sense of décor style. Whether it’s a large foyer, a tiny hallway, or an intimate vestibule, an inviting entry that makes your guests feel welcome is what makes a home’s entrance grand.  Setting the tone for the rest of the home, “we like to incorporate a bit of drama with paint, area rugs, and statement lighting to create a sense of space and presence. ”

"You don’t need a palatial space to create a grand entrance in your home's entryway." ~ Valerie Turco Deganello.

Entry storage

How To Make An Entryway Welcoming and Beautiful

Any entryway can be one of the most exciting spaces to decorate since it's such an easy area to overhaul—and the smallest changes can make a huge difference.

1. Dual-Purpose Furniture 

As your home’s main thoroughfare, entryways are busy spaces that require clear passage. So while you can have too many decorative pieces,   you can never have too much storage space.  An entryway should never be overcrowded with furniture. It only takes one or two statement pieces to transform an entryway from a boring foyer to a useful living space with personality and purpose.

VTD’s head designer, Valerie Turco Deganello, recommends sourcing slimline furniture that won’t create a bottleneck but will provide plenty of opportunities to stash away the dweller’s all-important stuff.   Valerie explains, ‘Entryways should always make an impact, but because you want the space to be devoid of clutter, furniture with hidden storage is a great way to achieve both.”

Entry floors

2. Beauty Underfoot

From hardwood and natural stone to statement parquet and soft carpet and area rugs, beautifully thought-out floors can help inspire an entryway room remodel. Entryway flooring must be hardwearing and low maintenance as a number one priority, but this space can also be a great way to flex your creative muscles.  

It’s the first thing guests will see when they enter your home, so an entryway floor’s appearance is important. Equally important is how it feels underfoot, how it will stand up to wear-and-tear, and how much maintenance it will require.  

The best flooring for an entryway is one that will stand the test of time. More than any other floorcovering, entryway floor tiles have undergone a renaissance, becoming a design favorite in both new builds and redecorating. While there are plenty of choices for popular neutral tones, the big trend is for tiles that mimic natural stone and timber, cement, metals and fabrics. These offer all the advantages of a hardwearing, easy to maintain, long-lasting tile with the look of a luxury material. No longer limited to the kitchens and bathrooms where their practical advantages have always been appreciated, large format tiles are increasingly popular.

Inspirational Entryway Floor Ideas 

  • Be authentic to the home’s original character. Sometimes using existing materials is best when it comes to entryway floor ideas,  especially in an older home with quality wood, brick, or cement floors. If you can keep your entryway's original flooring then do so because there’s  nothing that creates more character than a floor that’s been used by guests for centuries. 
  • Add A Geometric Element. The thing to bear in mind about  entryways is that we don’t spend long periods of time in them, so this space is a great opportunity to go a bit bolder with strong or oversized patterns and colors that might be overpowering in another room.  
  • Textured Stone Tile. Put stone on your list of possible entryway flooring ideas. Not only does stone tile create unique beauty that comes with a natural material, but natural stone will stand up to the foot traffic of a busy family home.
  • Marble. Marble flooring takes very well to neoclassical designs, including chequerboards and diamond-laid formats with cabochon inserts. It can help achieve a classic yet contemporary feel and is the perfect stone for a timeless floor full of grandeur.  A softly tumbled, imperfect finish makes for a forgiving choice in busy areas. 
  • Sisal Carpet. Choosing a carpet in a classic base note will bring a sense of calm to your entryway. A neutral shade is a wise investment too, as its versatility and longevity add value to your property.  When choosing a soft floor covering for the entryway, we recommend opting for either sisal, a durable option when looking for something a little softer than hard surfaces. 
  • Silk Rug Over Tiles. In terms of flooring for entryways, keep in mind that there will be a lot of foot traffic, so you'll want something that’s not only beautiful, but sturdy and easy to maintain. To add a bit of juxtaposed charm,  incorporate a silk rug over hard floors like natural stone, wood, or tile for a luxurious touch.
  • Playful Runners. A playful runner can provide an attractive focal point in the home and is an ideal way to experiment with patterns. Stripes add visual interest to the floor and for those tight on space, it is worth remembering that linear stripes can help to enlarge the appearance of a room, this is especially effective in entryways as the stripe draws the eye along the design and therefore appears to elongate the area. 
Flowers in Foyer

3. Floral Power

Floral arrangements give the homeowner the opportunity to style an entryway throughout the seasons and inject  warmth and personality into a space.A well-styled side table as you walk into a home has the power to instantly lift the entrance space and create a welcoming vignette for guests,’ says VTD interior designer,  Valerie Turco Deganello.

Do your best to use fresh elements. This can include anything from fresh flowers in the spring and summer, pumpkins and gourds in the fall, and ornamental berries and greens during the Christmas season. Flower delivery services offer membership options to help you keep those fresh blooms coming. If fresh isn’t an option, consider decorating with dried flowers. Steer away from silk flowers as they can add an instant “junk factor” to even the most elegant space.

Inspiration for a contemporary entryway remodel in Chicago

4. Pops of Color

Adding a fun pop of color to the walls  adds a touch of playfulness, says VTD interior designer,  Valerie Turco Deganello.  Adding a splash of paint not only creates a sense of flow, but it’s also great for highlighting the main feature. “We painted this interior door in a muted navy blue to create a bit of drama.”  

Entry door

5. Upgrade Doors

Renovating a home that is blessed with traditional features is an absolute bonus, but finding ways to bring old features up to date can prove challenging. Interior designer Valerie recommends adding a new or architecturally salvaged door  to shake things up. This entryway was very dark which initially made the room feel unwelcoming. We decided to  install an  internal stained glass door that allowed the light to flood in. With sunlight streaming in it gave a far softer feel.


6. Add Texture to Walls

Papering the walls is a fabulous design trick for ramping up the drama in any room, but to add pizzazz to the entryway, consider combining  entryway wallpaper with paneling. To draw attention to the scale of a larger room, combining paneling with wallpaper is a great way to inject interest into a room while retaining some white space. Breaking up the wallpaper makes for a more interesting overall look and means the room isn’t overpowered by pattern.

French Provincial Living Room with Parisienne accents

7. Impactful Lighting

Add impact overhead with an eye-catching light fixture with upscaled dimensions that will provide maximum design points, without taking up an inch of precious space below. “We always recommend oversizing the light fittings in entryways as this adds a grandiose element to an entrance,’  says VTD interior designer,  Valerie Turco Deganello.  

I hope this guide will inspire you to create a welcoming and beautiful entryway.  If you’d like a little expert support, contact VTD for a free style consultation.

Related post: Room for Improvement: Interior Design with Affordability in Mind