Text by Amanda Sims, AD Clever
Whether your front door opens into a grand, classical entryway or right onto the dark corner of the kitchen, that will be the first place your guests see in your home. 'Even small foyers are the first impression,' says interior designer Peter Dunham, who advises a bold look for this part of your home even if it isn't exactly large (or isn't technically its own room). "Small foyers give one an ideal situation for high-carat impact. . . . That will easily make up for any lack of space by being luxe and special." The following small entryway ideas will turn your non-foyer into a pleasant entryway no matter what its size or scale.
Discover 12 ways to make a great first impression, even if all you have is a blank wall by the door.
1. Hang Wall Hooks
In the small entryway of his home in Italy's Piedmont region, architect Paolo Pejrone hangs his hat on a cherry rack. Having a hook for your guests' outerwear will make them feel as if you've actually designed the space with their arrival in mind.
2. Add a Chair or Small Bench
Even a wee bench, pressed up against the wall by the door, will suffice, as will a single chair—the idea is just to carve out a spot for your guests to take off their shoes when they enter or plop down their purses. Minimal square footage required.
3. Go Wild with Wall Coverings
As a way to define the space and strengthen those first impressions, "don’t clutter the space with anything extraneous, but do use a large-scale geometric or boldly colored chinoiserie wallpaper on the walls and ceiling," Dunham advises. "If the budget is tight, paint [it] a bold color. If you're in a quandary as to what shade, do what Helena Rubinstein did: She went to her closet to look for a color she loved, cut a square from a Schiaparelli coat, and instructed David Hicks to match the walls.”
4. Define the Space Using a Rug
Especially if you're dealing with a foyer that's really just the wall of another room, setting down a rug in that area will make it feel like a unified, separate entryway.
5. Hang a Floating Shelf
A floating shelf is perfect for dropping keys and stacking mail without taking up any floor space at all. Find one with built-in hooks or install your own underneath to make the most of your wall space. Add artwork or a mirror to complete your faux foyer.
6. Yes to a Statement Lighting Fixture
As designer Phillip Thomas told us last year, "a large light fixture can make a room feel larger and taller." A bold pendant of chandelier also makes a memorable—and bright—first impression.
7. Paint the Door a Bold Color
The entryway of designer CeCe Barfield's Gramercy Park home sports a door at the end of a long hallway—and hardly room for any of the above flourishes. To define and draw attention to the space, she painted the door a bold mossy green.
8. Add a Small Console Table
If you have a little bit of floor space, consider placing a petite console table or chest in the entry. Find one that incorporates storage and utilize the area underneath to stash shoes, bags, and all those other things you tend to trip over on your way out the door.
9. Bring in Extra Storage
If you find the floor near your front door cluttered with shoes, bags, and umbrellas, reclaim the space with storage that keeps all your items at hand, but out of the way. Try baskets or boxes for shoes or add an eye-catching umbrella stand to corral your rainy-day essentials.
10. Use a Mirror
A mirror by the front door is not just for checking your outfit on your way out the door. A mirror—or cluster of mirrors— can help make the space feel bigger and brighter, which is especially helpful if your entrance is far from natural light.
11. Make a Statement with Art
Give your small entryway a big personality by putting your favorite art on display. Go bold with a single oversize painting or hang an array of pieces gallery style.
12. Bring in Plants
Add some life to your entry with a plant or two. Choose a colorful planter or plant stand to make more of an impact.
Images: Unsplash, Pexels