Making an entrance

With the right style and decor, a small entryway can make a big impression on your guests when they walk through the front door of your home.

Everyone knows what they say about first impressions, and the entrance to a home definitely makes a first impression. Here are some ideas for making an entrance.

• Add a splash of color to either the front door, one wall of the foyer or the ceiling of the entry. One burst of color will add contrast and say “wow” without being overwhelming.

If painting is too much of a commitment, use a graphic rug. Rugs are versatile because they trap dirt and ad something extra to a room, plus, rugs can easily be swapped out. Just remember the entrance sees shoes immediately from the outdoors so keep the colors in line with that thought.

• A mirror in the foyer does double-duty for the space. A mirror allows for a last glance to make sure all is in place and it also makes the typically small space feel bigger and brighter.

The entrance is like reading the jacket of a book, it makes a statement about what is next to come. It is the opportunity make a bold announcement with one oversized piece of artwork that introduces the rest of the home.

The entryway doesn’t have to be a spot everyone just passes by, either. Place a welcoming chair or at least a bench for shoe removal or a place to sit while sorting through the usual stack of mail.

• Avoid a messy entry way by keeping mail from piling up on a table by placing an ornamental organizer in the entrance. Something such as a tray with dividers or attractive baskets for this mini-mail room to divide up everyone’s mail works best. Another idea is to keep time-sensitive mail separated from the pile. Add a decorative trash bin such as a wicker basket to disperse of junk mail immediately.

• A slender, long table is perfect for small spaces and allows a place for keys and other personal items that come and go. A table also allows for a small lamp with dim lighting to keep from coming home to a dark house. A table with cabinetry underneath provides a disguised place for storing shoes and backpacks.

When the entry is to small for a table, try using a wall-mounted shelf with hooks underneath for hanging coats, keys, umbrellas, and purses. The important thing is to reclaim the space with décor specifically suited to holding those items so clutter doesn’t take over.

When an entrance includes a staircase, it is the perfect place for a storage hack. Disguise the underneath of the staircase as a storage compartment with hidden passages to housing a coat closet.

The secret is to keep the entry looking timeless, not dated.

— Marla Ballard’s Master of Disguise

appears in the Times-Journal weekday editions.

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