How To: Create a Welcoming Entryway

Most of us spend a lot of time worrying about keeping our entryways organized, because a neat landing strip can lead to a more organized home in general. But it's equally important to create an entry that feels welcoming and warm, not only for guests but for residents too. Click through for some inspiration, including ideas for what to do if you've got no entryway to speak of...• Focus on lighting. Pick out a favorite lamp to install just inside the door. You can leave it on when you go out for the evening and be welcomed by the soft light when you return.

• Keep fresh flowers or a houseplant on your landing strip console table, if you have one, or buy a larger plant or tree to stand just inside the door. Our front door opens right into our living room, so we use the arch of a palm tree's fronds to create a kind of barrier between the entry and the open-plan room.

Mirrors make a tight hall space feel larger and reflect light from the outside. Artwork is also important in this space; choose pieces that have a calming effect on you, as they're the first thing you'll see at home at the end of your workday.

• Arrange a place to sit in your entryway, for taking off shoes, sorting mail, and so on. It can be a chair, of course, if you have room, but you can also get creative here, using a vintage trunk or chest, a storage bench, a garden stool.

• Consider accent wallpaper or paint that differs from the rest of your home, especially if you're trying to create a foyer where you don't already have one. A bright color or wallpaper makes a dramatic statement that can be fun for a transition space.

• If your front door opens into your living room, use a shelving unit or screen to create an entryway space (see the last two photos above). Even a low bookshelf, with a lamp on top and a place to drop your keys and mail, can be used as a divider between the space behind your door and the rest of the room.

Making your entryway warm and welcoming is a good, manageable project for Labor Day weekend. Here are some more posts to peruse if you're working on your own:

Dilemma: When Your Front Door Opens Directly Into Your Living Room
Inspiration: Entryways, Foyers, and Landing Strips
Five Dramatic Entryways
10 Different Ways to Organize an Entryway
How To: Make a Cozy Entryway
7 Tips to Liven Up the Entryway

(Images: Shannon Fricke/Marie Claire Maison; PointClickHome; Simply Grove/Domino; Easy Living Magazine; Jennifer Nilsen/Harmony and Home; Livingetc (all bottom row))

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