Faking an Entryway in a Small Space: 6 Strategies That Really Work

published Sep 16, 2015
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(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

Don’t have an actual entryway? You’re not alone. Small space dwellers and those with modern homes that didn’t build an entryway into the floor plan all suffer from being dumped right into a living room and not having a proper introduction to a home (not to mention a spot to store day-to-day items you need easy access to). Here are the six proven design elements you can incorporate (alone or by combining a few) to the area near your front door to fake an entryway (or at least the function of one).

1. All hooks, all the time

Hanging an array of hooks on the wall next to your door does a couple of things. One, it gives you a spot to hang your coats, bags, dog leashes, keys and more. Secondly, it practically screams “organized entryway.” So that even if you don’t have a physical divider between the area right inside your door and the rest of your home, using hooks (an entryway staple) will mimic the look and feel, helping give the visual impression of an entryway.

2. Hang shelves at the right height for an entryway’s needs

Shelves hung on a wall are great visual divider (and handy storage space) anywhere you put them in a home. Placed on the wall near to the front door, though, and you again create a specific place that says “entryway,” even if your entryway isn’t its own room. You can do a floor to ceiling wall shelf arrangement for storing shoes, keys, mail and more entryway related items, or you can hang just one shelf at mid-height to catch just a few entryway items.

3. Use a bench to create a vignette

Placing a bench near a front door doesn’t require any drilling into the walls, but like a lot of the other suggestions on this list, it is associated with entryways, and will help set your faux entryway apart from the rest of the room it’s actually in. You can create a vignette of accessories like trays for catching keys, etc., but be sure you leave some of it empty for sitting and taking off of shoes (which can be neatly lined up under the bench to further perpetuate the entryway myth).

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

4. A plant’s leaves can divide

If these elements for the wall above just aren’t visually dividing enough, get creative to create a visual divider yourself. An easy and affordable one is using a large plant to sit a few steps from the front door and visually divide a bit between the “entryway” and the rest of the space. It doesn’t work in everyone’s home, but it could be an option in your layout.

→ Decor Detail: Oversized Houseplants

5. So does an open bookcase

The same can go for a bookcase that has open shelves. Light can shine through, and it’s not a total solid divider so it won’t feel like you’re boxed in as soon as you enter. And again, it depends on the layout, but it could help you shape an entryway where there was not one.

6. Setting the area apart with paint or pattern

Of course, there’s the old paint trick. Using paint to quite literally paint a division between an “entryway” and the rest of the living room can create a visual vestibule. Those bold enough might even consider painting the floor and ceiling along with the wall to really drive home the idea of it being a different part of the space that the rest of the room.