7 Tips for Styling Your Entryway, According to Professional Home Stagers

published Jul 3, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lauren Kolyn

When it comes to your home, it’s helpful to think of your entryway as a preview to a movie.

That’s advice from Erin Powell, design director and principal designer at roOomy, a virtual staging, CGI, and 3D-modeling platform. “You want to create an entryway that gives a glimpse of who you are style-wise but not a full scope look,” she says. 

With that in mind, here are seven tips from Powell and other professional stagers to create a functional, aesthetically-pleasing entryway. Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just want an impressive entrance, these tips will help give off that good “welcome home” vibe.

1. Have a ‘wow’ piece

Powell says your entryway should give a sneak peek into your unique design aesthetic. With this in mind, you should put one statement piece there. Maybe it’s a collection of unique umbrellas in a bin, a bold piece of artwork, a rare statute, a uniform plant wall, or interesting lighting.

“All of this would tell a good story and make you want to see the rest of the space,” she says.

Want to create a space where you can take off your shoes? Set out a side chair with a funky pattern and drape a lush throw blanket over its arm, says Lanna Ali-Hassan, co-owner of Beyond the Box Interiors, a full-service interior design firm in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

2. Add some color

You can save the more neutral colors for the bedroom or elsewhere in the house, but the entryway can be a great place to experiment with color. Adding paint, wallpaper, or a bold-colored piece of furniture makes the space interesting and unique, suggests Powell.

3. Gather these three must-haves items

An entryway is a functional space, so if space allows, the perfect one has this trifecta: a table, a lamp, and a mirror, says Justin Riordan, interior designer, architect and founder of the Portland-based home staging company Spade and Archer Design Agency.

If you’re staging your home for sale, a table is especially helpful because it can hold real estate agent cards and fliers. A lamp will help you always enter a well-lit home (great for peace of mind!). A mirror will give the illusion that the space is bigger than it may actually be, and it can also serve a functional role, allowing you to give yourself a quick look before leaving the house.

4. Sneak in some storage space

Storage space is necessary to give a place to drop your mail, keys, and bag, and to swap out shoes and outerwear. But try to avoid open baskets, suggests Barbara Schmidt, an interior designer, creative director, and founder of Minneapolis-based marketing and design firm Studiobstyle.

“Open baskets seem to just add clutter,” she says. “If you have to use baskets, get some that are lidded.” 

If space allows, a console table or small storage cabinet (either floor or wall-mounted) are beautiful and practical choices, says Carole Marcotte, the lead designer with Raleigh-based Form and Function. Use them to hold dog leashes, extra keys, pens for signing school papers, and other items.

5. Add a benches or chair (but only if there’s space)

“Benches and chairs are great in an entryway if they fit, but don’t force them in,” says Jena Tack, home stager and real estate agent with Kris Lindahl Real Estate in Minnesota. “Most entryways are too small for them to comfortably fit. It will turn into a negative if they make the area look too busy or small.”

Credit: Sarita Relis Photography

6. Update the light fixtures

New light fixtures in an entryway make a big difference, Tack says. “Buyers are drawn to light fixtures and making sure you have something new and updated will impress them,” she says.

Tack also says that this is an easy upgrade. Your local hardware store or favorite online store carries plenty options.

7. Add a rug

First, rugs help keep a house tidy from inclement weather getting tracked in on boots and shoes, Schmidt says. A rug also creates a welcoming entryway.

The key here is to make sure it’s the right size: You’ll want to have at least 18 inches to 24 inches of bare space on each side of the rug. 

A final note when it comes to styling your entryway: Design the space with balance, Powell says. “All furnishings and decor should have a purpose to one another and the space they are dwelling in so that the entryway makes sense.”

More great Real Estate reads: