The 7 Best Tips for a Home With a Tiny (Or Nonexistent) Entryway

updated Mar 11, 2020
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Do you have a small, dedicated room that you enter into from your front door, that pleasantly greets guests, that houses all the things you need for the day? Yeah me neither. What I do have is a front door that deposits me and my guests directly into my living room and a list of every day items that continually threaten to take over the entire home. Here are the best ideas for folks who want to contain clutter and have a space that greets guests, even if their home didn’t come with a separate, distinct space known as the “entryway” or a really small entryway.

1. Perfect the landing strip

There’s just no getting around it — the best way to create a little more order in your life and set an area of your home apart as the “entryway” is to have yourself a lovely little landing strip, customized for your needs. Whether you’re always losing your car keys or need a place to put important mail and messages, a landing strip could be anything from a small and unassuming shelf to a narrow furniture piece. And just because you’ve already got some organizing in place, doesn’t mean this area of your home doesn’t need regular check-ins to see how it can be improved.

2. Start before you get to the door

For those without an actual separate entryway space, the worry of your guests sort of getting dumped right into your living room is a real one. But you can introduce your home and style a little more slowly by starting before they even get to the door. Use your porch, patio or stoop to have organizational tools like a shelf for putting your shoes on or just create an introduction to your style by decorating the area near the door. Paying attention to this area will act as an alternative to a true entryway.

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(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

3. Use paint or pattern to set apart

Even if there are no structural divisions between the space right next to your front door and the rest of your home doesn’t mean you can’t get stylish and smart to visually set it apart. Use paint or pattern on the floor, wall or ceiling to create a small division that works with other elements like a landing strip to establish an entryway.

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(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

4. Partially enclose with a design element

No need to build a wall; use a large, leafy plant to place next to your door to partially enclose a space you could call your entryway. Or use a furniture piece to act as a divider and guide the traffic through your space. It doesn’t need to be something that completely blocks out light or space; just something that will create a visual cue that this area is a bit set apart from the rest of your home.

5. Choose a good mat inside and out

This tip doesn’t quite have to do with creating a visual distinction, it’s just good sense. A good mat outside your door and another good one just inside will trap more dirt and potentially keep your home a little cleaner. Not to mention they’ll make good design elements if you apply some of the other tips and ideas found in this post.

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6. Hit them with a good smell right out of the gate

Again, this doesn’t have anything to with creating a visual space for an entryway if you don’t have one, but it’s good practice for any home: Have a pleasant smell greet guests (and yourself!) and you’ll have a home that feels pleasant and seems cleaner than it is right off the bat.

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7. Customize for the season

Depending on your location, your entryway needs might vary pretty wildly from season to season. So whether you’ve got a separate entryway or not, consider making sure that at the start of each season you take time to reevaluate your entryway (whatever size or type you have) to see if you need additional storage for heavy winter coats or tools to protect your home from bringing the bad weather in.

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Re-edited from from a post originally published 11.23.14-NT