6 Things You Don’t Actually Need in Your Entryway, According to Home Stagers

published Aug 4, 2020
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Staging a house is all about making a great first impression. You want potential buyers to feel immediately welcome and relaxed so they can imagine themselves living there. But there’s always the possibility of clutter getting in the way. According to professional home stagers, there are things sellers who want to stage their homes either for a showing or for MLS photography can get rid of, starting with the first room buyers see: the entryway.

Home stagers help remove clutter—especially the stuff that collects around the front door—as well as personal items that could be distracting. Overall, Sydney Gaskins, senior project manager at Red House Staging & Interiors in Maryland, says that “the biggest thing people get wrong is that they don’t look at their home with an outsider’s perspective.” You want a “seamless, clean look that’s cohesive and showcases the home the best,” she says.

Turns out, the saying “less is more” is particularly true for staging entryways, “especially if you are having in-person showings,” says Julie Chrissis, property stylist at Chrissis & Company Interiors in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. “You don’t want a traffic jam coming in,” she says. “That’s off-putting to buyers.” 

So, what should go and what should stay? To start, Gaskins, Chrissis, and Rhode Island’s Redesigned Home Staging’s Kristen Brown and Amy Keeley recommend moving these six common clutter culprits to a nearby closet.  

Umbrella holders

“Entryways always seem to be clutter magnets,” says Gaskins. Removing the more utilitarian items that aren’t so pretty such as umbrella holders help visually tidy it up. 

Freestanding coat racks

Coats, hats, scarves, and the like accumulate here, making the space look messy. Freestanding coat racks can “give the impression there is not enough storage in the house,” say Brown and Keeley. 

Shoe racks

Same idea goes here—piled with shoes, these racks look messy and suggest the house doesn’t have enough storage space. 

Furniture that’s too big

Keep the space simple with furniture that fits properly. Large furniture pieces such as armoires can make the space feel crowded when it should feel open and spacious,” say Brown and Keeley. Bulky tables should be swapped for more slender credenzas. 

Old doormats

“Often the mats we have in our entryway are worn and dirty because we use them to wipe our feet,” say Brown and Keely. Invest in a clean one to put out just for showings. And it’s better if it’s “stylish instead of functional,” says Chrissis, since they look more polished and also photograph better.  

Pet accessories

While you may love your furry friends, not all potential buyers will,” say Brown and Keeley. Dog or cat bowls, litter boxes, and leashes could lead buyers to imagine dirt and potential damage elsewhere in the house, so just tuck it all away. 

Now that it’s clear of clutter, what should be in your entryway? The consensus among experts: A slim console table or credenza. “It’s the perfect accent piece that can be functional and appealing to the eye,” says Gaskins. If your entryway isn’t large enough for one, try a narrow bench instead.

Then, bring in some plants or flowers to “add freshness and life to the space,” says Brown and Keeley as well as a nice, subtle piece of art or a mirror. In addition to visually making the space appear larger, Brown and Keeley having a mirror here also “literally allows the buyer to see themselves in the home.” That is the point, after all!