What is the thing that you can’t make twice?
A first impression.
The first thing anyone sees when you open the door is the entrance hall.
And like the man said, “you only get one shot, one opportunity” before they make up their mind.
Many designers will tell you that your entrance hall or a foyer, whichever you have, is a great opportunity for you to sweep your guests off their feet right away.
Let’s learn about both spaces and how to jazz them up.
Styling Entrance Halls and Foyers
Now, what is the definition of an entrance hall?
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, it is a hall that is located right inside or near the entrance of your home.
But architecturally speaking, an entrance hall is any entry area that resembles a hallway.
If that’s too simplistic or vague, an entrance hall is a small room that you go through on your way to the main portion of the house.
It can also be a hallway (resembling a tunnel) that guides you towards the main house.
Oftentimes, this is confused with a foyer.
So let’s check out how they are different and then proceed to what we can do with each space.
What is the difference between an entrance hallway and a foyer?
Well, a foyer is also an area right at the entrance of the house.
It is called a foyer when it connects the entrance with the rest of the house.
It is usually a small space that separates the outdoors from the rooms of the house.
If you spot a stairway that leads to another part of the house, you are looking at a foyer.
If it looks like a room, it is more of an entrance hall than a foyer.
Whatever you call it, be sure not to overcrowd or confuse contradictory styles.
You don’t want to add too many items, especially if you are dealing with a relatively small space.
You also don’t want clashing styles like contemporary colors with retro showpieces forced together.
So, the first thing you need to do is pick a theme.
Luckily, different parts of the house can have different themes. Start by figuring out the boundaries of the entrance hall and go ahead.
As mentioned before, there are many ways to do this.
You can pick a color scheme or choose to go heavy on lighting or go with a certain kind of furniture to display collectibles and art pieces or stay minimalist.
It is important to know which of these reflects your style before you buy the accessories.
Let’s look at some entrance hall ideas for houses that will also help you understand design styles.
If you pick a color scheme, you must try to stay with contemporary or minimalist styles.
This helps the colors dominate the space instead of the objects.
This is a great example from Architectural Digest.
The art is contemporary, the furniture is traditional and the place is limited to three colors—yellow walls, brown furniture and white stairs.
Not even the chandelier on top can draw attention.
If you are on the other side of the spectrum and like dark colors, this might be more your style.
One of the walls matches the furniture. And the only thing drawing attention is that Klein photograph of Brad Pitt.
The colors in this room can be dark because of the paneled door which allows just enough light.
You will be surprised by the edge your entrance hallway will gain with a little decoration on the floor.
This one is a great example of using a pattern on the floor, the stripes on the stairs and the floor are a match.
The walls are apple green and there is little furniture in a shade of brown. This is also an example of what you can do with flooring.
Once again, the lighting on the ceiling is minimal.
This is the other way of styling the floor. Patterned tiles are a great way to draw your guests’ attention to the ground.
The tiles also line up the sides of the stairs keeping the theme going. But the rest of the room follows a minimalist style to keep the pattern classy.
Design can be heavy downwards and upwards.
Traditionally, the choice has been to go upwards with delightful chandeliers.
If you have space, you have the option of doing something grand. You could also play with shapes while you’re at it. Look at this design. The lighting fixture and the table are both octagons that bring symmetry to the room.
Some designers prefer it both ways, like this. So there’s a rug on the floor and a fixture on top.
But, of course, when we think of decorating a space, our minds go straight to furniture and walls. Sometimes it’s together and sometimes not. Let’s look at examples of both.
If you like antiques or vintage styles, there is a lot to do. Oftentimes, we think of bottom-heavy rooms. But look at this room.
The decoration is top heavy with the grand chandelier meeting the reindeer horns on the wall. The floor stays simple.
If you want something more traditional, try this style. An extensive collection of wall art with settees that follow the color scheme is what you need.
What If the Space Is Small?
Well, that does not mean you compromise on style.
You just need to be a little wise. Before glancing at lobby/entrance hall interior design ideas for a small home, let’s pick up some basic do’s and don’ts that are applicable to a small space in any part of the house.
“What should I put in my entryway?” is an excellent question. The answer is another question. Do you want it to be utilitarian or decorative? Sometimes you can blend both if you can apply these tips.
- If you experience cold weather, you need storage space for coats. If you are from a no-shoes culture or have adapted the practice, you need a shoe rack. If you experience rains, make space for an umbrella rack. If you want one or more of these options, you might have to cut down on accessories. However, you can choose to leave the coats and umbrellas out in the open and still make it look good.
- Swap out sofas or chairs and a table for a settee to save space. You can also buy smart furniture which has multiple purposes and sometimes comes with storage space. This helps reduce clutter and keep the space pretty.
- Walls act as a great space for storage and decoration. If you get wall-mounted shelves, you can place items like books and wire baskets or bowls for miscellaneous items like keys, etc. That makes them storage friendly. Place vases and other art pieces on the shelves if you want to use them for decorative purposes. You can also avoid shelves and go for posters or picture frames. The only trouble with this is if you live in a dusty city.
- Use wall-mounted lights to make sure it is well lit if your entrance hall does not come with a window. Try a sconce.
Whichever style you choose, there is no one way or formula to decorate any space in the house.
It depends on the available space, your taste and, of course, the budget. You can play with the color scheme or jazz it up with lighting and appropriately placed furniture.
As seen above, sometimes you can mix it up by focussing on the flooring.
So pick a style and hit it.