The entryway. The mudroom. I would argue that we’ve given this hard-working part of our homes less than gracious names in spite of its tough job. This is the place that welcomes us after a long day at work, school or after a holiday; it’s the place that welcomes our friends for the first time and all the subsequent ones. This is the space where our kids leave their muddy snow boots and where we put down the food shopping as soon as we walk in the door. It’s the front desk of our home. And you know what they say about first impressions...
If you’ve struck gold in this department, your entryway is a huge space. If you’re very lucky, it’s a separate room in your home. If you don’t fall into either of these categories, your entryway is just a passageway or a section of the wall adjacent to the door. Should the latter be the case for you, don’t despair: the truth is that when it comes to styling an entryway, large spaces can prove as challenging as tiny ones. So, be clever in designing your mudroom and you’ll realize that size doesn’t matter!
Read on for some tips on how to find the right style and décor for your space in order to reveal an entryway you can be excited about every time you come home.
Tips to find your own Entryway Style
1) When I design a room in my house the first thing I always think about is how I want to feel in that space. Being honest about what you expect from a space eliminates a lot of unnecessary energy spent trying to pull off concepts you may like but that simply don’t work for you. Ask yourself: how do I want to feel when I walk in the door? Relaxed? Organised? Calm? Energised? Vibrant? Awake? Original? Loved? This will help you with the colours, materials and accessories you want to bring into the entryway.
If your answer is calm and relaxed, you’re probably not going to go for a foyer like the one on the right. However, if you want to feel vibrant and original, this style might be one just for you.
Those of you going for a relaxing and organised environment can opt for soft or earthy tones and white storage units; for an energising and original look, you might want to choose wooden finishes and one-of-a-kind artwork. Framed family photos will make you feel loved without a doubt.
2) When it comes to the entryway, a lot of the items you wear will become an inevitable part of the décor. So, although this may sound bizarre the first-time round, consider your jackets, shoes and accessories: do you want them to blend in or stand out? I have personally chosen grays, whites and browns in our mudroom because my family owns mostly blue, black and brown jackets, shoes and umbrellas. The gray and white create a neutral canvas for all our seasonal accessories and this makes it easy on the eye when things are left out on the bench or hanging on hooks.
Consider the versatility of these beautiful entryways when it comes to practicality and what would happen if you left a dark green jacket lying around in the space There’s no right or wrong answer here, I’ll let you be the judge and decide which one of these designs would work for you when you think about the green jacket and the scarves and boots you’d be leaving out.
3) Themes and trends. If you know me, you probably know I’m not a fan of either.
However, if you enjoy themes and updating spaces according to the latest trends, an entryway would be the perfect place to do it because it’s small enough to keep the changes within budget and/or a strong theme from becoming overwhelming.
It makes sense to ask yourself why you’re drawn to a certain style: perhaps you had a wonderful beach holiday with your family or a fantastic weekend in the French countryside with friends. At the end of the day, it all comes down to living surrounded by meaning and if your entryway reminds you of the good times in your life, that’s great!
If it’s a trend you’re drawn to, does it identify you only or everyone else living in your home? And always consider your surroundings before allowing themes and trends to guide your design since a gorgeous coastal foyer might feel completely out of place in the artificial light of the dark winter afternoons in Switzerland.
Boho chic Style
4) You might find that the right style for your entryway is given by the rest of the features in your home, especially when the spaces are open plan and other rooms come within sight as you walk in the door. So, think about how far your eye sees and create a cohesive feel by replicating palettes and textures: this will contribute to a sense of calm.
I personally face a lot of design challenges in our entryway: the widest stretch of flat wall is only about 50 cm, there are four doors in this space and in order to walk from the kitchen to the dining room, I need to pass by the entryway… it’s dark and there are no power sockets, a vertical radiator is fixed to one of the walls, the width of the room is that of the front door, and not much natural light makes it into this corner of our home.
However, I make the best with what I’ve got and the rest of the home serves as inspiration to style this tiny space. The windows in the living room still have their original wooden frames, so I decided to duplicate the brown and choose a rug in that colour. The beige/gray is that of the sofa and although the mirror used to be gold, I painted it white: I just didn’t want to introduce one more tone here. The small bench was a DIY project since I couldn’t find anything ready-made in that size. To upholster it I opted for a resilient striped fabric, which is great because it gives our entryway a slightly masculine touch my family can relate to.
As I said previously, the entryway is akin to the front desk of your home, but don’t decorate it to impress others. The bottom line is that you and your family will be the most frequent visitors here, so style it in a way that resonates with and surprises you every time.
5) If all this fails and you’re still lost for inspiration, check out the entryways in your favourite movies or TV shows or pay attention to the reception areas in the hotels you stay at when you travel!
Left: Cameron Diaz’s Home in the movie The Holiday. Centre: Hotel Marktgasse, Zurich. Right: a personal favourite: Entryway from the couple’s condo in the movie The Break-Up.
So, there you have it: a series of tips on how to source inspiration for your entryway. While you decide on what style fits you and your home best, stay tuned for Part Two of this series, where I will walk you through the basic elements that make for a functional space; a fun and easy DIY project for those of us with muddy boots during our beautiful Swiss winters, and how to pull it all off successfully.
And here it is: perfect to leave our dark green jacket lying around!
Fall in love with your home.
About our Author:
Analía Lazzari, Founder of Spaces for Life Interiors
Former Australian lawyer and qualified interior designer delivering affordable interiors in the Zurich area and beyond. An avid traveler, Analía is passionate about history, culture and meaningful homes. She lives in Richterswil with her husband and two teenage sons.
Follow Analías diary on Instagram: @spacesforlife_interiors
In order of appearance from left to right.
12) BlueHost.com via pinterest.com
21) Analía Lazzari
24) via hookedonhouses.net
25) via hookedonhouses.net