5 Tips to Create an Entryway that is Stunning & Functional

Entryways are the first impression your home makes when visitors step into your home. This may be cliché but you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression!

You want your entryway to be an example of what the rest of your house will look like.  So you want to make that a stunning & inviting one! BUT you also want it to be functional for your family.

Lets face reality here for a moment. What do most entryways look like when no one is around? Is your entrance table stacked full of mail, books from school? Is the floor full of shoes scattered all over and everyone is tripping over the kids’ backpacks?

Entryways can be stunning but they also need to reflect the family’s needs and style or there is always going to be a struggle between style & function. You can have both with your entrance with these 5 tips!

5 Tips to Create an Inviting & Functional Entryway

1. Home’s Interior Design Style

Your front entrance should reflect what your home’s interior design style. It should be a sneak preview of what guests will expect when they go into your home.


Photo: A Decorated Life

If your home is contemporary, modern farmhouse, coastal or something else, you want your entryway to be a reflection of your home’s style. In our picture above, this entryway in a contemporary home is simple but stunning! The mirror is the star creating a BIG focal point. The table is perfect because it has the same finish as the mirror yet its simple style doesn’t take away from the impact of the mirror. If you wanted a table with drawers to stash things away, you could purchase a shorter mirror and replace the gold table with a table of equal size with drawers. Notice the cozy half couch in the mirror reflection? Its a great way to fill up this spot AND make it functional with a spot to sit and put on shoes.

Not sure what your house’s interior design style is?

Photo: LTK

This entryway table is perfect for a Modern Farmhouse Style. Lots of style and functional as well. You could put 4 baskets under this table where kids can have a drop zone when they come in or you could put a couple of ottomans there to pull out when you want to put shoes on or you can use for extra seating in your living room when you have lots of company. You could also put small baskets on the shelf to hold keys, hair brush etc. Notice the molding on the wall that creates a focal point. Its simple but makes a lovely statement.

2.  Accent Wall

Once you know what your interior design style is, the next place to start is to focus on “the wall.” Your entryway will have a main wall which automatically makes it the focal point of the area.

The accent wall can be the same color as the rest of the space or you can have some fun like painting it a different color, adding wallpaper, or add molding. Its all personal preference and should tie into your design style.

Photo: Pinterest

In this transitional styled entryway, the homeowners have created a stunning entranceway. They have wallpapered this entire space with a textured neutral wallpaper that has a beautiful sheen to it. The mirror and table are not only stunning, they provide function for the space. The homeowner can add décor boxes on the bottom shelf if they need storage. Notice the drop dead gorgeous chandelier.

Photo: Soul & Lane

Soul & Lane created a stunning entrance way using board & batten to create a square shape. Its classic & timeless and suits many different interior design styles.

Accent walls automatically draw the eye to the focused area. In this contemporary home above, the black accent wall sets the tone for this modern home. The picture and practical bench also adds to the mood and practical function that this entryway serves.

Photo: Quiet Joy at Home

This boho interior design styled entrance above starts out with stunning textured wallpaper. They keep their theme running throughout the entire look for a show stopper look!

3. Stunning Artwork or Mirror

Entryways that are the most memorable, are the ones that have a focal point.  A focal point is something that grabs your attention immediately.  For entryways, that focal point could be a light, a stunning picture, an accent wall, and/or an interesting rug or floor tiles.

Photo: Quite Joy at Home

A stunning mirror or artwork is a great start to create a focal point that grabs your attention. In our home above, the lake scene picture indulges your eye right away. The fern is a bit distracting for me. I would have replaced it with taller matching lamps with narrow lamp shades for a more cohesive look. You could add storage baskets below instead of the vases if you need storage.

Your entryway needs a focal point to grab your visitor’s eye immediately. But be careful not to have too many focal points otherwise it can be distracting and the eye doesn’t know where to land.

Mirrors are what you typically see in entranceways because of their practicality. One always wants the last glimpse in the mirror to make sure their lipstick and hair looks good.

Photo: Gina Herron

The size and style of this mirror is the right match for this space and matches the interior door color. You may not always have room for a table like our homeowner above but this shelf is perfect to hold a few things while you’re taking that last check in the mirror. Notice the stunning chandelier as well. The color and style is perfect for this space while lighting up the hallway when needed.

4. Console table, dresser or bench?

Now we get into the practicality of our entranceway. How does your entranceway function? Is it mainly for guests or does your family typically enter through the front door. The answer to this question will help you in deciding whether a table, with a few drawers perhaps, a dresser or a bench is the best piece for your space. There is no right or wrong answer here, its what works best for the function for your family. If you have a rear entrance like a mudroom where the kids enter from school, then you can style your front entrance for visitors & guests.

Source: Etsy

This entryway is styled beautifully with its trendy dark console. Its perfect for those that need storage at their entrance.

Photo: Studio McGee

This modern farmhouse entryway from Studio McGee is stylish AND functional. It checks all the boxes. The accent wall has beautiful board & batten molding, the stunning mirror is beautiful and gives you that last minute check out the door. The table is adorable and has lots of drawers for keys, hairbrushes etc. The ottomans below can be used for additional seating or storage. A well thought out design from Studio McGee. You wouldn’t expect anything less.

Photo: Studio McGee

Benches are very practical in an entryway whether its the front or back entrance, benches can come in handy. This Modern Farmhouse styled entryway above is not only perfect for its design style, its very functional as well. The basket can store shoes to keep the space tidy and stored under the bench. Plants ALWAYS add a nice refreshing feel to the space. Be sure to choose plants based on the lighting of the hallway since many hallways don’t always get lots of light during the day. Artificial plants would also work too.

5. Accessories & Lighting

Now that you have the foundation of your entryway set, we’re down to the final details that turn it into YOUR space unique to you and your family! Its the accessorizing of your entryway. This is where you can add décor, family photos AND lighting.

Some entryways can be dark at night so adding lights to your table can enhance this area at night without having to the ceiling hallway lights on.

Photo: Studio McGee

Do you have some great ideas now?

Need some color or design guidance?

Perhaps your exterior needs updating, like your front door. Or perhaps you need some help picking out paint colors or you need to “Pick My Brain” on a room that you’re working on. You have some ideas but you’re just not sure which way to go. I can help you with that!

I help busy homeowners, just like you, to style their house to make it a stunning retreat, where they can live and enjoy their home. I help homeowners, make money beyond their wildest expectations from the sale of their house by guiding them when they’re getting their house ready to sell.


Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Color Consultant & Real Estate Investor. 

I conducted my first color consult at the age of 7, for my father for one of his design | build projects. I’m an Interior Designer, a Double-Certified Paint Color Expert, with advanced training in kitchens + bathrooms!

Since 2006, I have helped hundreds of clients, just like you, to style their house to make it a stunning retreat, that is functional for the family AND that they love and enjoy their home. I was one of the first stagers in the industry when staging just started out, and I have helped hundreds of clients make money beyond their expectations when they sold their house.

In 2020, I moved my design business online. In my spare time lol, I renovate, manage and am the general contractor for my rental properties.

Read my full story here + my design credentials.

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