As it often goes, updating my entryway took much longer than I anticipated, but it is finally DONE (for now), and I had a chance to photograph it last weekend. When I first started working on my entryway back in the summer of 2017, I did the bare minimum and called it done, since I had a lot of other more important spaces to focus on at the time. As you can see from the photo below, this space was basically just an empty tiled hallway which opened up onto the dining room and led to the back of the house where the kitchen and living room are:
I began by just adding a console table, and then I also bought a small rug and a mirror to go above the table. At that point, I called the space “finished” enough, and it pretty much looked like this:
However, after I made more progress on the rest of the house, I kept finding myself returning to the entryway and feeling like it needed a little more love. I think entryways often get neglected, because, after all, they aren’t spaces that you actually stay and hang out in. And yet, they are spaces that you literally have to pass through at least once a day, AND they essentially are the “first impression” of one’s home when a visitor walks through the door. Furthermore, since our townhome has a fairly open plan, you can more or less see our entryway from every room on our first floor.
So, now that we had been living in our home for a few years, I identified some key ways that I wanted to improve the space, both in terms of aesthetics, as well as functionality:
I definitely needed and wanted a better organizational system for my entryway storage (see my previous post, which addresses this topic).
I wanted a runner which extended the full length of the hallway, so that when we came in through the garage, we wouldn't be tracking dirt or snow all over the house (I have learned that footprints show up really easily on the tile, and I am pretty OCD about keeping it clean, so this was driving me crazy).
I wanted a stool, so that people could sit down in order to take their shoes on and off (again, I have become one of those “no shoes in the house” people, but I realized that you can’t expect people to take their shoes off as soon as they walk in the door without giving them a place to sit down to do that).
I felt like the space needed a little more personality and visual interest, so I wanted to add some accessories which would give it a little more life.
Here’s how I have attempted to address those issues and enhance the space (whenever possible, I have included sources for all the items). View from the doorstep:
I chose a very simple but practical entryway runner (and matching doormat) to coordinate with the existing rug. It turned out to be a lot harder than I anticipated to find a runner within my budget which complemented the rug I already had; it was a frustrating process, but I learned a lot of important lessons, so stay tuned for a future post with more detail about the saga of choosing my entryway rugs! One other note, in the photo above, you can see that I placed a large plant and a photograph at the end of the hallway—it’s always good to have an attractive focal point which you can see as soon as you walk in the door to welcome visitors and help draw them into the space.
I created a simple but visually interesting vignette for the entryway table. Adding live plants to a home makes a huge difference in brightening up a space—especially in the winter time. Since I have cats, I am always very careful about choosing non-toxic plants; this one is a Rabbit’s Foot Fern, and so far it is thriving in this spot even though it doesn’t get much light! The letter organizer is from Pier1 (sadly it’s no longer available), the pot is from Home Depot, and the candleholder is also from Pier1.
The view from the other side of the entryway, facing the door. The console table is from Pier1 (can you tell I love that place??), but very sadly, it’s also not available anymore.
I purchased the small wooden stool as a set of two from Amazon. These weren’t necessarily my favorite in terms of style, but I did feel that the simplicity of the design and the dark warm wood tone complemented the entryway table nicely, and most importantly, they were just the right size—this is a pretty tight space, so it was hard to find a stool that was narrow enough to fit here. To soften the stool slightly and add a little more texture, I also layered it with this throw from Target. I really love this ceramic pot, which is from Colonial Gardens in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
This umbrella stand is probably my favorite accessory in the entryway—strictly speaking, we didn't necessarily need an umbrella stand, but I wanted something on the other side of the table to visually balance the stool, and I thought it could be a good way to add something really unique to this space. I found this awesome site called Excellent Accents, which sells really unusual umbrella stands, and I am thrilled with the one I purchased! It’s a beautiful statement piece!
It’s nice to have a mirror in an entryway, both so that you can check that everything is in place before running out the door, but also because it makes what is often a rather narrow space feel larger. This mirror is from West Elm, and I love its clean simple lines, gold corner accents, and the way the wood tone ties into the tabletop. I added family photos on either side, which helps make the entryway feel more personalized and welcoming—and it’s great to be able to see all the people I love everyday! The frames are from a local camera shop in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Finally, just to add one more touch of character to the space, I hung these small wall tiles, which were both special gifts, by the front door along with a key rack. The key rack is from the Container Store, and now I never have to waste time rummaging for my keys before I leave the house!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my entryway and that it gives you some ideas and inspiration for ways to make your entryway space just a little more functional and welcoming! Thanks for reading!