As the old saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The same philosophy should be considered when designing an entryway for a residential space. Entryways include a mix of exterior and interior elements that can help to seamlessly transition guests from outside to inside the home.
“Entryways really set the tone for the rest of the home,” said Kerrie Kelly, founder and creative director, Kerrie Kelly Design Studio. “Whether you live in a grand house or a tiny apartment, your home’s entryway is the first thing guests see when they step inside your house and the sight that greets you each time you walk through the front door.”
Here are some ways to make a statement with any entryway.
Front Porches & Patios
Front porches and patios serve as focal points for the exterior of the home. Making improvements to these areas can help to boost curb appeal. Whether starting fresh with a new build or updating an existing space, there are many ways to make the porch or patio stand out while expressing personal style. For example, consider including DesignRail® with LED Rail Lighting on the porch to help illuminate the area for approaching guests. The rail lighting not only provides a safe and well-lit entry but also creates a dynamic visual element after dark.
Adding hanging plants and sprucing up nearby landscaping can help to tie together the look. For an extra boost of greenery, install a trellis that will support beautiful flowering vines such as apple blossom clematis or Carolina jasmine to complement the home. Stainless steel trellises are ideal, as they resist the elements while providing a clean aesthetic. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and updated outdoor lighting fixtures are other simple changes that can make a big impact.
Foyers & Grand Entryways
Whether designing a small foyer or a grand entryway, the goal remains the same – to make visitors feel welcome upon entering the home. Consider including items that keep guests’ needs in mind while contributing to the overall style and organization of the space. A closet or rack to hang coats and jackets, a stylish container that holds umbrellas in case of rain, and a phone charging station all provide extra comforts for guests.
The foyer design should reflect the aesthetic of the rest of the home, tying in various elements to bring the look full circle. If space allows, including furniture such as an interesting table or a pair of armchairs can impart a cozy feel. Painting walls a distinctive hue or installing patterned wallpaper can make the area pop, while incorporating striking area rug and a dramatic lighting fixture can add character and texture. When dealing with a smaller space, hanging a decorative mirror can make the space appear larger.
Adds Kelly, “Bringing in artwork, floor tiles, throw pillows, a drop zone console, settee and sconces can create a vibrant and gracious welcome.”
When redesigning an entryway, the staircase is often an afterthought. However, it’s a great place to infuse an unexpected dose of personality. There are a number of options for upgrading staircases –ranging from simple and easy to more complex designs. For a quick update, consider adding a stair runner, which will add softness and texture to plain wooden steps.
Another great way to add some pizzazz to an uninspired stairway is to use paint and a stencil to create a repeating pattern that resembles a runner on the tops of the stairs. Painting the undersides of steps is another way to create visual interest.
For a more significant impact, a complete stairway renovation may be necessary. Floating staircases have become a popular addition that can be easy to retrofit in the home. Their modern look helps to open the space, making it appear bigger. Cable railing pairs well with floating staircases due to its crisp, clean-lined appearance. DesignRail® with Panel Infill is another great railing option to consider on a staircase. With infill options ranging from laser cut aluminum, stainless steel mesh and resin to cable and glass, DesignRail® offers beautiful and practical upgrades for any staircase.
Back Deck Entryways
Similar to front porches and patios, back deck entryways should be well lit for the safety of occupants and guests. Adding railings with Post Accent Lights is a great way to incorporate another light source on decks and stairways, while helping to further brighten and enhance the spaces.
Unlike front entryways back entryways may lack porticos that shield the doorway from wet weather. To address this issue, it may be helpful to add an awning to the space. Aluminum awnings with polycarbonate panels are durable and aesthetically pleasing, providing protection from the elements while serving as an eye-catching accent piece for the exterior of the home.
Make a lasting impression by upgrading the entry points to a home. A well-designed entryway will make a house feel like a home and make guests feel like family. Whether making a small change or transforming the space with a completely new style, the possibilities are endless.