Just like a friendly smile and a warm hug welcomes a visitor — your entryway makes the same introduction for your home. It’s the first thing you and your guests see when walking in the door. It sets the tone about your family and lifestyle. 

Decorating this space shouldn’t be an afterthought! You want to create an atmosphere that beckons your guests to come in and make themselves at home. Nothing makes me happier than knowing my friends and family feel as welcome in my home as in their own.

Yes, you want your guests to feel welcome as they walk through the door — but your entryway also needs to provide you with a sense of calm as you come home. You are the one regularly going in and out, and it should leave you with a feeling of peace.

Our Room: The Entry at the 2018 Hampton Designer Showhouse

The Size of Your Entryway Space

Some homes have large entryways where you walk straight into an open gathering area. In other homes, a large wall may be the first thing to greet you. No matter what size or shape your space may take, simple changes can make the world of a world of difference.

Since entryways are typically smaller than other areas of the home, like the kitchen or living room, it's easy to skip it over altogether. But with a few easy and quick changes, it can be the reason your guest wants to come in and stay awhile. 

Do you feel like your space is too small to make any impression at all? Or maybe it’s an awkward space? Don’t worry! Let me reassure you that even small and awkward spaces can express big hospitality! 

Here are some of my best tips to design a beautiful entryway that leaves a lasting impression:


There are several key ways to give your exterior a boost. I always say — start with the front door! 

  • Go classic – Use neutral colors or stain your front door for a natural finish.
  • Go bold – Try a splash of color to give it a pop, adding instant vibrance to your home. My own front door is painted a color called Skydive by Benjamin Moore. If bright colors are too risky for you, give darker hues a go. Try Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy for a classic coastal look.

You can also revamp by updating your house numbers, light fixtures, and doorknobs. Black finishes make a bold statement, while brass fixtures are more classic. These minor changes go a long way!


It’s not always easy to create a calm and inviting ambiance in a place that tends to collect clutter. If your home is anything like mine, the entryway is a catch-all for coats, shoes, keys, purses, books — you name it! 

Keep it light and open by using storage to make it functional as well. Try using storage bins, hanging baskets, shelves, and wall hooks. 

Back Entry at one of our Bridgehampton Projects

Making mindful choices when decorating your home is what sustainability is all about. Sustainability is more than just being environmentally friendly. It’s about paying attention to what you’re bringing into your home and how it affects your health. 

Want to know the easiest way to do this? Think vintage! When you choose secondhand over new, there is little to no carbon footprint. Vintage items add warmth and classic elegance.

When you need to shop new, look for natural materials such as bamboo, natural stones, cork, and reclaimed wood. 


Mirrors help brighten any space by reflecting light, even if there aren’t windows nearby. They also create the illusion that the space is bigger than it actually is. 

Use a mirror as a focal point and build around it, keeping it simple and clean. With so many different shapes and sizes to choose from, you can transform and brighten any entryway with this easy add! 


Make a statement with a round table in the center, or a console table against the wall. Talk about visually appealing as well as functional! It can hold a lovely bowl for keys, a diffuser to create an inviting scent, or even a vase of fresh flowers.

Try repurposing another piece of furniture as your console table. Think outside the box and bring something unique to your entryway with an old dresser, or a painted vintage tv stand. The possibilities are endless.


If you have a small entryway to work with, don’t feel as if you need to keep everything you decorate with small as well. It’s actually the opposite. Go BIG!

Big mirrors, big pictures, and even big frames. Even go big with your console table. The key to decorating with large pieces is to keep it simple. Incorporate simple details such as a single table lamp, vase, or one large object such as a shell. 

  1. ADD A RUG

Use an eye-catching area rug to bring a pop of color and character to your space. It’s a great way to bring in patterns, texture, and warmth. 

Because this is a high-traffic area, be sure to pick colors that won’t show every dirty footprint or paw print. Try to pick a material that is easy to clean and durable as well. 


The variety of light fixtures that work well in entryways are as boundless as your imagination and creativity. From the glamorous look of a chandelier — to a more contemporary style of a flush mount ceiling light, the choice is yours.

Adding the right amount of light can make your space bright and cheery, or soft, warm, and cozy. It’s all up to you!


Make a dazzling statement by showcasing one wall with either wallpaper or paint. If you decide to go with wallpaper, try a fun pattern. Or you can ombre your wall for an understated yet unique effect. If you think a solid paint color is the best choice for you, keep in mind how big your space is.

You can go with a dark color in medium to large spaces. But for smaller spaces, or to keep things light, go with softer tones. You’ll typically want your accent wall to be the same wall where you have the console table. So keep this in mind when choosing colors. 


Our sense of smell is powerful. Using aromatherapy or candles in the entryway is a wonderful way to set a calm, welcoming tone. Your guests will immediately feel invited and cared for when you take the time to add this extra touch.

Try using lemon, orange, and other citrus essential oils to feel clean and invigorated. Or maybe you desire something homier with scents such as cinnamon and clove. Hamptons Handpoured soy candles are clean-burning, long-lasting, and better for the environment than traditional candles. Try the Calm scent for a soothing experience inspired by the sea.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 10 smart tips to transform your entryway into an inviting space that is sure to leave a lasting impression!

To learn more about sustainable style, check out my blog post – Sustainable Style: Easy Changes that are Healthy for You, Your Family, and the Planet 

Have a great weekend!


March 05, 2024 — Shannon Willey