A Grand Welcome {entryway tips}

First impressions are important, the way you've decorated and organized your entryway will either welcome guests with a warm enthusiastic smile or a limp handshake. It really depends on how you want to present your home. I'm guessing that impressions and translating your personal style into your home are things that have value to you or else I doubt you'd be reading this design blog. Am I right?

via: Livingetc.

I currently do not have a hallway or entryway, so I'm a lady in want -- I miss the days when I had one to decorate and call my own. I'm so impressed by a beautiful entry, to me it's one of the most important spaces in the home because it says so much about who you are. It welcomes you and your guests, including the delivery man, who may never make it past your front hall but even he'll form an impression. Some don't care what others think, and you know I care to a certain point. I care when it's within my control and I think personal appearance, personality, and home decor is all within my control so why not present your best foot forward. What others think beyond that, well that's the part that I don't care about because it's out of my control.

Beyond displaying personal style, an entry is also important because it has a key function -- it's the main route in and out of the average home or apartment building. It's a place you use daily and that serves the needs of your family, you store the important things (boots, hat, umbrella, coat, etc.) there, touch up your makeup before heading out, and the first place you enter upon coming home after a long day. Unfortunately it's also a place that can be the most overlooked. Let's change that!

What makes a good first impression for guests and a practical use of space for you? Organization and lots of style. If you love bold patterns and color, this is where you can let loose with large-scale wallpaper patterns and energetic floor rugs because they are usually one of the smallest spaces so you can get away with it. Here are a few good examples of welcoming spaces that I'd like to share to motivate and inspire.

via: Livingetc.

via: Livingetc.

via: Livingetc.

What are some things that an entry needs? Note: This list is for a private entry, not one that can be accessed by neighbors as some of these things may vanish! Also, you may not need everything listed, use what you need and toss the rest.

- Shoe storage or rack.
- Boot tray (for rainy/slushy months).
- Small discreet trash bin.
- Coat rack (in addition to closet).
- Table for your mail, keys, a lamp, and a vase for fresh flowers (always, the perfect welcome!) or a potted plant.
- Candy in a dish . Old-fashioned I know but guests seem to love this. Use candy you don't crave to avoid temptation. I've learned that I can't keep chocolate anything in my house on a regular basis. :)
- Storage bins for gloves and such.
- Umbrella stand.
- Rug to catch dirt.
- One dramatic mirror or artwork centered over the table, bench, or storage area. If you don't use a mirror as your focal point, make sure you put a small one on the wall near the door for checking your teeth and etc. before leaving the house.
- A beautiful lamp on the table and an overhead light or pendent.
- If you have a built-in speaker system, don't forget to wire this space since music gets everyone in a more festive mood when you're entertaining - a great welcome!
- If you have pets, you'll need a bin for storing things for them and a hook for a leash.
- A stool, chair, or bench for your handbag or to sit on when lacing up your shoes.
- A small notepad and a few pens in the drawer along with your business cards (for giving to guests should they ask).
- Spare change if you live in the city to offer guests if they need change for the meter.
- Walls: Try wallpaper, your favorite color paint, or fresh white (though I think white is harder to keep clean, wallpaper tends to mask scuffs.)
- A weekly spruce up - clean it top to bottom, empty trash, etc.

What do you keep in your entry or hallway?

(images from livingetc magazine and house to home uk, all linked above beneath photos)