November 6, 2018

We ask a lot of the entry. From receiving guests to acting as a drop zone for shucked coats and boots, we require that the entry be both attractive and functional. While not such a tall order in a living room or dining room, entries are almost invariably modest—and in some cases, completely non-existent. So, how do you make the most of your entry? We’ve collected the essential elements needed to make any entryway shine, from the pint-sized to the epically grand.

Photo by Joe Schmelzer/OFFSET

A Multi-Tasking Table

Capable of turning even the smallest vestibules into a proper room, a table is a virtual must in the entry. In narrow galley entryways, a console is ideal, while foyers are brought to life courtesy of a large-scaled center table. If storage space is at a premium, a credenza can provide space for stashing life’s less than novel necessities. Think: dog leashes and umbrellas. Equally appealing, a credenza is an excellent place to store barware—an enticing proposition if you’re in need of extra space to host. Worth noting, is that the more substantial you go with your entry table, the more it will legitimize your entry as a room of its own.

A Sensational Seat

Whether it’s to pop on or off shoes or informally coat-check scarves and coats, seating is pivotal to upping the function of your entry. A pair of side chairs flanking a console can do the trick, although an ottoman works equally well. Regardless of which option works best for you, it’s worth seeking out a chair or ottoman with specimen-quality character. Try a classic Klismos chair, for instance, or a Cherner Pretzel Chair if your tastes run more modern. When used in the absence of other furniture, both are chairs that can hold their ground as individual pieces of art—a must when attempting to make a big statement in a small space.

Photo by Trevor Tondro / OTTO

Alluring Lighting

Square footage limitations in the entry means that even basics like lighting should be upgraded from standard-issue to personality-infused. To impart maximum personality, chandeliers are a first-string option. Since they’ll drop below the ceiling line, chandeliers visually grab guests’ attention—For a sartorial equivalent, think of what a statement earring can do for an outfit. Also perfectly suited to an entry are sconces. They can easily be installed on either side of a console or front door. To create an atmospheric mood when hosting guests for cocktails or dinner, choose something that will exude an ambient glow. (Hint: you might even consider rigging up a dimmer).

Photo by Francesco Lagnese / OTTO

A Curated Collection

As the prelude to your home, the entryway begs for personalization. While art is an obvious contender, virtually any personal collection can take up residence in the entry. By installing a series of corbel shelves at sporadic intervals, for instance, you can display everything from urns to curiosities. If your collection is 3D, like urns, bigger specimens can be clustered on the floor to add additional dimension—the same goes for coffee table books or baskets. As for traditional paintings and prints, don’t discount those, either. As your entryway is likely to count as the most-seen room in your house, there’s certainly no shame in showing off that Art Basel splurge.

A Forward-Thinking Rug

To fully transform the entry from pass-through to room, roll out a rug. In addition to making furniture feel purposefully placed, a rug creates a an environment that beckons to guests. Look for a low-pile rug if you have concerns about wearing. Or one with a busy pattern—a densely-patterned Persian rug is never a bad idea. Concerns about longevity can also be eased by a rug pad—a designer must.

Lead image by Trevor Tondro / OTTO