10 Winning Ideas to Add Beauty and Function to your Small Entryway

how to organize entryway hooks

What are the 10 ways to win your entryway equation? Let’s dive in and find out! I’m going to give you 10 great small entryway ideas today.

As odd as it sounds, the entryway was one of the places I was most excited to decorate in our Riverdale Ranch. This is a spot that is usually absent if you are renting an apartment. But don’t worry, even if you are in the rental world many of my small entryway ideas still apply.

1. Add some Color

When in doubt, always start with paint. Paint is the most powerful tool in a DIY’ers toolbox. It can automatically change the look and feel of a space for relatively little time and money. The right paint can also make your small entryway feel larger. I’ve written a couple posts to share my painting process if you are a beginner, or just looking to learn more about colors, terminology and inside tips. 

I’ve also learned that contrast is a good thing. My gray walls were just waiting for something bold to happen. I have the front door and closet door in my small entryway area, and made the decision to paint them black. Read all about that decision and process here. After almost two years, I still love them. No regrets!

small entryway ideas

Let’s be honest, after the global pandemic we are all feeling a little dark and moody so we might as well embrace it. Dark and moody colors are trending. They can find their way onto doors, walls, even trim! Find out what color I chose for my black doors, or maybe try out Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore or Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams.

2. Vintage Runner

Vintage patterned rugs can bring so much color and texture to any entryway. If you have room, a runner is fantastic. If you don’t have that much room, you could always do a mini rug in front fo the door as well.

Like a fine wine, vintage hand knotted rugs get better with time. They retain their value, and their textures and patterns have existed for thousands of years which means they will never go out of style. Often, these hand-knotted rugs can be passed down for generations if well maintained.

I actually have so much to say on the topic of vintage rugs, I have put together an E-book that goes into even more detail! For information regarding where to buy, know what’s a good price, and general upkeep, download my E-book for free here

black door, vintage rug
A mini vintage rug is a perfect touch for a small entryway idea.

3. Small Entryway Idea: New Lighting

I’m going to be honest here, electricity is something I’m still not super comfortable with. I know the basics, but I have a fear I will absentmindedly forget a step and make a mistake. So I have two options- pay an electrician to change out light fixtures or rely on my handy husband. Lucky for me, husband it is! He has changed out every single fan, fixture, switch and outlet in the house. And I’m really grateful. 

Changing out light fixtures is actually one of my 5 recommendations to implement as soon as you close on your house. I’m all for budget friendly, DIY hacks to personalize your space. And no matter how small your entryway, fresh lighting is always a good idea.

Basic light fixtures can easily be over looked, but carefully chosen light fixtures can bring a whole new style to a space.  An updated light fixture is a small thing that can make a big impact. I chose this budget fixture for my entryway, but you could choose anything ranging from low end, moderate to high end. 

4. Wall Treatments

Sometimes, simplicity is best. Moving into a new empty home, you may feel tempted to fill every empty space and cover every wall. But this isn’t always necessary.

Without having to buy a lot of decor and furniture for your entryway space, wall treatments can add color, texture and visual interest. Wall treatments can include board and batten, picture frame moulding, wallpaper, beadboard or a combination.

small entryway ideas
Beautiful Beadboard by: Francois et Moi

Wall treatments are a fun trend because they can be easy to achieve! Spoiler alert, there will always be hiccups and you may have to problem solve through unexpected bumps in the road with an accent wall project, but you CAN do it! I used my trusty DIY strategy from start to finish, and have executed plenty of wainscoting throughout our Riverdale Ranch.

If you need a tutorial, you can read more about three different types of wall treatments I have done myself including:

board and batten in the bathroom

picture frame moulding in the dining room

-reeded wall moulding in the nursery

Loving this board & batten from: Emma Courtney

5. Entryway Mirror

Small entryway idea #5- Mirrors! Mirrors are historically a great way to make a space feel larger. The are possibly the second best option besides a window to make a space feel bigger. They reflect light, and will open up your room immensely. Mirrors are a great idea, especially if you have a smaller entryway lacking natural light.

Keep in mind, styling a room let alone your whole house, doesn’t happen overnight. I am a very visual person, and sometimes it takes me a minute to decide if I like something. Take your time and try our mirrors of different shapes, sizes and colors.

Feel free to call if you have any questions, thank you. 

Mirrors are also something I love thrifting for! Vintage mirrors are often more unique, affordable, and sustainable options. Still need convincing that you should be shopping secondhand? I outline 5 reasons to thrift home decor here to fight the fast furniture trend. Your home, pocketbook, and the planet will thank you.

6. Bench

A bench can be a beautiful and functional entryway solution. I love the reclaimed look, or you could go with something more traditional.

Something narrow fits great when you are tight on space, but still fills it nicely and gives opportunity to decorate with pillows and art on the wall behind. A bench is the perfect small entryway idea.

7. Small Entryway Idea: Storage Solutions

I love a good organizational hack to maximize your space, especially when they are cheap, easy and accessible.

Entryway baskets can be such a good storage solution to keep things hidden yet accessible. Baskets below, above and hanging too! And the woven baskets bring a natural texture as well.

8. Organic Touches

I was once told that the color every room needs is black, and I think the same could be said for a pop of green. Whether greenery or floral, faux or real, adding a potted or hanging plant breathes life into any space. Your entryway is a great opportunity to add a touch of green, even if it’s a small arrangement on the floor, or the wall.

small entryway ideas
Source: The Every Girl

Dried flowers are in. Pampas grass is in. I love how interior design trends are moving in a more sustainable direction. If you see inspiration somewhere, always think “how could I make that?” instead of “where can I buy that?”. It’s fun to forage for greenery and florals, and is a much cheaper alternative to help decor evolve with the seasons naturally!

9. Texture

Think cork, rattan, reed, cane and wicker. These textures add a layer of dimension and character to your space, not to mention are fun to hunt for secondhand! (Need help finding an eye for thrift? Read 10 of my best tips here). I’ve seen these materials as accent pieces, on furniture (chairs, sideboards, end tables), and as wall decor.

small entryway ideas
Source: Claire Heffer

10. Small Entryway Idea: Add Function with Hooks

Make sure you have plenty of hooks at any point of entry into your home. Entryways are notorious “drop zones”, and if you don’t provide a place to put keys, bags, and jackets up in an organized fashion, they will lead to significant visual clutter. See how I built these DIY custom entryway hooks by our front door. It’s a great beginner friendly project and helps to make your space not only feel custom, but also organized. 

Wall hooks also allow room for you to decorate seasonally.

My entryway was a perfect example of accepting my house as is, but working to turn a vision into reality. For starters, my entryway wasn’t my style. Paint color, chair rail, light fixture… it all had to go. It’s a small space, so I knew it wasn’t big enough for a piece of furniture. But I sill wanted to create a space I could decorate while keeping it functional. I shared five DIY projects to update your entryway that took my space from the before photo below to the after you see pictured. 

You have now discovered 10 small entryway ideas to update your home’s space to make the right first impression! I hope these are good options for you, and help make your house feel more like home. 

Enjoy the process,

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