Put your best foot forward with these smart entryway ideas.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated August 02, 2019
Entryway ideas - blue pillows and built-ins tout
Credit: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

When people talk about decorating or furnishing various rooms and spaces around the house, entryway ideas tend to get glossed over. Part of it may be that entryways or foyers aren’t exactly exciting spaces; part of it may be that they’re a bit of a luxury, often only in larger homes or apartments. But that doesn’t change the fact that, if you do have an entryway, you’re probably struggling to figure out how to put it to good use.

One of the inherent difficulties of pulling together a nice entryway or foyer is balancing utility and aesthetic. Ideally, you can do both equally, especially if you have just one main entrance to the home. Utilizing an entryway closet can help with the utility aspect, but that still leaves aesthetic hanging—and if you plan to entertain or welcome guests with any sort of frequency, you certainly don’t want to do that.

Fortunately, there are plenty of smart foyer ideas to organize the entryway and make it cute, too. The key is multitasking: creating a space that offers all the storage and clutter-managing tricks your household needs while looking presentable. The entryway is the first room inside your home visitors will see, after all. With these entryway ideas, guests will be amazed by your design expertise and great taste from the second they step in the front door—and you’ll have a gorgeous space to come home to every day, too.

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Entryway ideas - Make it bold
Credit: Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

1 Make it bold

Picking the right paint colors won’t contribute to the organization of your entryway, but it could distract visitors enough that they don’t notice any lingering clutter in the foyer. Plus, walking into a color-coordinated space like this entryway, with its matching door and ceiling painted olive green (similar to Rock Garden by Sherwin-Williams), is sure to soothe the soul.

Entryway ideas - Try built-ins (mimicked or otherwise)
Credit: Courtesy of MasterBrand Cabinets

2 Try built-ins (mimicked or otherwise)

Few home decor elements or entryway ideas look as effortlessly pulled together as built-ins: They imply that a space was made to be coordinated and tidy. True built-ins are pricy (and permanent), but faking the look of built-ins is always possible, too. If you’re willing to put in the time and money for built-ins (faked or otherwise), they’re certainly worth the effort. They offer excellent storage with a high-end look and have tons of opportunities for customization. This example, featuring a polished door option from Diamond cabinets, offers storage space for every member of the household and looks intentional, accomplishing that multitasking entryway goal.

RELATED: West Elm’s Genius New Mix-and-Match Entryway Idea Will Finally Tame Your Foyer

Entryway ideas - Choose wainscoting
Credit: Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

3 Choose wainscoting

Entryways are heavily trafficked spaces. By definition, they’re how everyone comes into and leaves the house, and as such, all entryway ideas should be durable enough to withstand all that foot traffic (and the bumps, dings, and scratches that come with it). That’s why wainscoting is such a solid choice for entryways and foyers: The molding hides damage, the surfaces are easily wiped down, and the coverage protects the wall underneath. Paired with a softer shade (here, Drift of Mist by Sherwin-Williams), the crisp white paneling is especially eye-grabbing.

Entryway ideas - Call it utilitarian-chic
Credit: Courtesy of Formica

4 Call it utilitarian-chic

Sometimes, you may not have a choice: Your entryway is your laundry room, or (by necessity) the storage spot for the recycling. Even if it’s not, though, one smart entryway idea is to make this space a useful, convenient spot. If it’s the laundry room, you’ll have a regular reminder to throw a load in or move wet clothes from the washer to the dryer—and you can impress guests with your laundry-doing efficiency. If it’s the recycling spot, the pet zone, or a large storage area, you can still make the space attractive with luxe-looking details that are still durable. In this entryway idea example, the marble-looking surface is actually hyper-durable Ice Onyx Formica Laminate, so it will impress guests and withstand laundry and washing-up chores at the same time.

Entryway ideas - Mix utility and aesthetic
Credit: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

5 Mix utility and aesthetic

The faux built-ins in this entryway inspo certainly get the job done when it comes to organization, but the careful pairing of the storage with a complementary wall color (Shoji White by Sherwin-Williams) makes the aesthetic work. With coordinated decorative accents, the furniture looks absolutely intentional—not a necessary fail-safe to keep clutter from over-running the entryway.