Put your best foot forward with these smart entryway ideas.

By Lauren Phillips and Lisa Milbrand
Updated July 27, 2021
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entryway-ideas: built-ins with bench
Credit: COURTESY OF POTTERY BARN

Entryways are often the forgotten spot in the home—rarely redecorated or shown some design love. But the space that welcomes you home—and welcomes your guests—is an important one to decorate and design as best you can.

One of the inherent difficulties of pulling together some nice entryway ideas is balancing utility and aesthetics. Ideally, a well-organized entryway closet or some shelving can help with the utility aspect, but you still need to balance that with making your foyer a charming place to welcome your friends or family to your home.

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 charming (and welcoming). Here are some of our favorite entryway decor ideas, lighting ideas, furniture ideas, and more so you can create a space you love.

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

1 Choose Bold Entryway Colors

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 Opt for Built-In Storage

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 pricey (and permanent), but faking the look of built-ins is always possible—and built-ins offer excellent storage with a high-end, customized look. This example, featuring a polished door option from Diamond cabinets, offers multitasking entryway storage space for every member of the household.

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

3 Upgrade Entryway Walls With Wainscoting

Entryways are heavily trafficked spaces, so they 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 Make a Narrow Space Luxe

Sometimes, you may not have a choice: Your entryway is your laundry room, the storage spot for the recycling, or some other dual duty space. 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 Coordinate Entryway Furniture

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 overrunning the entryway.

Mirror on entryway wall
Credit: Paul Whicheloe

6 Hang Easy Art

The wall space is the perfect place to value aesthetics over utility. You don't have to spend a fortune on art: Frame pieces of wallpaper, kids' artwork, or other things that are special to you. Don't forget to add a mirror, too, for one last quick look before you head out the door. 

Framed pictures along staircase
Credit: Frances Janisch

7 Add Family Photos

Line your staircase with a tight arrangement of frames in the same style, but different sizes, to create a bold look.

Painted staircase
Credit: Jonny Valiant

8 Paint Your Entryway Staircase

Paint stair risers a deep, vibrant color to greet all who enter. A dark color in a high-gloss finish will help hide scuff marks.  

Floral patterns in a living room
Credit: Lucas Allen

9 Add a Little Seating

Make it easier to enforce your "no-shoes" policy by placing a chair that makes it easy to take them off—and give your entryway a cozier vibe. 

Bedside table with wicker storage baskets and a lamp
Credit: Andrew Bordwin

10 Choose Smart Entryway Lighting

Make sure you have enough lighting to create a warm glow. A pendant lamp hung so the bottom is 6 feet, 8 inches off the floor is perfect—or look for a slender table lamp that won't overwhelm the space.

Entryway
Credit: Mark Lund

11 Customize Storage for Each Family Member

Look for the perfect elements to corral all the items and help you maintain order. (Note: They may not be "entryway organization" items—think baskets, magnetic strips, or pretty hooks.)

Assign each family member a space or bin for their gear, so they know where to find it.