Entryway ideas – 10 expert ways to enhance an entrance hall

The best entryway ideas and hallway decor inspiration, with tips from home experts and interior designs on decorating an entrance or landing

Entryway ideas with round table
(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

Finding the perfect entryway ideas for your home isn't always easy, but it should be.

Whether its the first space any guest sees when they enter the house, or a circulation zone between rooms, all the entryways, hallways and landings in your home demand serious design attention.

As well as looking inviting in its own right, an entryway or hallway should set the tone for the rest of your home – and should be considered alongside hallway ideas and front porch ideas to ensure a coordinated feel. 

From interior details to inventive suggestions for hallway storage, these design-led entryway ideas will inspire your scheme.

10 entryway ideas that will sing out

It’s easy to overlook an entryway, but a space like this provides more than just a transition to larger living areas. It sets the tone for the rest of your home. Combine an inviting atmosphere with functional hallway ideas to make first impressions count.

1. Create a point of focus

Entryway with grey walls, console and artwork

(Image credit: Jon Day)

A standout, eye-catching design – and statement color palette – in an entryway not only tells a story, it also draws our attention and sparks wonder. 

In this modern hallway, graphic prints hung side by side over a bespoke metal console create a striking impact. Shapely accessories in glass and marble further enhance the ensemble.

‘I love using this sort of color on walls as it allows paintings and portraits to really sing out,' says Anna Haines, founder, Anna Haines Design. 'It feels both calming and quiet and also works as the ideal backdrop for a range of rich textiles, decorative antique rugs and furniture.’

2. Add a statement addition to an entryway

Entryway with bold artwork, table lamp, console and stone floor

(Image credit: Alexander James )

'I always advise using really interesting furniture in a hall – a beautiful console table or a sculptural piece,' says Charu Gandhi, founder of Elicyon. 'It's unexpected and because it's not a space you're going to sit in for ages, you don't have to focus on functionality or, indeed, comfort, so you can get away with doing something that's quite frivolous.' Here, striking artwork and bold accessories set the scene in this bright entryway.

3. Make furniture the focal point

A hallway wallpaper idea with landscape mural with pink sky and round entrance table

(Image credit: Polly Wreford)

Entryways have a structure to them and you can add a very heavy, monolithic piece of furniture that's going to stay there. 

'While you wouldn't necessarily want to have a very chunky, oversized marble table in the living room as you wouldn't be able to move it around, it can stay in place in the hall,' says Charu. 

4. Allow space for easy movement

Entryway with stone slab floor and black woodwork

(Image credit: Alexander James / Charu Gandhi )

Make sure you don't add furniture that blocks the flow of the space. You really want to look at where the entrance hall is bringing you and make sure that the flow and movement is protected.

Instead, for interest, invest in clever entryway lighting ideas. Getting your hallway lighting right is possibly the single most important decision you will make when decorating this space. It isn’t simply a matter of function. Ceiling lights can be objects of beauty and the right choice can transform the character of your scheme. 

5. Add warmth underfoot

A hallway carpet idea with yellow walls, woven natural carpet and rattan baskets on the entry table

(Image credit: Tom Leighton)

The main advantage of hallway carpet is the incredible range of decorating possibilities that it offers, thanks to the wide variety of colors and textures, as well as the feeling of warmth underfoot. Plus, it is an instant win for anyone hoping to add a seductive softness to their home’s entrance, or keep a house’s corridors insulated during the winter. 

Natural floorings made from plant fibre are a versatile option for a high-traffic entryway. It can be fitted in the same way as carpet, used as a room square or as a rug or runner with a bound or decorative fabric or leather edge. 

‘For comfort and longevity, a firm underlay is usually used and the flooring is stuck to that,’ says Michael Turner of Crucial Trading.

6. Factor in entryway storage

Hallway ideas

(Image credit: Future / Richard Powers)

When in search of extra hallway storage space in an entryway, make the most of ceiling heights available. Built-in joinery or off-the-shelf solutions can provide the perfect amount of extra room to house items only used for special occasions or rarely read books. To break up a large wall of storage, use a mix of closed and open solutions. 

Do you have a narrow or small hallway? A clever trick to avoid overcrowding in an entryway is to use a mix of closed and open storage – too many bulky units can make a room appear too practical – and detract away from its beauty. Include stylish entry table decor ideas to counteract this.

7. Keep the color palette neutral

Entryway ideas with round table

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

It’s a common decorating dilemma, achieving a balance in our entryways between what is beautiful and what is functional, so take a 'less is more' approach when it comes to designing a hallway or staircase.

One important aspect to consider, when decorating with a neutral color in an entryway is to bring in as much texture as possible as it creates interest and layers –important factors when strong colors are out of the picture. After all, this is the first room your visitors will see upon entry.

Invest in unfussy prints on fabrics for seat covers and blinds. Simple organic shape designs – rather than an off the moment pattern – will last the test of time. What's more, choose shades of taupe and mix in chocolate browns, greys and touches of black for a sophisticated take on a natural palette. 

8. Evoke a whimsical world upon entrance

Entryway

(Image credit: Jake Curtis)

There is something undeniably magical about chinoiserie, especially in an entryway. This cultural phenomenon first swept across Europe and America in the 17th and 18th centuries, flooding both interiors and gardens with all manner of things inspired by the Far East. It was in England that chinoiserie can be said to have been most successfully absorbed into mainstream fashion – and into our homes. 

According to Dragons & Pagodas: A Celebration of Chinoiserie by Aldous Bertram: 'English chinoiserie took a gentler form, being adapted to complement the existing tastes of the Georgian period. Chinese wallpapers with exotic birds and flowers were put up in all the great houses, accompanied by elegant lacquer chests and small collections of Chinese porcelain over fireplaces.'

9. Paint your entryway in a shade of grey

Entryway with grey painted walls

(Image credit: VSP Interiors / Paul Massey )

A grey that straddles the boundaries between blue, green and grey can be many things: front and center or a background to show off art and objects. 

In the back entryway of this project by Henriette von Stockhausen of VSP Interiors, the deep mid-grey background is broken up with a rich damask upholstery fabric and elegant antiques. Easy to live with, this hallway paint idea looks beautiful in west- or south-facing rooms while being suitably moody in spaces with less light.

10. Enchant with a scenic mural in an entryway

Entryway ideas with wall mural

(Image credit: Simon Bevan / Future)

Scenic landscape murals are the biggest story in decorating today – wonderfully atmospheric and evocative, an impressive hallway wallpaper or wall mural idea will transform any entryway, hall or landing space.

Dramatic and stylized, this glorious scenic design is reminiscent of a beautifully illustrated storybook. Translate the jewel tones into upholstery and accessories and add in glass, wood and metal pieces.

What should I put in my entryway?

'You do need to consider the practical elements, then design around them so you don''t detract from the beauty,' says interior designer Charu Gandhi. 'Things like where coats, shoes and keys are going to go. If there's space, I think doing a seat or a bench that incorporates hallway shoe storage is great. We nearly always add a tray so you can lay your things out ready to go.'

'I also love putting mirrors in entryways because they can tend to feel quite dark, she says. 'Similarly, do try and add a floor or table lamp, especially when you are entertaining.' 

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. 


Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.