Entryway paint ideas – 10 expert tips to enliven your entrance
Homes & Gardens spoke to leading designers to get their view of the best entryway paint ideas for your home
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Entryway paint ideas are all too easy to forget; after all, it’s not as if we spend much time in this particular room.
There are a range of entryway color ideas out there, but painting the entryway is a great way to transform the space and make your entryway more inviting.
The entryway is the first space any guest sees in the home, as well as being an important connecting point between rooms. The entrance deserves some serious design attention, especially when it comes to clever paint ideas and paint tricks. Besides often being overlooked, they’re also cursed with limited light and no natural focal point, so you need some solid paint color know-how to transform them into artful spaces.
Paint is a remarkable decorating medium. What could be easier – or more impactful than paint? Explore our favorite entryway paint ideas below for some beautiful inspiration for updating your entrance space.
Entryway paint ideas
As well as looking inviting in its own right, a entryway color scheme should set the tone for the rest of your home and enhance the space to elevate what looks good in an entryway. Move it up on your decorating agenda: it’s a place to be bold and show your personality. The best entryway ideas pay attention to the mood, size and natural light, so whether you go for something playful or serene, here are some entryway paint ideas to get you started.
1. Lighten and brighten with white
Decorating with white offers a blank canvas that illuminates dark spaces and can make even small entryways feel spacious, light and bright. However, choosing the right white can prove a little tricky.
'Just like any other color, the variation in white tones ranges from cool through to warm. When looking for the right white room ideas, always buy a range of tester pots and paint large sheets of paper so you can see how they look in different lights throughout the day,' says David Mottershead, managing director, Little Greene (opens in new tab).
'Warm, south-facing rooms can bleach out gentler shades, so a stronger white would work well in these areas. In cooler, north-facing rooms either emphasize the coolness by selecting a crisp white – ideal for large entrances – or, to warm up a narrow entryway space, choose a white with a hint of red pigment.'
If you’re looking to increase the feeling of space in an entryway by using white, paint all walls and woodwork the same shade. Use it as you would a blank canvas, then add colorful furniture and antiques.
2. Instil optimism with yellow
If you want to feel happier at home, then embrace the warmth and mood-boosting power of sunny tones for a joyful, vibrant feel. At the lighter, bolder end of the spectrum, yellow is a color of optimism.
‘Yellow can create a mellow and uplifting interior all at the same time. It transports us back to long lazy sun-drenched days in the Caribbean and it can brighten us up on gloomy days. It works brilliantly with blues, teals, greens and reds, and for real crisp freshness use with white,’ says Martin Waller of global design brand Andrew Martin.
Architect Richard Parr suggests choosing a natural color combination that will enrich yellow, rather than work against it. ‘We recommend paring yellow with earthy and deep tones, from terracotta to rust, incorporating natural materials such as rich timbers and warm metals that will pick up and enhance the color.’
3. Be bold with blue
‘Entrance halls should make a statement about the house and owners as well as being a welcoming space,' says Mike Fisher, creative director and founder, Studio Indigo (opens in new tab). 'Small room ideas can be treated in a grand way – “be bold” is my advice.'
It can be all too easy to choose a neutral for your entryway paint ideas, but by selecting a bold shade you instantly elevate the impact of your space. A bright wall color, like Stone Blue by Farrow & Ball used in this home owned by interior designer Tor Vivian, will add a boost of joy as you open the door.
'Working with shades of blue is endlessly interesting – and playing with tones and textures can change it from subtle and serene to a vibrant jewel box,' says Samantha Todhunter, founder Samantha Todhunter Design (opens in new tab).
4. Be influenced by a bygone era
Popular in the seventies, when palette of warm taupe, tan brown and caramel tones reined supreme, this once detested color is back and cooler than ever.
Deep terracotta conjures images of Mediterranean roof tiles and aged ceramic pots lined up on a sun-drenched terrace. The word terracotta literally translates as ‘baked earth’, making it the perfect color choice for adding warmth to an entrance.
If you are wondering what to pair this earthy color with, then just look to nature. Terracotta and ochre are a color combination made in heaven as they are both derived from natural clay pigments. The grounded nature of red-brown terracotta underpins the vibrancy of golden ochre, creating balance within a scheme.
Elevate this earth-toned pairing with elements of sumptuous green and crisp white. Here, wall paneling ideas have a traditional look that’s brought up to date when painted in this earthy colorway. If using a dark paint color on walls, choose a lighter surface on floors to avoid the room feeling too enclosed.
5. Take a cue from nature
Green is a great paint idea for an entryway – particularly one that offers views of the garden beyond. Green is in general a calming and relaxing color. Being the color that represents nature, it’s one that makes us feel good and positive.
‘If you think of the color green in garden, it’s the backdrop for the whole setting – the foliage, grass and trees,’ explains Emma Deterding, founder and creative director of Kelling Designs (opens in new tab). ‘You can really see how any color will go with it. But in an entryway, it adds a freshness and provides a base from which personality can shine through, setting the tone for the rest of the home.’
Emma recommends using it with creams and whites to keep an entrance bright and airy. ‘We really like to use a zesty green to stimulate the senses and add an element of fun. Avoid going too dark either with the green or combining colors, or you might feel you’re entering an oppressive pine forest.’
6. Warm up an entryway with orange
Vibrant and playful, deep orange packs a decorative punch and is full of optimism and hope, so when it came to painting the entryway in her home in Harlem, New York, interior designer Sheila Bridges referenced the rich orange shade from a painting found in Morocco.
'A vibrant orange entrance hall is a wonderful way to welcome people to a home. While I’d never use a bold color like this in a bedroom, I love vibrant and jewel tones for more public spaces,' says Sheila Bridges, founder, Sheila Bridges Design (opens in new tab).
Emma Deterding agrees: ‘For me, the entrance to a home should be filled with bright colors and bold patterns as they add personality to a space. Orange shades are a great choice – they bring an uplifting feel during the day and can help create a cozy, relaxed atmosphere in the evening, showing how versatile this color is in different light.’
7. Introduce drama with dark gray
A gray paint 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. Easy to live with, it looks beautiful in west- or south-facing rooms while being suitably moody in spaces with less light.
Here, interior decorator Anna Haines conjured this perfect serene reading space by using a gray-blue backdrop, which acts as a perfect foil for the characterful portraits and raspberry chair.
‘I love using this sort of paint 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.’
8. Add depth with pink
Pink has long been used to great effect by architects and designers alike. The key to a timeless interior is to ensure they are neither too sugary, blue, babyish or garish. Emma Bulmer, head of color consultancy at Edward Bulmer Natural Paint, recommends pairing dusky pinks with deeper hues to add interest and intrigue. ‘It creates high contrast and adds some drama while remaining soft and tonally consistent,’ says Emma.
'This pale pink tone works perfectly in a scheme that is rather dark, or which suffers from a lack of natural light,' says Elizabeth Hay, founder, Elizabeth Hay Design. 'Not only does it inject a space with brightness and cheer, but it will also bring out and highlight any accent colors in the room.’
9. Work with neutrals
Subtle nuances of color are why James Thurstan Waterworth, founder of Thurstan (opens in new tab), favors neutral colors in his schemes because they create a soft springboard from which antiques, art and other embellishments are able to sing. ‘You can then build out from here with tactile surfaces, patterned textiles, eclectic furnishings and more modern flourishes to create layers of interest, while still allowing all the individual elements of the interior to breathe.'
If someone wants a room that’s very calming, I would say stay completely in the neutral world with a more monochromatic look. However, if you want a splash of energy, then include one incredible piece of art or a colorful rug to create interest and personality.
When it comes to selecting more neutral paint shades, it’s important to get the mineral balance right, believes Tom Cox, co-founder of HÁM interior (opens in new tab)s. ‘We like to look at the pigment and depth of color in a paint – too often a shade will have too much grey or brown as undertones, which can then be challenging when adding the layers of furniture and finishing touches.
10. Paint a doorway
I think we’ll see a continued enthusiasm for color this year,’ says interior designer Kate Guinness (opens in new tab). 'Decorative paint finishes are becoming increasingly popular.'
We are continuing to introduce paint details in place of solid mouldings, for example, or to incorporate extra points of interest, as shown in this monochromatic entryway, designed by Athena Calderone, founder, Eye-swoon (opens in new tab).
Another designer who is highly regarded for her use of color is Kit Kemp, founder and creative director of Firmdale Hotels and Kit Kemp Design Studio (opens in new tab). If you’re unsure about where to begin with color in the home, Kit has plenty of ideas and recommends a door frame as one of the easiest places you can start.
‘It’s the perfect canvas for applying a fun shock of color or even just a soft complementing hue to the rest of the room,’ she explains. ‘Door frames are the borders between one room and the next, so why not have something that frames the room beyond and is a fun and colorful addition in itself?’
What is a good color to paint an entryway?
The best color to paint an entryway is one that will set the scene for the rest of your home.
‘Even if it is only a space of transition, the entryway is the first room you enter in most houses, so for me it’s vital to truly make a show-stopping entrance – you still want to feel good when entering or leaving the house,' says Eva Sonaike, creative director, Eva Sonaike.
'Bold paint colors are scientifically proven to enhance our moods and I love integrating bold colors in the entrance, such as bright pinks and rich blues. These, combined with sturdy runners and a beautifully decorated console or shelf, are a great way to signal what to expect in the rest of the house.’
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.
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