Modern entryway ideas – 10 contemporary entrances that truly shine

These clever modern entryway ideas combine functionality with good looks to make a grand entrance

Modern entryway ideas
(Image credit: Future)

Modern entryway ideas should be all about ‘less is more’ – largely because this part of the house often doesn’t have that much space to play with. 

Sticking with the modernist mantra will not only keep your entryway ideas feeling cool, clean and stylish, but paring things back will help with this potentially pokey space feel open and bright – exactly the kind of entrance you’ll want for your modern home décor ideas.  

‘Creating the perfect modern entryway is often key to the success of a whole house,’ says Tiffany Duggan, Founder of interior design studio, Studio Duggan. ‘Not only does it create first impressions when you walk through the door, but it’s the space that knits together all of the others.’

That being said, you’ll need to balance simplicity with creating a space that feels welcoming and homely, even if you only have a small entryway or a narrow entryway.

Modern entryway ideas 

From modern entryway table ideas to sophisticated neutrals and even glass walls, we’ve put together some stunning modern entryway ideas, and asked the experts for their advice on creating a entrance perfect for your here and now. 

1. Let your staircase stand out

Modern entryway ideas with white walls and dark wood floor

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

Not just a means of getting from floor A to floor B, staircases are once more being seen as architectural signatures. When considering what looks good in an entryway, decor items and paint need not be the only focus. A sculptural staircase that doubles as a work of art is becoming the must-have detail and the revival of craftsmanship has refuelled an interest in this domestic feature. 

Classy and elegant, this design exudes a light aesthetic with slender balusters that gently curve at the start of the staircase. This creates a softer, more organic feel that is embellished by the contemporary natural wood banister. A deep first step is a generous touch and has the effect of leading into the staircase, creating a sense of movement and adding an ethereal feel to this modern entryway.

2. Display art with clever framing

Small entryway ideas with gallery wall

(Image credit: Paul Massey / Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam)

Whether you’re drawn to gallery wall ideas or more traditional ways of hanging pieces, art will enliven a small entryway and set the tone for the home. In this interior by Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam, historical prints hung in an orderly fashion are exceptionally elegant and connect two different areas of a single entryway.

The caramel-colored wallpaper – this is the Haruki wallpaper in Oatmeal by Schumacher – ensures the room does not appear too cold or corporate. Helping to link the two styles are smart dark frames, which echo the trim on the wallpaper (French grosgrain ribbon by Samuel & Sons) and the dark wood furniture.

Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin advises to ‘hang art at eye level or just above and never underestimate the importance of framing – this is a cost you should never hold back on. The right frame can transform a picture and is critical to the overall feel of the artwork.’

3. Instil drama with a mural 

Modern entryway ideas with large wall mural

(Image credit: Chris Andre)

‘“Through” spaces like a stairwell provide great opportunities for doing something strong,’ says Jemma Cave, design director of de Gournay. ‘As you don’t have to be with it all day, you can do something more fun in this kind of space.’ 

A panoramic mural can not only transport you to another space (figuratively as well as literally!), but by choosing a nature-inspired design, the boundaries between indoors and out can become blurred, especially if the exterior as glimpsed from windows echoes the scene on the walls. This will have a restful, restorative, comforting effect.

4. Make your space truly unqiue

Modern entryway with statement art and console

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

A modern entryway is the perfect place to make a statement and showcase your unique style. 

‘One-off unique pieces create interest in awkward or small spaces,’ notes interior designer Natalia Miyar, who designed this scheme. ‘I have a few favorite locations for sourcing objects but I also design bespoke pieces that make a statement using interesting colours and textures. A strong piece of modern art is also a great way to draw focus to a space – often you need little else to bring life to the walls and it can create a talking point in a spot like an entryway where you pause to greet someone.’ 

If the space is large enough, do make sure to include a surface for the practicalities of everyday life, such as a pretty catch-all for your car keys or a decorative coaster if you always have a coffee cup in your hand.

5. Create an instant impact with color

Hallway with a wall painted a bright orange with a matching rug in orange, metallic console table and umbrella stand, round mirror positioned above console table

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti / Future)

Bold entryway color ideas are the perfect way to transform a space easily, adding personality and character, says Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene

‘Playful, vivid tones work well in a modern entryway. A pop of color is a great way to add impact and an element of surprise to an entrance. Statement colors are also great for spaces with lots of light and can be used in bigger proportions without being “too much”.’

In this contemporary entrance, deep orange packs a decorative punch and is full of optimism and hope. 'The interior of the client’s antique Chinese lacquered cabinet inspired the glossy walls of this apartment,' says designer Emma Deterding. 

‘For me, the home should be filled with bright colors and bold patterns as they add personality to a space,' she adds. '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.’

6. Invest a bespoke-built sculptural staircase

Modern entryway with black painted spiral staircase

(Image credit: Future)

Designing a staircase for a modern entryway might seem like a mountain of a job but the upheaval can be worth it. Don’t get us wrong, it’s definitely not a simple endeavour: you’ll almost certainly need professional help and it will be an investment. But what it does do is offer the opportunity to completely alter your home’s entrance, potentially turning it into an enviably striking one. Changing the staircase can improve a bad layout and turn a standard interior into something stunning. 

‘Your chosen staircase ideas are the spine of the home. Not only do they bridge together rooms and floors within a house but they're often the first space a guest encounters as they enter, so it’s important the design reflects your overall style,’ explains interior designer Jojo Bradley. 

If you're planning a new flight of stairs in your home, do some research and always consult a specialist company. Steel staircases, like the one above, are made using cutting edge technology. What's more, spiral staircases have a small footprint so they're perfect for small spaces. Traditionally made from cast iron, they now come in cast aluminium, which is much lighter, so they require no additional supports.

7. Decorate with a classic color combination

Modern entryway with blue and white color scheme

(Image credit: Damian Russell)

Decorating with blue and white will bring timeless charm to your modern entryway ideas. While it may conjure coastal schemes, blue and white is a pairing 'not confined to a beach house,' says Saffron Hare, creative director of James Hare. In fact, it can work equally well in a contemporary home or new-build.

Inspired by the considered simplicity of Japanese style, this modern entryway evokes a zen-like calm. Combining blue and white with pale woods in this way offers a softer, more organic take on decorating with these two colors.

8. Modernize with an usual color pairing

A modern hallway idea with yellow walls, white woodwork and a wooden mid-century modern sideboard

(Image credit: Future)

‘Painting a small room in your favorite color will help to give it purpose and character,’ says Camilla Clarke, Creative Director at Albion Nord

Of course, entryways can feel modern without being neutral. In this home, a vibrant sunshine yellow is teamed with crisp white woodwork to modernize period features, like the traditional entryway paneling. This pairing also works if you replace the color with flamboyant wallpaper ideas

Throwing something unexpected into an interior helps it to look considered and confident, adds Nicole Salvesen, co-founder of Salvesen Graham. ‘Choose colors that come from the same tonal family or have the same depth of color, even if they are different ends of the spectrum, this will help them work together. Also choose bolder colors such as mustard yellows and raspberry reds as they can be easier to work with, rather than paler candy colors that can sometimes come across as insipid if they aren’t quite right.’

9. Set the scene with an ethereal white

Modern entryway with white wall, dark floor and wood bench

(Image credit: Amy Bartlam / Shapeside)

White room ideas are the simplest of colors making them perfect for a modern entryway.

‘White represents purity, innocence and new beginnings, as well as cleanliness and clarity,' says Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball. 'It can be used everywhere in the home but is very successful in an entryway where you want to create order and with little distraction.' 

A white entryway is also the ideal foil for a piece of statement furniture or art, as demonstrated in this ethereal space by interior designer Genna Margolis, founder, Shapeside.

Modern entryway with tiled floor and glass doors

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

A modern entryway with glazed internal doors doesn’t have to be confined to ground level – it can be just as effective at a higher level as a means of connecting two spaces. A dedicated lift serving this penthouse apartment now opens into a glass-framed entryway leading to a landscaped roof garden. 

Designed by Kitesgrove, the divide between indoors and outdoors is further blurred through the use of marble flooring in a bespoke design and the decision to expose the original brickwork that spans the space. 

‘We designed the bronze patinated doors with generous glazing to bring in as much light as possible and make a feature of the external “room” beyond,’ says Sophie Elborne, director at Kitesgrove.

How do you style a modern entryway?

‘A modern entryway projects the first impression of your interior, so give it some love and show it off,’ says David Harris, Design Director at Andrew Martin. Creating a modern entryway that reflects your personality can be a tricky balance to manage. If you’re looking for a clean aesthetic, you'll want to steer clear of clutter, unnecessary objects and outdated furniture.

Listen to Mies van der Rohe – less really is more, especially in a space with a limited footprint. Focus on choosing a finite number of well-designed pieces of furniture and décor that communicate your tastes. Look for surfaces and tables that shun complex carving in favor of crisp lines, and light fittings that swap ornate curves for simpler silhouettes. Let your personality shine through a capsule collection of your favorite belongings. 

Another way to bring visual style to a modern entryway is to ensure you light it right. Source a colorful vintage lighting pendant,' says Elnaz Namaki, interior designer, Elnaz Namaki Studio. 'It can add so much character and warmth to a small space such as a nook in an entrance.’ 

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.