Tips for Creating an Inviting Entryway

Want to make sure your home makes an impact from the moment guests walk in the door? We've partnered with Marcella DiLonardo, founder of Modest Marce, to show you tips on creating an entryway guests will want to linger in.

Modest Marce logo

When we purchased our first home last summer, we knew right from the start that a century home would lack the modern conveniences of a new home. There was no mudroom, and small front entry and minimal storage space were sacrificed for the character and charm that comes with an old home. I fell in love with the original hardwood floors, brass glass knobs and solid wood doors throughout, not to mention the gorgeous old-fashioned staircase that graced the entry. Besides, I knew we could solve any space issues with the proper entryway design layout and furniture pieces.

Close up of items on top of chest including vases, clear brass display box, and metal bird

As winter came, the entry quickly moved to the top of the to-do list. It is the first room guests see when they walk in, so we certainly didn't want our belongings all over the place (I have a wool coat obsession). The entry, small or large sets the mood for the rest of the house. With no mudroom AND a small side entry we needed proper space to put our coats, shoes, and scarves. I also wanted to maximize the space and make it appear larger then it is all while keeping with the character. The main pieces to pick were the console table, wall mirror and light fixtures.

The first piece of furniture we decided on was the console table. We originally had a vintage sewing machine as the entry table, but we found this didn’t look as nice as it did in our previous modern condo. With the condo it brought in a touch of character (which like most condos, was lacking), but in our century home it looked so old and outdated.

Top view of chest with drawer pulled out showing folded scarves

The Atwood Dresser was the perfect solution! It is made of reclaimed wood that gives it a warm and rustic look, but in a modern design. Instead of going for a traditional console table (which they make in this design as well) we chose one that doubled as a dresser for storage. It is the perfect size for any entryway and offers several drawers to organize hats, mitts and scarves. I very quickly filled these drawers with all the winter gear which left the entry closest to just be filled with our (my) many coats. With the drawers hiding all the not so pretty stuff, I decorated the top with a mix of old & new. Two gorgeous vases to add texture, a brass display box filled with vintage keys we collected over the years and a vintage brass bird I found at the local thrift shop.

Front view of chest with vases and mirror reflecting the stairwell

A mirror really helps open up the space and create the illusion that the room is much larger then it really is. I knew this space needed a large mirror and the Penarth Walnut Oval Wall Mirror was just the piece! When you come down the stairs you can see the whole room and stairwell, it makes the room seem never ending. While the mirror can be hung vertically or horizontally, I chose to hang it horizontally. I am absolutely in love with it! The walnut colored frame matches the floor and front door perfectly, plus it gives off a retro modern vibe.

Sconce on wall with clear glass shade and vintage filament bulb

Throughout the house I have done a mixture of brass and black finishes. From light fixtures, to door hardware, to switch plates. The Lander Brass Pendant light was the perfect mixture of brass and black. It was also elegant while still being simple, as I don’t think a small front entry is the proper place for a bold light fixture. The Lander Brass Pendant has a matching sconce light as well, which I used for the stairwell landing. I also love the clear shade to allow for a vintage style Edison bulb. They let off the nicest, subtle light.

View through hallway looking at front door, white rug, umbrella holder, and pendant lamp

When we purchased the house, the walls were dark beige and the trim was an off white. With the space being small & the natural light only coming from the stairwell window, a new brighter color was necessary. I chose a light grey paint for the entry, stairwell and upstairs hallway to match the rest of the grey tones throughout the house. The color of the wall is Ammonite by Farrow and Ball in the estate emulsion finish and the trim is Wevet in the estate eggshell finish. The flat finish gives a chalky feel to the walls and the trim is so bright and clean. I left the front entry door with its original wood to match the stair banister.

Lastly, I chose a light rug to help brighten up the space and add some coziness. We have a large, covered, front porch so I am not concerned about guests trekking in mud on the white rug. It is also my pup Buddy Holly's new favorite spot to lay down and sleep.

Full view of chest with banister of stairwell in view

I am beyond happy with how the new space turned out! Everything came together perfectly and the space functions so much better now. It is clutter free thanks to all the storage in the Atwood dresser and the Penarth mirror opens up the space just as I imagined. I can't wait to greet guests in this new space!

Need to turn a small space into a home office? See our tips.


  1. Britt

    I am in love with those brass lights. Such a simple design!

    May 1, 2017 | Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I Made ThisQuestions