The entryway of a home is a space to welcome visitors, and to feel comfortable each day while arriving home. There are tricks to making elevated entryways that work for the everyday.
If the idea of redesigning the entryway feels overwhelming, go for a “less is more” approach, said Karrie Bomstad, owner and designer of Staging Spaces & Design in Bend, which specializes in home staging, style and design. “Your guests are going to walk in, and it’s really their first impression, so it’s either warm and welcoming, or not,” Bomstad said.
One approach is to focus on five foundational elements of the entryway, according to Traci Porterfield, designer and co-owner of Circa Interiors, an interior design firm that has operated in Bend since 1991. “I think the entry especially can be so beautiful and also functional as long as you have a few key pieces,” Porterfield said. Start with a grounding piece of furniture, whether it’s a console table or sideboard that offers some storage. Above this table or sideboard, choose something that makes a statement, Porterfield said. “My preference is to do a dramatic piece of artwork, but an interesting mirror works as well,” she said. As a third element, Porterfield recommends having something fresh like a plant, flowers or branches. Fourth, it’s important to engage more senses than the eyes. “There always needs to be a scented candle, and in my world, it’s always burning,” Porterfield said. Finally—a must in the high desert—a durable, beautiful rug. Porterfield personally opts for hand-knotted styles. “I recommend choosing something that hides dirt but it doesn’t have to be an entry mat,” she said. “It can be something that offers a lot of style.”
One bonus design choice will make an impact before any visitors even pass through the threshold: the front door and its hardware. Even if choosing more affordable hardware in the rest of the home, front door hardware is worth the investment, Porterfield said.
A beautiful entryway also doesn’t have to be a big entryway. For homes that are short on space, Bomstad said to swap in a nightstand for a console table or add floating shelves for extra storage.
Bomstad often helps design mudrooms, with smart pieces such as benches and cubbies for baskets. One new feature that’s rising in popularity is especially appropriate for Bend: a metal tub dog wash, allowing clients to bathe their dogs as easily as a groomer, sometimes just off the mudroom in the laundry room. She also typically adds a counter space meant for charging and storing devices; it’s the kind of feature you might not think of without expert help.
Like any room in the home, it may take time to curate an entryway to get it just right. “You make smarter choices when you’ve lived in a house for a little bit,” said Allison Clouser, co-owner of Clouz Houz, and formerly of Design Bar Bend. Clouser and her husband recently launched their new venture in Clouz Houz, offering design services and flipping fixer uppers. “Especially in this house, we use our front door all the time,” Clouser said of her family’s home. “We don’t have a mudroom like a lot of new houses do these days.”
She manages with a console table, benches and baskets for people to kick off and stash their shoes. In the console table, Clouser has a place to store mail, keys and leashes for their golden retrievers. Light-colored rugs help hide the dog fur that inevitably escapes a daily vacuum run. “This space has to work in multiple ways,” she said, explaining finding the balance of beauty with a spot her teenagers and their friends pass through daily.
A final curated detail that sets the tone of the entryway is lighting. “The lighting is really key in an entryway,” Clouser said. Changing the overhead lighting, or simply adding a lamp, can transform the whole setting of an entryway, she said. Porterfield agreed, explaining soft or adjustable lighting is essential.“That way if it’s dark out, you’re not coming into this blast of light,” Porterfield said. “That might be done with a lamp, or the light is on a dimmer.”
In a well-done entryway, there is a special feeling when you walk in. “The goal is that it feels warm and welcoming,” Porterfield said. “And there’s a hint of what’s about to come.”