How to Decorate an Entryway
Designer tips on creating a fabulous foyer
Few spaces in the home are as impactful as the entryway — after all, this is where you welcome friends and family into your personal space.
Furnishing it properly can make the difference between a negative first impression (cluttered and abrupt) and a positive one (attractive and well-proportioned). We turned to Sarah Chavez and Marina Mizruh, founders of the Los Angeles firm Chimera Interiors, to advise us on key pieces and how to arrange them.
YLiving: What are some factors to consider when decorating an entryway?
Chimera Interiors: A sense of proportion and creating focal points are probably the most important things to keep in mind.
It's also important to consider the mood you want. The entry should be inviting and striking and should set the tone for the rest of the residence. A relaxed mood can be set by a casual console or weathered bench with a simple mirror on the wall and a cotton runner or Kilim rug. A more formal entry can be denoted by an important piece of furniture that’s restrained in its form and finish, a mirror in a lacquered frame, and an interesting chandelier.
YV: What pieces help make a welcoming first impression?
CI: We love using runners, mirrors, consoles, and chandeliers to set up the entry sequence. Rugs and carpets are also important.
A console provides an anchor to the space and offers plenty of space for people to set down keys, purses, and packages. We like the Atlantico sideboard and would top it with a wall-hung mirror, such as the Hang 1 Octagonal mirror, to reflect the space and allow one to sneak a quick look at oneself when entering and exiting.
YV: What are some of the most common challenges in decorating an entryway?
CI: For an entry that’s small, we would use a mirror on the wall to open up the space. We like floor mirrors and a large, leaning one like the Greene can fool the eye into believing the space is larger than it really is. And a runner will lead the eye along the entryway to create a feeling of depth.
For a soaring tall space, a beautiful chandelier hanging from the ceiling will bring the volume down to human proportions. We love the Mod 2097 Chandelier by Gino Sarfatti.
YV: What if a home lacks a clear entry space?
CI: When the door opens right into the living room we would use a small rug to delineate the foyer and separate it from the living room. Good examples are the Fata Morgana by Marcel Wanders, the Dar Atta Rug, or the Smith Rug. A nice, minimal coat hanger would also help, such as the Eames Hang-It-All.
YV: What role does storage play in the entryway?
YV: What would you suggest for lighting an entryway, and why?
CI: Lighting at the entryway is just as critical as any room in the house. But because the foyer sets an impression, we love to create a mood with a striking fixture. A good example is the Taraxacum Chandelier by Achille and Pier Castiglioni.
YV: Do you like art in an entryway?
CI: Yes, we love it, especially black and white photography. Creating a gallery by hanging a collection of small and large photographs with one large painting works great as well.
YV: Coat storage is important in an entry. What are some of your favorite approaches to hanging coats, beyond a closet?
— By Jaime Gillin