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The Best Things for Decorating an Entryway, According to Interior Designers

An entryway designed by Crystal Sinclair. Photo: Genevieve Garruppo

The entryway to your home is the first thing guests see when they enter, and it’s the first space welcoming you home at the end of the day. It’s also where you take a last glance in the mirror or grab an umbrella before heading out the door. And yet for many, decorating an entryway doesn’t get nearly as much thought as a living room or master bedroom.

“The space should work hard for you, as it sets the tone for the rest of your home,” says Jessica McCarthy, creative director at Decorist. “Having a functional space without sacrificing style is paramount.” Even if your home lacks a formal foyer, there are small touches you can use to help define the space. Below McCarthy and two more design pros share their favorite pieces for entryway décor, from multifunction mirrors to decorative catch-all trays.

Best entryway hall trees

The entryway often becomes a dumping ground for shoes, coats, dog leashes, and anything else you immediately discard upon coming home. To keep everything organized, designers opt for hooks-and-storage-bench combo pieces, known as hall trees, like this one chosen by McCarthy. “I love a dual-purpose storage bench where you can store shoes on the bottom and hang coats on the top, as well as offering a place to sit to put on your shoes,” she says. It’s great for corralling shoes and outerwear while saving space.

For a more affordable option, we also like this streamlined hall tree with two rows of hooks and a shelf for shoes or bags.

Or this one with shelves for decorative accents like floral arrangements, lamps, or art. McCarthy points out that fresh plants can “bring life to your space and add a bit more formality.”

Best entryway hooks

If you don’t have room for a full-fledged coat rack or hall tree, simple wall hooks will do the job. “You want something sturdy to hold umbrellas or a winter coat,” says Crystal Sinclair, an interior designer with Homepolish. “The more simple the hook, the better.” Since they’ll usually be covered up by jackets or hats, she prefers utilitarian-style hooks, like these from the Container Store, that’ll serve their function without added fussiness.

A little more dressed up but still highly functional, McCarthy likes this set of hooks mounted on chevron-patterned wood. “Wall hooks are a great way to hang your purse, scarves, or shopping bags without taking up any floor space,” she says.

If you like to kick your shoes off upon arriving home — or request that your guests go shoeless in your place — Sinclair has the ingenious idea of placing a hook rack low to the ground and storing shoes upside down on the hooks. Compared to lining or piling up shoes in the entryway, she prefers this method where “they’re up against the wall so the profile is much smaller.”

Best entryway console tables

Instead of scrambling to find everything you need on the way out the door, store necessities on a slim console table. Sean Juneja, founder and CEO of Décor Aid recommends this CB2 table because it’s “super slim, sleek, stylish, and won’t take up too much space visually, thanks to its glass top, and it makes a great spot for catchall trays for keys, mail, and wallets.”

If your home has a more organic look, try this mango-wood console with subtle brass accents recommended by McCarthy.

There’s also this handsome marble version from Room & Board (it’s available with other tops as well like reclaimed chestnut wood or smoky-black tempered glass). Sinclair says she’s used similar-style tables in some of her projects.

Best entryway mirrors

Mirrors are essential to entryways for a variety of reasons. “People like to check themselves out as they leave, and guests like to check themselves as they enter,” says Sinclair. Juneja also points out that mirrors visually enlarge smaller spaces, making them ideal for tiny apartments. As with other entryway pieces, designers look for mirrors that can double as storage spaces. Sinclair likes this round mirror with a brass ledge for stashing keys or sunglasses.

Another one of Sinclair’s picks, this elongated mirror with a narrow shelf adds some industrial style and functionality to an entrance.

With five hooks, this mirror can replace a stand-alone coat rack in a compact entryway.

If you’re after a statement mirror, Sinclair suggests checking out the designs from Arteriors. “They walk that fine line of being interesting without being so trendy that in five years they’ll be out the door,” she says. “More jazzed up than a basic mirror.”

Along with its space-saving hooks, this walnut-wood-framed mirror has a nifty storage slot for mail and magazines.

Best entryway trays

Decorative trays provide an opportunity for adding personality and style to your entryway, and can be easily swapped out depending on the season or your mood. An elegant option from L’Objet, Juneja calls this crocodile-painted porcelain tray “timeless in appeal and just the right size to hold daily essentials as you come and go.”

Sinclair is a fan of the colorful decoupage trays from New York–based artist John Derian. “They’re fun to have and make a statement,” she says. With its vintage look, this peacock tray brings something unique to an everyday entryway.

A leather catchall with some old-school warmth would be a perfect fit for a home with an earthier style.

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Best Things for Decorating Entryways, According to Designers