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entryway, foyer, tips, architect on demand, advice without strings

A DIY Ally client wrote: “Alla, I have another project for you. We need a defined entryway. Not a grand foyer but something fitting of the inside of the house and the beautiful location. Can you give me a few tips?”

entryway, foyer, tips


In response, I search through a few blog posts, like this one and put together a mood board of various possibilities. The collaging exercise inspires me to list the areas of focus. It’s a program of sorts.

Clearly, there are many ways of accomplishing a certain objective. As DIY architect, my advice is to be somewhat adventurous while displaying your taste and personality. The concept is to set the tone, to align with the mood of the house right at the entryway. One approach is to use colors and materials that will be found again in other rooms.

An entryway or foyer, regardless of size, has the responsibility to dazzle your guests right at the door

  • Make it welcoming.
  • Create a focal point.

Most importantly, a small entryway has to maintain a sense of order and feel organized, as it is responsible for holding keys, shoes, bags, and umbrellas. Not to mention coats and jackets. Thus:

  • Employ a common theme to unify separate elements.
  • Keep it simple and cohesive.

Tips on finishes & surfaces:

  • Install a bold-patterned floor. If that’s not feasible, opt for a patterned runner to clearly define your entryway as a separate zone.
  • Employ a neutral palette with splashes of color.
  • Make a statement with a door.

Tips on lighting:

  • Show-stopping chandelier makes a big impact. On the other hand, sconces and table lamps keep the mood cozy and the light flattering.

Tips on furnishings:

  • Include a narrow shelf, bench, or a console table to stash mail, and packages.
  • Line a wall with woven baskets (super practical) under a few eye-catching hooks.
  • Add a mirror.
  • Slip in seating.
  • Integrate your personal style through decorative accents, such as a catch-all bowl or tray.
entryway, foyer, tips


Armed with these tips, I revise the existing floor plan. See the sketch and a fragment of the collage above as proposed to my DIY Ally client. Instead of a blank space, his entryway or foyer can be well organized, stylish, and welcoming.


  • Mia S Kazovsky
    February 9, 2017

    Very educational for me today. I am proud to say that my entryway has a patterned runner! I chose it because it welcomes me and my guests into the apartment, and proves that the space is important despite its narrowness. Every square foot is a design opportunity! Another tip I’d like to add is using a skinny entryway as a great canvas for accent walls! I love my grey-blue walls. They make the space a lot more interesting and dynamic. I think a mirror would have a similar affect, but I don’t have the room. I have yet to figure out seating. This morning I was playing around with putting a stool in the entry hallway to make it easier to put your shoes on at the door. The stool I was testing out was too deep and ate up too much space. I will continue to look!

    • Alla DIY Ally
      February 11, 2017

      Mia, I love it that you are always thinking of how to make improvements to your habitat!

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