My 5 Favorite Ways to Make an Entry Hall Special

We all know how important first impressions are, but do you know what kind of impression your entry hall is making? When you’ve been living in a home for a while, you kinda go blind to its flaws. Walk through your front door and try to be objective.

Is your entry welcoming? Does it give a glimpse of the style throughout your home? Is it bland and boring? Here are my favorite ways to make your entry hall special:


1. Paint Your Interior Door a Color Other Than White

black interior door

The Decorologist

Why should your interior door be trim color (white)? Charcoal or black are sophisticated options for interior doors, as is navy, but you could choose any number of other accent colors to make the front door your focal point from the inside. I’ve specified turquoise and various blues for several clients.


2. Add a Properly-Sized Interior Rug

front entry rug


While most people plop a rug just inside the door, it is typically too small – about the size of a bath mat! If you don’t have a lot of room in your entry hall, usually a 4×6 or 3.5×5 placed horizontally in front of the door is good, but it’s even better if you can place a larger rug vertically (like pictured above) to pull your visitors on into the house visually.


3. Update Overhead Lighting with Something Fun

front entry hall

The Decorologist 

Ban the boob light that’s looming in your home entry NOW. I’m not talking about spending a fortune here. This fun oversized fixture is from IKEA is under $100 and packs a punch! Here are some other great alternatives to update your boob lights.


4. Paint the Entry Ceiling an Accent Color

front entry accent color

The Decorologist

You know how I love to paint ceilings, right? This little entry hall was a great place to put an accent color up top. It coordinates nicely with my client’s vintage hutch and gives visitors a visual hug when they walk in. I only recommend painting the ceiling an accent color when you have crown molding.


5. Add an Entry Hall Table + Mirror

front entry

The Decorologist

Whether or not you normally enter by your front door, there should always be a table of some sort in the entry hall. Not only do you need a place to drop keys or sunglasses, but it’s nice to use the horizontal surface to style the space in a welcoming way. I found this entry table for my client, and she topped it with a painted vintage mirror. Not only does it reflect light and the view of the adjoining dining room, it’s a place to do a quick hair/makeup check when you arrive or are leaving!

I hope this sparked a few ideas for your entry hall – now I need to go work on my own . . .



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20 thoughts on “My 5 Favorite Ways to Make an Entry Hall Special

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Your space is so limited, Christy. The best thing you can do is install a fab flushmount or semi-flushmount light fixture and paint your door a color like black or navy (depends on what else in the space, of course). Your “entry” table may need to be inside your adjoining living room, where you can still set down items as you come in and, of course, check your hair in the mirror above it before leaving! 😉

      • Kristie Barnett says:

        Also, it looks like a vertically-oriented rug would be a great idea here. Make sure to use a rug pad so no one slips, and I recommend one of the great looking indoor/outdoor rugs made of polypropylene. If you can’t find those locally, check out options from Rugs USA.

  1. Laura P. says:

    Hi Kristie, Thanks for this post! You’ve just affirmed that I got at least one area in my new home right, LOL! ? Whew!

  2. Paula says:

    I saw this “comment” w/photo– about not having enough room for a table or bench. My problem, too. I see 2 other people commented, but I don’t see any suggestions. Please re-post these suggestions. Also, my light switches are on the tiny wall where one could place a mirror, so that also presents a problem. Suggestions, please and thank you.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Hi Paula,
      If there’s no space for a narrow table or bench, there just isn’t. Focus on a great light fixture and entry rug, maybe even paint than interior door. Those things should give your entry some LOVE!

  3. Jean says:

    I like, but am confused by the suggestion about entry door painting. If the wall is green, and I want to paint the entry door blue, are you suggesting that the door trim stay white? Or do I paint the door trim the same color as the door, or as the wall? My trim is very basic and I feel that if I leave the trim white it will just draw attention to itself and to the fact that it is nothing to write home about! Could you please clarify? In the picture you posted both the wall and the door trim is white, so that is what makes me wonder. Thanks!

    • Kristie Barnett says:


      Yes – the trim around it should remain white. Painting the door the accent color will draw attention to the door, rather than the trim like you are concerned about. I’d suggest that if the wall is light green, you go with a darker blue for the door. That will create contrast and a more sophisticated effect. Good luck!!

  4. Kay says:

    Our entry is tiny, intended only to protect the rest of the house from icy winter blasts. It is 5’x4′, so not enough room for so much as an umbrella stand. But the Thibaut bird wallpaper has every color in our house, the inside of the door is navy, and the small Schonbek chandelier casts prisms of light on the gold ceiling. It makes me happy.

  5. Kay says:

    Here is a photo of my tiny entryway, angled up to show the light on the ceiling. Because I removed the door but not the frame, the photo doesn’t show as much as it would if the space were entirely open. . But since I was in the hall when I took it, you can tell how tiny it is!

  6. Phyllis E says:

    Hi Kristi, I don’t know if it is too late to ask you to comment on this post, but I was wondering what color to paint the sidelights (if you have them ) if you are going to paint the door? Should they stay white like the trim or match the door? I’m talking about didelughts where the bottom is “paneled” to match the door ( typical “colonial” style!) thanks so much. I love your ideas and really want to try painting the inside of my entry door!!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Hi Phyllis,

      Great question! I would do the sidelights in existing trim color (white or off-white). When you paint the door in an accent color, it should only be on the operational door – not the trim around it or the sidelights next to it. I hope that helps, good luck with painting your door!

  7. dee lambert says:

    Any preference for fiberglass v. wood entry door? Replacing now. Want to get what LOOKS best & will also hold up. thanks.

  8. Kay says:

    I think it depends a lot on where you live and how protected your entry is. We live in the northeast snow belt and have a west-facing door with only a small overhang for protection, so we went with fiberglass. It looks pretty good, but real wood would look better. If everything else were the same except that the door was protected from the elements, I would have chosen wood.

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