We all know that first impressions mean everything. When we first meet a potential boss, coworker, friend of a friend, new neighbor or even the person serving us our morning coffee we are subconsciously scaling them up and down. We are creating what will be our first impression. In milliseconds we look at the person from head to toe. From their hair, eyes, smile, outfit, personality, hand gestures, the way they speak and carry themselves. This sounds harsh, I know, but it’s so true. In a moment we decide if we like this person, or not.

A home’s entrance is the first impression to not only guests but to yourself. So how do you make a good one?

Entrances vary from home to home. Some homes have a large foyer. Some have a mudroom. In some cases there is no entrance and as soon as you walk in you are in the kitchen. Regardless, it is possible to make a grand entrance and here’s how!

CURB APPEAL – The look or feel that you are wanting to achieve starts before you even open the door. Door colour is a great way to convey this. It’s so easy to paint, that you can do it every season if you like. Consider hardware accessories to also jazz it up such as door handles, hinges, knockers, mail box, etc. All these small details will add up to make a big difference. Other great ways to help your entrance shine are: light fixtures, door mats, wreaths and potted flowers.

BEHIND DOOR NUMBER ONE IS…. Shoes, hats, coats, mitts, keys, mail, and so on. After a long day all you want to do is go home and relax. Walking into a mess first thing can be stressful. Get organized! Even if the entrance is small, it is possible to create a well organized space. Coat racks are not just “coat racks” anymore. They are stylish art pieces! If you have room for a storage bench, get one! It will double as a seat and place to store items out of sight. Benches are also great for adding a bit of fabric. Entrances are full of hard, solid surfaces so fabric can really help add colour, pattern and texture. Another neat storage solution is cutting out the rise of the stairs and installing drawers. If all else fails, decorative boxes and baskets are always the way to go. However you do it, cutting the clutter will allow you to make way for pleasing décor.

PERSONALIZE IT – Make every one that lives in your home feel happy to be there and every guest feel welcome. A fun picture of every family member and own hook below can create a welcoming space, especially for little ones. Alternatively, you could use chalk boards with each members name and cubby or hook below. Chalk boards allow you to write the guests name before they arrive.

BEAUTY IS BEAUTY REFLECTED – Mirrors make for excellent accent pieces. The frame design and finish can really add a bit of style to an otherwise boring space. Mirrors in small spaces will make the space appear much larger by reflecting light. And hey, who doesn’t want to check themselves out one last time before heading out?

ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET – Or blue, or green, or whatever other colour fits in with your scheme! If you are feeling confused about what to do with your entrance, find a runner, mat or rug you love. If it has colours and patterns that speak to you, run with it. This will be your starting point and guideline for all else that follows.

Some tips for each kind of entrance:

The large foyer – Treat this as another room, because it is! The ideas for a foyer are endless but this space deserves nothing less but grand. Focus on light fixtures (chandeliers, hanging pendants or flush mounts). Roll out the red carpet! You have the space to have a large runner or rug. This is a great opportunity to create the feel that will transition into the rest of your home by adding colour and pattern. Foyers tend to have a more tradition feel so try a little play with symmetry. Whatever you do on one wall, repeat on the other to create a mirrored effect. 2 benches across from one another with 4 framed photos above each would be one idea to creating a large impact.

The mudroom – This is personally my favourite. I love mudrooms, while a lot of people who have them can’t stand them. This is your opportunity to create a very unique space. Unlike foyers, mudrooms are less grand but more personal. That’s not to say they can’t be just at stylish. Consider adding personalized touches such as lockers or cubbies with clean, crisp, white woodwork. When decorating small spaces, it’s all in the details. Tying in the finishes from hooks, hangers, knobs, light fixtures, face plates and frames will create a seamless look. Walls are free reign to add your personal touch with colour, whether it be through paint or wallpaper. Shelves are great for displaying items as well as accommodating baskets to hide items. If you have a window, you have just won the lottery of all entrances! Natural light can help make a space feel larger, and well, just more happy! Windows are also another opportunity to add fabric in a treatment that serves as functional and another design touch.

The very small or nonexistent entrance – You open the front door and before you can take off your shoes you are already caught up on your family’s day. That’s because you JUST walked directly into the kitchen (or pretty close to it). These spaces can be tough. Here we go;

Give this space its own identity – though it may be hard to see where one space starts and the other ends, try to “create” an optical illusion. Painting the area you want to be the entrance a different colour from the rest of the home will do the trick.

Take advantage of wall space – even though there isn’t much square footage you will have at least 8 feet of height. This will take some maneuvering but if done right, this could be one show stopping wall! Mix in shelves, art, photos, baskets and hooks and you’re as good as golden.

Light up your life – give your entrance its own light, don’t make it share with another room! When walking in from the dark it is hard for our eyes to adjust. Small spaces deserve their own flush mount, pendant or sconce!

Whatever your home décor dilemma is, there is a solution and we can help you find it! For further information on window treatments, fabrics, and other design advice visit C&M Textiles.

Written by: Alicia Hewitt