Entryways – Transition from Exterior to Interior

In the grand and historic homes of the past, entryways, typically called foyers, were large and welcoming; stairways were often part of the entryways.  It was important to have a transition area from the exterior to the interior, where guests could be greeted, and guests and residents could remove their coats, boots and more.  Some of the foyers were more about guests…and making a statement about your home as they entered.  This is still true, particularly in the larger and more formal homes of today.



And foyers did and do more…they provided a glimpse of the rest of the house; a starting point for the personality of the house.

What about the rest of us who live in smaller homes, particularly those built after WWII?  My own 1960s ranch style home has a small entry that opens into the living room.  We have a closet, but no space for furniture or shelving.  What can you do??

Start by thinking about about connecting the entryway to other areas of your home;  what style and period is your home from and what colors predominate?  And let’s start with a small piece of furniture or two!  Let’s assume that you have storage for coats, and other outerwear and shoes, but  your entry way is lacking style.

If you have room to move in your entryway, you might want to add a credenza, or small table;  not only as a design element, but somewhere to put mail, keys and other items temporarily;  what else do you need to access, on your way out?  Do you also need storage for small items, like spare keys, pens, etc.?  The important thing is to make sure you can flow through the space easily, regardless of the season and your added outerwear;  measure any new furniture item first, and make sure it doesn’t prevent access to any doors or interior openings.

Eclectic with a nod to the past… www.housebeautiful.com


A traditional gate-leg table and mirror… www.bhg.com

What about furniture with clean lines, with a nod to Mid-Century or Shaker?

This mid-century buffet/console is in the entry of the Field Farm Bed and Breakfast in Williamstown, MA KDZ Designs Photo


Contemporary console – Shaker influence – www.rejuvenation.com

The Zimmerman House Entryway – Frank Lloyd Wright – The Magazine Antiques – Mid-Century…