Your entryway is the most important space in your home when it comes to making a good first impression. It’s the one thing greeting family, guests, and prospective buyers as they step inside your home. While the entryway typically serves a function — such as a place to hang your coat, stash your shoes, and place your keys — it shouldn’t make visitors want to turn and run out the door.
Your entryway should, however, make a statement, especially when you’re trying to sell your home. Here are some of the biggest pet peeves about your entryway from professional home stagers and what you should be doing instead.
The entryway tends to be a dumping ground for junk. Jackets, hats, muddy shoes, the mail, and anything else you can possibly think of can quickly pile up and become a problem.
“Any clutter like jackets, boots, stuff at the entrance is a major turn off, says Audra Walters, owner of Staging Charleston. “The entrance should be clean and clutter-free.”
Margie Kaercher, lead designer of Hearth and Honey Homes, agrees. “Nothing screams ‘enter at your own risk’ more than walking into a home with clutter everywhere, giving off a very chaotic feel,” she says.
To remedy that, create a drop zone as a catch-all for everyday clutter. Walters also recommends keeping a neat basket off to the side to store shoes and a place to drop keys.
Even too much decor can make your entryway look cluttered, explains Kaercher, and finding the right balance can be a challenge. “Too much decor can easily feel like clutter, so you want to have just enough decorative pieces to add interest to the space while avoiding the sense of feeling overwhelmed.”
Not only can a dark entryway be another big turnoff to visitors and potential buyers, but you’ll need some lighting so you aren’t fumbling around in the dark when you walk in or as you’re trying to leave.
“If you have natural light in your entryway — that’s great. But if you’re some sort of crazy person who goes to workout classes before the sun comes up or comes home after dark, you’ll definitely want a large source of light on the ceiling as well and possibly some sort of accent lighting too, such as a table lamp,” Kaercher advises.
While your entryway should be easy on the eyes, it should also provide a function.
Kaercher says that the best-designed entryways have a place to sit down to put shoes on or take them off. Try a long bench or a stool for smaller areas. You can also incorporate hanging spaces for keys, umbrellas, and jackets. “If we don’t have a place to hang them, they’re guaranteed to end up on our floors or tables,” she says.
An Excess of Bulky Furniture
“You absolutely must keep proportions in mind when designing an entryway,” Kaercher says. While a big piece of furniture may make a beautiful statement in your foyer, it can make a small space feel crowded.
“Because our entryways are such high-traffic areas in our homes, it’s important to keep enough clear space to comfortably move throughout without large furniture disrupting the flow,” she adds.