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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Does Your Entry Say To Visitors?

Paul Raeside Photography

What does your entry say about you and your home? I know this a question that has been written in many a magazine articles, but it is a question that should be given a great deal of thought.

I have a theory about entry halls/foyers.... It is the very first part of your house that your guests will see. I think that your guest should be thinking,"Oh, Wow! I wonder what the rest of the house looks like?" 

As I wrote that statement, I realized that they could be thinking in a bad way or in a good way. Of course I meant in a good way. Another thought they should have and is probably the most important is, "Aah! this house is so welcoming and inviting." 

Do you ever go outside and come in through your front door and look around as if you had never seen your home before?
I do this periodically in order to get a visitor's perspective. It helps me  to keep things looking fresh and welcoming. 

Your visitor's experience actually starts from the front porch as they go through the front door and into your entry. I realize that not all homes are designed with an entry hall. Some homes will spill you right into your living area. 
Even in your living area there will be one wall that becomes a focal point so it should read,"WELCOME!"
I have collected a group of pictures of entries and I am going to show them to you. When you look at each of them ask yourself, "What does this say to me, what kind of person lives here?"

I think this little exercise will help you start looking at your own home a little differently.

Phoebe Howard for Mrs. Howard
Notice the color of the wall, the lines of the furniture. the gorgeous marble floor. The stair case has a wonderful touch of leopard in the runner.  I think this entry shows the owner pays great attention to detail. They love fine furniture and they edit well. The leopard says  that they have a practical fun side also. What does this entry say to you?

Designer J. Randall
I love this entry. It is well lit and spacious. Obviously this belongs to a grand home. Notice the detail in the door and the ceiling. What a wonderful light fixture. It is made to look peaceful with its symmetry from one side to the other.

Although this entry is not large, it is still full of interest with the great glass door and the art on each side. It is made casual with the use of the cotton striped rug. They continued the welcoming sights with a sculpture at the top of the stairs. I like the use of a lamp and an overhead light fixture. At night there is nothing prettier than a soft glow from a table lamp in an entry.

Phoebe Howard
In this East Hampton home the entry is full of light, not only form the doors but from the two lamps and overhead bell fixture. It is soft and subtle in its colors and has interest to look at in the botanical's, and the great old chairs. This is a little bit of the old, and also some new with the glass pillar lights. Notice the greenery on the console table. I always like something green, or at least real flowers in an entry. Live greenery or flowers always says,"Welcome" to me. This home looks very warm and welcoming to me.

Again we have a wonderful French door entry. This is a home with character and patina . Notice the chevron patterned floor and the beautiful old French console. Lovely orchids are a welcoming site. I would imagine the homeowner is well traveled and has beautiful pieces throughout their home. I really want to see the rest of this lovely home.

Here is a very small entry and look at how much they were able to do in a small space. You have pattern, and color on the wall. Fresh flowers always say "Welcome!" An extra added feature is a storage ottoman to pull out and put on your shoes.  Since the umbrella stand is clear it is not taking up any visual space. They used a simple yet brightly colored striped rug that adds to this colorful and welcoming entry. This entry has everything one would need to enter or exit this home. Very well done! This goes to show us that an entry does not have to have be grand to be user friendly or appealing.

This homeowner is full of style. Notice the brightly colored turquoise color they used on the ornate antique mirror? I can tell this homeowner likes fun and has a great personality. The bright use of color and the textures used here are just fun.

This entry has lots of visual eye candy. The gorgeous marble floor is flanked by an older wood floor with lots of patina. Great wall paper for interest and color. A plant for life sitting on an acrylic cube therefore not taking up any visual space on the floor. The contemporary chair with a pop of red. This homeowner is going to have a very eclectic home with lots of interest. A small space done very well.

A very small entry, probably to a coastal beach house. The brightly colored door is just fun. The color is picked up again in the rug and the accessories on the table. Love the touch of the loosely arranged flowers in the vase. This home says, " Come in kick your shoes off and relax." I really like this feeling.

Windsor Smith

This is obviously a Grand home with its large marble entry. I love the way they used the black and also have carried it into the adjacent room. They added life by the pops of green. I love this entry. It is using my favorite colors and I always love a black and white checked floor. I would love to visit inside this home and see all of its decor. Lots of interesting pieces. The chairs and the wonderful round settee. Look at the industrial looking book shelves to display interesting objects. This is just a great big WONDERFUL!!!

This entry is just a total Wow! factor. The architecture to the zebra wall paper to the gallery wall. I love the sisal runners for texture and the sparkle of the mirror and lamps. I would really love to see what is in this house, wouldn't you?

Now that I have shown you several different types of entries, does it make you look at your entry a little differently? 

It does not have to be Grand to be inviting or interesting. You can add interest with a rug or an interesting table. Bring life by having a live plant or a bouquet of flowers. Add light with a great overhead lantern or even a lamp on the table. If you can not put a light at least have some candles. Get some reflection with a mirror. 

If space allows have a place to sit. Remember wallpaper is another simple way to bring pattern and color to an entry. I hope this opens your mind to thinking outside the box and helps you to try new ways of making your entry reflect you and your homes personality.

Last but not least, I leave you with my entry hall. It is a small area that measures 6ft wide by 12 ft long. I chose a carrara  marble and absolute black granite floor.(this was a dream come true for me).

 I have a more formal/traditional looking entry. I love lots of light so I have a full French door with sidelights. 

 I added the introduction of color by choosing an English wallpaper with soft sage, cream and watermelon pink in it. 

 The console table is an old French piece dating from the late 1800's It has lots of patina in the metal and the flowers have bits of old paint peeking out. The top is a black marble that is no longer quarried. 

I have an antique mirror with a simple frame with a bit of carving and gold gilding. I use candles and the overhead light that is on a dimmer for night time ambiance. 

 I can only hope that my entry evokes a welcoming sight to all who come to visit my home. 

What will you change about your entry? Is it saying what you want it to say? Let me know if you were inspired to make any changes. 

Come back for my next post and I will share one of my pet peeves  that I have seen in some homeowner's entries!!

"Enjoy the Process" Of: 

Making your entry a welcoming sight to all who enter.