I don't know who coined the phrase you only have one chance at a first impression, but I do know that it was Oscar Wilde – my go-to guy for nuggets of wisdom – who said my first impressions of people are invariably right. Put those two together and what do you get: your mother was right after all; first impressions do matter! And that does not only apply to personal appearance, it applies to our home as well. Think about it: what is it that you want your guests to know about you when they first step into your entryway? This often tiny space can convey a multitude of messages:
This is a warm and welcoming home
We love children
We welcome pets in all shapes and sizes
We're not afraid of color
We're organized and tidy (this one definitely does not apply to me)
We want to you get comfortable
We like visitors
We have a flair for decorating
That's a lot of responsibility to put onto such a small room – here are a few pointers:
A plump upholstered settee or love seat is the perfect spot to sit down, take off your shoes and get your bearings. A cozy velvet or chenille will immediately set the tone for a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
If space is at a premium, go for an armless bench. Paired with a stylish tray, it can double as a console table.
Another space-saving trick involves tucking a bench – or a pair of upholstered stools – under a lucite or glass-topped table. They can be seen and pulled out a moment's notice, and will fit in the narrowest of entryways.
An eclectic assortment of pillows in the foyer can be swapped out seasonally – or whenever the mood strikes you. I have a friend who color-coordinates her pillows with the room's floral arrangements. She keeps plenty of spare pillow covers around and comes up with new color and pattern combos on a regular basis.
I absolutely LOVE a bright and bold pattern on a simple bench. This entryway needs little more: a lucite console table, basic mirror and tonal bouquet. Et voilà: art gallery chic!
That awkward triangular bit of wall under the staircase is perfect for creating a stylish mini-vignette with casually layered art, flattering lighting, candles and most importantly: flowers and/or plants.
Last but not least: you can never go wrong with a touch of leopard – what may be a bit much if it was all over your living room looks super chic in this tiny space. Embrace it!