Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Decorating an open floor plan can feel overwhelming. One of the best ways to approach the task is to section off little areas as separate rooms. We've sought the best ways to create an entryway in an open floor plan to help you get started. Let's have a look at how to make your front door into a functional, welcoming space.
The easiest way to create a visually distinct entryway in an open floor plan is to position a few future pieces, namely a shelving unit or a bench, and place an area rug. Other considerations that will help you to designate this space as an entryway include:
- Deciding how much space you should dedicate to the entryway.
- Considering what furniture you'll need to make it practical and comfortable.
- Picking out the accessories you'll want that'll broadcast your style.
- Ensuring the entryway coordinates with the rest of the interior space.
This might sound like a lot, but we promise that creating an entryway in your open floor plan can be quite effortless when you have the right guidance. Please keep reading to let us help you design a welcoming and practical space you'll love.
Measuring out Your Entryway
Knowing how much space you'd like to dedicate to an entryway will help you pick the right furniture, as well as an ideally sized rug. However, sectioning off an area that's too small cuts down on usability, and using a too-large portion of your floor plan throws off the rest of the decor. According to the National Association of Home Builders, entryways in most homes make up from two to four percent of the total square footage. You can and should use this rule of thumb when carving out entry space in an open floor plan. To get the number of square feet, you simply multiply the total square footage by 0.02 or 0.04 and then section off the space accordingly.
What Do You Need in An Entryway?
Placing furniture is an essential part of creating your entryway. Of course, you can put whatever items you'd like in the space. However, a couple of pieces keep the entryway practical in terms of design and useful for both you and guests.
A place to sit is an essential piece to have accessible in an entryway. Typically, this comes in the form of a bench, though a decorative side chair serves the same purpose and works better in compact layouts. In any case, giving you and your guests a place to sit down and remove shoes is practical and thoughtful. Take this entryway as an example.
The provided bench has practical uses, but it also serves as a decoration. You can make the same style statement in your own home with something like the model shown below. Note the bottom shelf, which helps keep shoes off the floor and out of the way. This is an especially useful feature in an open floor plan.
Consider this entryway if you're limited on space or are simply curious about the side chair look. The chair and the shelving unit work together to establish the entryway's width in this open floor plan. Note how the chair has been placed on the side opposite the door's opening. This keeps the design as practical as it is simple.
Whether it comes in the form of a shelf that includes coat hooks, a shoe cubby, or a small table perfect for a bowl of keys, you're going to want a place to set things in your entryway. Consider the shelf featured below. Since it's mounted on the wall, it won't take up precious floor place. However, if you place it close to the door, it helps define your entryway.
This is a good trick in general. You can use bulkier pieces of furniture to create a makeshift wall that denotes the end of your entryway. For example, if you place a bench on the wall next to the door and then an accent table perpendicular to the wall on the other side of the door, you've loosely defined both the width and length of your entryway. A rug ties the look together.
If you decide to use a table, check out our post detailing How To Style An Entryway Table - 6 Interior Design Styles Suggested.
Whether you go with a full area rug or a simple welcome mat, having a rug on the floor helps make an entryway visually distinct. Take these spaces, for example.
In both these homes, the rug used perfectly frames the doorway. To achieve this look in your own home, consider this simple and durable welcome mat, shown below.
If you prefer the area rug approach, this stylish and eye-catching piece would look great in an entryway.
You can let the available space dictate which option you go with, or simply choose which look you like better. There are area rugs in many different sizes available to suit smaller studio apartments.
Accessorizing Your Entryway
Now that the major practical pieces are in place, you'll want to add a little flair to your entryway. This could be as simple as placing an accent pillow on your bench or side chair. Consider getting a set, like those below, and cycling out the pillows as your mood or the season changes.
Accessorizing could also take the form of incorporated greenery. One potted plant livens up the whole home.
Finally, a mirror always makes a good accent piece. If you consider incorporating a mirror, do read our post, Should An Entryway Have A Mirror (And How Big Should It Be)? for more information.
Keeping it all Cohesive
When it comes to open floor plans, your guests take in the whole scene at once. For this reason, you'll want to do what you can to make sure the entryway coordinates with the rest of the house's style and look. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to achieve this.
Color is a great way to achieve visual cohesion. Use accents, like pillows or lamps, to pick up the colors in your living room couch and dining room table. If you're a fan of metallics, add silver, gold, and bronze wall art to your entryway to pick up the theme elsewhere in the home.
Another easy way to casually link your interior decor together is to use the same patterns throughout the space. If you're a polka dot lover, make sure there're polka dots on the pot you get for your doorway plant to match the accent pillows on the couch and the runner on the dining room table.
Finally, being very obviously married to one style, such as rustic or mid-century modern, helps bring the decor together.
Where Should You Store Shoes Without an Entryway?
As we discussed, providing storage for your entryway can be extremely useful. When it comes to shoes, you'll want a place to keep wet, dirty, and piles of footwear out of the open space. Of course, if you don't like the look of shoe caddies or racks, you'll have to get creative. Some of the best alternatives include using your coat closet, keeping a tray just outside your front door, or getting a shoe organizer for the back of the door.
Coat Closet Shoe Storage
If one is available to you, use your coat closet to store yours and guests' shoes. You can even add an extendable shelf on the floor to keep them organized.
Shoe Tray Storage
While they're intended primarily for wet shoes that need a waterproof place to dry, shoe trays can also keep your shoes organized and in one place in an open floor plan. If you're in an apartment, you can even set one in the hallway to keep smelly shoes outside your living space.
Back of the Door Shoe Storage
Though it may not be the most discreet look, back-of-the-door shoe organizers are useful. They can house many shoes for one thing, and don't take up floor space.
Can I Put An Entryway in the Garage?
The short answer to this question is that there are no wrong answers regarding interior design. However, your garage door should serve more as an extension of your entryway rather than an entryway in and of itself. For example, setting a shoe caddy next to the door but in the garage rather than inside your home is an excellent idea. It keeps the shoes out of the way yet easily accessible as you're coming and going. Additionally, you can add art or fun holiday-themed decorations on either side of the garage door to make it seem warm and welcoming.
No matter how you end up creating an entryway in your open floor plan, remember this space is meant to be practical in addition to providing the first impression guests have of your home. Flex your interior designer muscle by adding fun accessories while also keeping your guests comfortable and cutting down on the inconveniences at the start of your day.