How To Decorate A Living Room With No Entryway

Many apartments and homes have front doors that open directly into the living room, which leaves one wondering how best to decorate a living room with no entryway. We’ve looked at what interior designers say about this configuration and found some great ways to decorate a living room with no entry hall or foyer.

Here are some great ways to decorate a living room without an entryway:

  • Place your furniture to create a sense of entry.
  • Add a bench or storage area for coats, shoes, and keys.
  • Consider using a low bookshelf to create a half wall.
  • Add different flooring or an area rug to define the entryway.
  • Have your door swing into the room rather than toward the wall.
  • Use an open shelving unit to create the illusion of entry.

Let’s take a look at examples of each of these suggestions to give you a sense of what will work for your unique space. We’ll also talk about furniture arrangement and storage needs for the entryway.

An empty foyer with a hardwood pivot door, white colored walls and ceiling, and a stairway on the side, How To Decorate A Living Room With No Entryway

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Great Ways To Decorate A Living Room With No Entryway

A design challenge is always a fun puzzle to solve. And with a front door that opens directly into a living area, you have a challenge. Where do you stop to put your keys, shoes, and umbrellas? Maybe you have a coat closet, but maybe you don’t. There are ways to create the function and feel of an entryway, even if your living room doesn’t have one.

Place Your Furniture To Create A Sense Of Entry

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In this living room, the outside entry door opens directly into the living room. The homeowner has placed their neutral L-shaped sofa perpendicularly along the inner edge of the door. This creates a line when you walk inside that differentiates the space they’ve created in the doorway versus the space created by the seating arrangement.

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In this living room, the seating area rug is used as the delineator between living space and entry. The large area rug is arranged so that one end of it creates a line perpendicular to the entry door’s inner edge. A large piece of furniture against the wall creates a semi-block so that upon walking into the room, one finds a small square of the area to shed coats and shoes that feels separate from the conversation area.

Add A Bench Or Storage Area to Create The Function Of An Entryway

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When we first walk into our homes, we shed our coats, purses, keys, and briefcases. In this living room, the homeowner has placed a low bench next to the front door. It’s a great spot to sit down and take off your shoes, or set down your bags. Above it is a small shelf with hooks for coats, keys, scarves, or anything small that needs to hang.

This great front entry bench not only provides seating but storage as well. Click here for this on Amazon.

Hang a cute shelf and hook above the bench to create an all-you-need function by the front door. Click here for this on Amazon.

Use A Low Bookshelf To Create A Half Wall

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Another idea for creating the sense of an entryway is to put a low bookcase perpendicular to your front door. This provides both a visual and physical barrier to the rest of the living space. The shelves provide space for storage and welcoming decorative items. Here, a curtain hides the shelves reducing the visual clutter that can happen where shoes are stored. Line the top with houseplants, and you’ll have an even more well-defined space.

A simple low bookshelf like this gives you lots of options for your entryway. Click here for this on Amazon.

Use Different Flooring Or A Small Area Rug To Define The Entry Landing

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Using a different flooring area just inside the entry door is another way to define the entry in a home without an entry vestibule. Choosing tile to go with hardwoods, or even a square area rug or runner will create the illusion of separation and a different household “zone.” Here, the zigzag pattern of the wood-grained tile in grey is a nice contrast to the warm color of the horizontal wood floors.

Swing Your Door Into The Room Rather Than Toward The Wall

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Something as simple as changing the direction of your entry door’s swing can create an entryway. When open, the door doesn’t hit the wall, making room for coat hooks and a bench, and the open door creates a short physical barrier to the conversation space.

Use An Open Shelving Unit To Create An Entry

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This is a similar idea to using a half bookcase, but in this case, the shelving unit extends full height. The combination of closed and open shelves gives you lots of options to store functional and decorative items without sacrificing style. Add a small welcome rug in front of the door, and you’ll forget you don’t have an entryway.

This piece would create a gorgeous sense of enclosure for your entryway. Click here for this on Amazon.

How Do You Fake An Entryway?

Beyond using the techniques we’ve mentioned above, there are ways to build-in entryways to a space that doesn’t have one.

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In this home, they’ve taken an open space and built-in a mudroom. Windows allow a sightline from the front door to the living space, but a series of cubbies, hooks, and benches, along with a strategic area rug, create the illusion of a separate entry.

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With a careful addition of flooring, molding, and windowed pocket doors, this homeowner successfully turned a no foyer house into a foyer house. The advantage of this design is that during inclement weather, the pocket doors can be closed to cut down on heat loss.

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Here’s another clever idea for cheating an entryway. Enclose the front door on the interior. This design keeps out the weather but doesn’t cut out the light.

How Do You Arrange Furniture When The Door Opens Into The Living Room?

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When the door opens into the living room, you have a natural foyer. Simply put a table or organizer against the wall, and line your couch up to block the door. Throw a runner down on the inside at the door to direct traffic forward and around the sofa.

Where Do You Put Your Shoes If You Don’t Have An Entryway?

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As we mentioned in some of the points before, there are wonderful ideas for shoe storage at the entry. Use a low bookcase and fill it with baskets or boxes to store dirty shoes. Purchase a storage unit made for entryway storage that includes space for shoes. Whether you want them hidden away or in plain sight, there are gorgeous solutions. We found a few here.

If space is an issue, this handy tower scoots right into a corner. It holds seven or eight pairs of shoes depending on if you use the top for storage or something decorative. Click here for this on Amazon.

If you prefer to keep things hidden, this small cabinet serves as shoe storage (including a slotted front to provide air circulation) inside and a handy tabletop for keys, bags, and pet leashes. Click here for this on Amazon.

This walnut bench provides plenty of storage beneath the seat for shoes and bulkier boots. It’s a handsome piece of furniture, and you could easily purchase a pillow cushion for the seat to match the rest of your interior decor. Click here for this on Amazon.

No Foyer, No Problem

As you’ve seen, there are ways around not having a foyer. From something as simple as an area rug and a couple of hooks on the wall to something as complex as building a small room with windows inside your front door, you don’t have to live without a foyer.

If you enjoyed this post here at, please check out these other great posts:

Should An Entryway Have a Mirror (And How Big Should It Be)?

How to Decorate an Entryway Table [8 Actionable Suggestions]


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