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The entryway of your house is the first impression your guests have of your home. It also can be one of the most frustrating to decorate. Instead of just being a pass-through to the rest of the house, consider your entryway as its own space, and give it a boost with some of these design tips.

Play With Patterns

Consider applying a boldly patterned wallpaper on one wall of your entryway. Choose one in colors that match the rest of your décor, but with a bold pattern, instead. You can use this as a backdrop for the shoe storage or an entry chair. Best of all, one piece of wallpaper is easy to hang and easy to remove when it’s time to relocate. Budget tip Many wallpaper stores will have odds and ends of their higher end paper left over. If you ask, they may have just enough of an expensive one left over that they will sell you for cheap, or even give away. Make sure you measure your space first.

If you aren’t able to hang wallpaper, you can also look at creating your own bold patterned entryway. Using colored shelf liners, you can trace large shapes and paste them on the walls, with overlaps for a more interesting appearance. Or, cut out patterns from a magazine or trace freehand. Choosing a family of colors, such as a range from lavender to indigo, or coral to maroon, can help carry a theme throughout your house.

Create A Tiny Home Office

Instead of having a table where keys, bills, and mail is dropped, create a home office nook. Find a table with drop leaves that can fold down when not in use for ease of passage. You can place a single chair as an accent piece at the table. Hang some small framed photos above the table/desk, and arrange office supplies artfully in small cups. Budget tip: If you are near a warehouse furniture store, they often have odds and ends from a full room suite in the back. Since you are looking for only one chair, versus a set for a table, they may have single or a pair of chairs that retail for much more but are sold cheaper, since they aren’t part of a set.

Overheard storage, such as cubbies, can be purchased and wall-mounted, hanging about eye-level. Using tightly woven storage baskets to store important papers, or computer accessories can keep the clutter off the side table/desk. Wall-mounted storage can be easily set up and removed, for multiple uses. In addition, if you have small children, this may be a better way to keep desk items out of the reach of tiny hands.

Storage Solutions For Small Spaces

Many military homes suffer from a lack of closet and storage space. Create your own with wall-mounted cubbies, a matching wall-mounted coat hook, and a storage bench with a small cushion. Because these pieces are sold separately, they are much cheaper than a custom built-in. Also, with special wall mounts, you can take them all with you when you move. You won’t have to worry about messy shoes or wet coats bringing dirt and slush into your home. For a pop of color, purchase a small throw rug that matches your bench cushion.

If you don’t need the cubbies for a faux-coat closet, instead consider using your entryway’s footage for stylish storage displays. A slim side table can fit two small covered storage ottomans underneath, which looks chic. These ottomans can hold things like video game components, DVD libraries, or just use them to stash clutter when you have an unexpected guest. Budget tip: Look in the clearance section of larger furniture stores. They often have pieces that may just have a small nick or tear, which can easily be fixed at home. When you have a lot of company over these ottomans can be used for extra seating.

Display Away

If you’ve traveled a lot, you probably have lots of photos. Use an entryway wall to display many of them. You can either purchase frames that have a similar theme – all silver, or mahogany wood, or you can use a mix of different ones. Trace each frame on a piece of paper first, then use tape to stick these cut-outs on the wall. You can move them around until you find a cluster or clusters you like, then start hanging. This eclectic mix will be an instant conversation starter for arriving guests.

Your entryway can also hold a few large photos, or an oversized mirror and umbrella stand. A large wedding photo or professional family shot looks beautiful beside a large mirror, with coat tree in the corner. Even just a little love can change your entryway from a plain hallway into an extra “office”, a storage space, or a display of your memories as a family.

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