Styling a beautiful entryway requires consideration for both functionality and looks. As the portal to your home and an introduction to your design sensibilities, the entryway is your chance to show off your styling skills. It is also your chance to stylishly stash your keys and unchecked mail without creating clutter. The first step in designing a statement-making entryway is choosing the right table and decorating it correctly. No matter the size or scale of your space, follow these entryway styling tips from Southern designers to design a space that wows guests as you welcome them into your home. Whether you are working with a grand foyer or a narrow hallway, you can still make a great first impression.

6 Tips for Styling Your Entryway Table

Choose a table that appropriately fits the space.

Get to know the expert: Ashley Moore is the founder and principal designer of Texas-based Moore House Interiors. Serving clients in Greater Houston and the Texas Hill Country, Moore House Interiors is an authority on making beautiful design accessible.

Proportion and scale are fundamental elements in interior design. Selecting the right furniture requires you to pay close attention to the size and scale of your existing decor. Ashley suggests furniture pieces that are open and airy, instead of a bulky table — especially if you are designing a smaller space. Once the table is chosen, start accessorizing. Center a piece of decor above the console, such as a mirror, piece of artwork, or collection of family photos. Add height and dimension by placing lamps or a vase with greenery on the table. Use coffee table books, greenery, framed pictures, interesting pieces of decor, pottery, or baskets, and incorporate texture, color, material, size and shape. With these designer-approved tips, you can style a stunning entryway table.

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Entryway table with tall baskets

Ashley Moore of Moore House Interiors suggests taller baskets on table shelves to hide seasonal clothing such as gloves, scarves, and mittens, or even to store extra blankets, pillows and textiles. Image: Grace Laird

Go bold in a small space.

Get to know the expert: Maureen Stevens splits her time between New Orleans and Austin, TX, two Southern cities teeming with distinct style and personality. As an interior stylist and designer, Maureen approaches projects with equal attention to functionality and well-edited design choices. 

In any entryway, it is important to incorporate elements with personality. If your design style is not traditional, Maureen suggests choosing unexpected components to create a bold design that reflects your personality. In the space shown below, simple, chic nesting tables hold a tray for keys and odds and ends plus a playful palm lamp to add extra light. The mirror gives you a glimpse of a painted mural on the opposite wall that introduces the home’s primary colorways, and the chandelier directs the eye down the long hallway.

Elegant entryway table

The entryway table is the foundation of functional and beautiful design, so choose wisely! Image: Kayla Stark

Layer, layer, layer.

Get to know the expert: Kara Cox is a North Carolina-based interior designer who approaches interiors with a fresh, tailored and timeless style, and she draws inspiration from traveling, art galleries and museums. Kara Cox Interiors was founded in 2010. 

Entryways can lack the layers of texture and materials that are commonly found in other rooms in the home. Without drapery and upholstery to soften the design, vintage rugs are a smart option to soften an entryway while adding color and pattern. “There is nothing better than being welcomed into a home by something warm and inviting like a beautiful, antique rug,” Kara shares.

Entryway table showing display lamps, photos and fun decor items

Entryway tables can function as extra storage and a stylish surface to display lamps, photos and fun decor items, but designer Kara Cox reminds us to soften the design with a vintage rug. Image: Michael Blevins Photography

Prevent clutter.

Get to know the expert: The work of Jessica Stambaugh is on display in homes across the country, including Tennessee, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, but her namesake, full-service design firm is located in Nashville. Jessica takes a personalized approach to design, and it shows in her well-edited spaces that are stylish, comfortable and inviting.

Rather than a large central console, Jessica selected a small antique entry table for this foyer’s sidewall. She believes that with a bold wallpaper as the backdrop, it became the perfect setting for a graphic mid-century-style lamp and colorful pop-inspired art that reflects the client’s taste. The size of the table keeps the foyer from feeling too cramped and cluttered.

A smaller table has functional advantages, as well. “It’s less likely to collect mail and papers in the comings and goings of everyday life,” says Jessica.

Entryway with patterned wallpaper

While your dream entryway may include a sweeping staircase and sky-high ceiling with an eye-catching chandelier, the reality is that entryways come in all shapes and sizes, so it is crucial to design for the space you have — not the entryway in your dreams. Image: Gieves Anderson Photography

Entryway with fun colors and patterns

Introduce colorways and patterns in your entryway and create a smooth transition into the rest of the home’s design. Image: Gieves Anderson Photography

Design for the space you have.

Get to know the expert: Founder and principal designer of Studio Ten 25, Abbe Fenimore has established herself as an interior designer who embraces bold colors and patterns. The Dallas interior designer has built a brand on playful and bright interior design that reflects her clients’ personalities. 

According to Abbe, making a good first impression doesn’t have to be complicated. To achieve a smart design, focus on symmetry. Abbe suggests keeping your console table or entry cabinet classic and adding a large mirror and matching table lamps to infuse a bit of color while creating a cohesive look throughout your home. In a narrow space, an acrylic table and a large wall mirror can open up the room and give the illusion of a larger entry. She says, “Many of my client’s homes do not have a true entry space, so we like to get creative and carve out a space to drop keys, mail and other small items.”

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Entryway table in front of mirror

Smart design choices can make your space look and feel larger. Here, an acrylic table and large mirror transform a small entryway. Image: Heather Hawkins

Start with an important piece of furniture.

Get to know the expert: When designer Chenault James launched her interior design business, she called Columbus, GA, home. Now, the designer lives in Louisville, KY, where she designs timeless, polished, layered spaces that preserve the past while remaining current and fresh. 

Whether it is an antique or an interesting contemporary item, an important piece of furniture should be at the core of your entryway design. For this space, Chenault chose an antique chest as the focal point and added lamps for symmetry and smaller decor to create layers. “Mix in objects of different heights and incorporate special details, such as custom lampshades,” she suggests. The designer also recommends using a mirror when your furniture piece sits directly in front of a glass door to reflect the natural light.

Antique chest in entryway

Timeless and of-the-moment elements come together in this entryway. The antique chest is designer Chenault James’ pick for “an important piece of furniture,” which is the focal point of the design. Image: Thomas Hart Shelby

Vintage lamp with custom shade

Small details go a long way. Here, custom lampshades are a unique detail in the design. Image: Thomas Hart Shelby

These tips are all you need to style your entryway table and create a lasting first impression. Need additional guidance? Reach out to any of these designers for more direction and advice before you tackle your entryway redesign.

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