In the latest instalment of our A to Z of Style series, T&W Head of Styling Jessica Bellef talks entryways – why we love them, the different shapes and sizes they come in and how they can help you shake off the troubles of the day. Want more pro tips from Jess and the team? Enrol now in one of our T&W Style School online courses.
If the American lifestyle show House Hunters has taught me anything it’s that entryways are a big deal in the States. In their search for the perfect homes, people are constantly asking for grand entrances, expansive foyers and ‘prom stairs‘ (you know, the stairs that the kids reluctantly pose on before they head off to their prom night?). I don’t think that big necessarily equals better but I do know that first impressions are important- those picky house hunters are on to something. The entryway is the introduction to the home and it sets the tone for the rest of the house. You want your entryway to give you a warm welcome, so that when you step into the house after a tough day, you are instantly calmed and filled with a sense of comfort and pride. It is a transition space from outside to inside, a little decompression area where the yuckiness of the day melts away.
From narrow hallways in inner-city terraces, to front doors that spill into the main living rooms of sprawling open plan homes, entryways come in all shapes and sizes in Australia. Regardless of your available dimensions, your entryway should feature an anchor piece to mark the space. If space permits, a console or sideboard will give you surface area to corral keys and sunglasses, a lamp and a vase of pretty flowers (or potted green if that is more to your taste). For those working with a narrow space, an artwork or mirror will help make a statement without taking up floor space, as would a feature pendant light. Floating shelves and coat hooks are a great option for extra storage, while a long skinny bench can double up as a perching spot to pull on your shoes, as well as a surface area for storage baskets containing the essentials.
The sideboard at my own front door is filled with bottles of sun cream, dog treats, hats, sunnies and extra towels (high on rotation in summer time), as well as a potted plant, a scented candle and a vintage ceramic bowl to hold our keys and the shells we pick up on beach ambles. The most important addition to our entry way though is a table lamp. The warm, inviting glow that the lamp throws in the evenings helps me settle into a cosy night at home, with the stress of the day left on my doorstep.