The Materials Report

Six Materials to Raise Your Lighting Game

Summit Creek

A Spacious, Airy Home with the Becki Owens Touch

Entryway Holidays

Setting Up a Warm Welcome

November 15, 2019

Entryway Holidays

Setting Up a Warm Welcome

November 15, 2019

Holiday Season has begun in earnest. Thanksgiving, Solstice, Chanukah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve—the end-of-year seasonal holiday onslaught is on! Are you having guests? Have you started getting your home holiday ready?

Today's post is about setting up a warm welcome all year round, and especially for the holidays. 

Homeowner and Designer: Jewel Marlowe of Jeweled Interiors | Ashleigh by Mitzi

We've covered curb appeal, front-door illumination, and seasonal décor in recent posts—the approach to your home, in other words. Entering the home, the entryway should have a few things, both for yourself and for visitors.

The bare minimum an entry needs is an ambient light source, mounted to the ceiling. Whether that's a stunning chandelier for a grand entrance or a handsome flush mount for a lower-ceilinged foyer, that is the basic level, and it allows plenty of opportunity to add allure. 

The basic level is meant to establish a basis to build on, and here's where a foyer may become truly welcoming. It's considerate to have a mirror near the entrance, so visitors can get a quick check on their reflection, smoothing down windblown hair. If this mirror is above a table, illumination from decorative table lamps may assist in seeing oneself, while also contributing plenty of charm. Sconces flanking a mirror provide optimal light, sidelighting people's faces while complementing the ambient layer. They also set a great first impression for a classy home.  

A table near the entry is the perfect canvas for creating a welcoming seasonal tableau: a scenario integrating natural objects, decorative accents, art, framed photographs, and colors that speak to you. For Thanksgiving, this may include your own take on the cornucopia, or horn-of-plenty. Naturally, it's also a good space for things that are always grabbed right before leaving, or need to be set down and can be easily misplaced—a dish for keys, a little USB charging station, etc.



Homeowner: Cassie Bustamonte | Stella by Mitzi

Homeowner: House Seven Design | Zen by Troy

Do folks have a place to sit or perch while they take off their shoes? Is there an umbrella stand? Place to hang coats?

Baskets near a bench or underneath a table might be good for gloves and hats and scarves. 

Homeowner: Sammie Kolk of Hullosam | Baird by HVL

Homeowner: Lindsay Arnold | Roundout by HVL

Depending on your entryway, different light sources might be required. This next-level foyer uses the geometric interest of HVL's Woodbury picture light to illuminate a massive work of art, its finish tying into other brass and gold tones nearby. The basket concept remains while an acrylic table maintains a more minimal, fresh and open feel. Function and fashion merge in the foyer. 

Designer: Sam Cram Interiors | Woodbury by HVL

Of course, some people prefer a much more minimalist, unfussy entry and that's fine, too! The below entry takes it a step further, but props a floor-length mirror against the wall for one of the considerations we discussed earlier.

Photograph: Leland Gebhardt | Copper Mountain by Troy

Whether you’re greeting guests or returning home after a long day, the foyer is a welcoming space that conveys the first statement of your lighting style—sometimes before you’ve even reached the front door. Here are some quick tips to ensure you’re making the most out of your foyer lighting. 

  • If you have a transom window above door, consider making chandelier visible from outside. When an exterior window gives a view into a two-story foyer, be sure that the hanging fixture is centered and scaled to the frame of the window.  
  • Matching sconces or portable lamps can be used to flank mirrors or other areas of visual interest, providing a layer of accent light for a pleasant arrival. (Also good for a quick reflection check.)  
  • When height is limited, a decorative flush or semi-flush mount fixture can still create a great first impression.
  • If you use recessed lights in your foyer, make sure they accent key architectural or decorative elements.  
  • Dimmers allow you to balance the intensity of your foyer lighting with that of adjacent rooms, ensuring it’s not overpowering.   
  • Leave at least 7' feet between floor and the base of the fixture. 
  • If possible, preserve 4' of space between the widest parts of the fixture and the wall.
  • For a really grand entryway in a space with a ceiling taller than 10’, consider a two-tiered chandelier or various multi-light pendants. 

Design: KBN Interiors | Glendale by HVL

If you have a vast entry with part of the upstairs hallway visible, this could be a good look for you. Suspending three large pendants at different heights provides enough light to fill the space, while creating an engaging, dramatic environment.

There are so many different kinds of flush mounts and semi-flush mounts for smaller entries or lower ceilings. A surprising amount of personality, texture, and decorative allure is attainable.

Homeowner: Catt Sadler | Graffiti by Corbett

Design and Photo: Margaret Wright | Piper by Mitzi

In case you missed it last year or need a refresher, here is our Tablesetting for Thanksgiving post, with great tips from interior designers and event stylists Michael Van Nort and Charles Farrugio.

Not done looking for entryway inspo? Jewel Marlowe's entryway transformation is pretty spectacular and is only hinted at in this post's first image (the one with Ashleigh by Mitzi). Get the whole scoop and all the pretty pictures in her post here. Also, our older post on foyers, mudrooms, and other areas where you really enter your home holds up!


Design: This Old Hudson | Winfield by HVL