The entrance to a house includes both the interior and the exterior, with elements from each combining together to create a successful and beautiful gateway to your home. Consider each of the parts that you encounter upon entering your property - a garden path, a porch and the entrance itself. From large, structural elements to small details, they all add up to create the overall look and feel of your property, so consider each part with great care.
Designing the Exterior of the Entrance
Exterior elements will depend greatly on the type of property, for example a porch may not be a good option for all houses, however a beautiful front door with elegant and personal touches, such as a house number or door knocker, with well-considered lighting will always be suitable option.
A bespoke front door will have a great impact on the look of a property, and it is a simple and easy way to bring your personal style to the entrance to your home. Design a door that reflects your own style as well as that of the property, and consider using a more unusual material such as metal, with a door in either glossy, high-shine aluminium or in weathered bronze bringing a dramatic and unusual look.
Traditional wooden doors have a beautiful homely look, and can be made to be more individual or contemporary by using colour and texture. Consider a high-gloss lacquer finish or a bright colour for the front door, as this will add an element of fun and vibrancy to the entrance. Alternatively a wooden door that has an exposed grain and a natural finish seems unique, and its organic charm would perfectly suit a house that has a rustic or Scandinavian interior scheme beyond the front door...
A property that has a small set of stairs before the entrance has a natural drama, particularly if it has columns or other period features that bring a sense of grandeur. The high impact of an entrance such as this can be enhanced with a bespoke balustrade with an intricate or geometric design, or enhance the stairs themselves with a beautiful marble finish in either cool, crisp white or deep and sumptuous black or brown. For a more simple, rustic appeal a floral arrangement will add colour and create a homely feel to the entrance way particularly for a townhouse in a city.
A porch is a practical addition to a home, providing shelter and a more intimate entrance to the house. Available in many different sizes and designs, a porch can be open or enclose, large or small and as minimal or maximal as you please. Design a porch that is harmonious with the style and period of the house, and make sure to include lighting and luxurious yet practical materials.
Designing the Interior of the Entrance
A successful entrance will bring a sense of the overall interior scheme of the house as well as giving a feeling of who lives in the property. This can be achieved by making sure to include the hallway in the overall design of the house rather than simply leaving it as a practical or walk-through space. Include personal items and design pieces in order to create a well considered room that adds to the functionality and aesthetic value of the space.
The floor and wall coverings must be durable as the entrance is a high traffic area, making it essential to choose materials that can stand up to high usage. The flooring for an entrance should reflect the rest of the house, so try to continue the flooring choice into other rooms too. A wooden floor is a beautiful and practical choice, and it can be stained, painted and finished in many ways in order to create the desired look. Parquet flooring is an elegant way to introduce pattern and movement into the room, or a beautiful rug will also add texture and pattern.
Choose to carpet the entrance in order to create a warm and soft entrance, and choose a colour and material that will withstand the high usage. A marble floor is the perfect combination of durable, easy to maintain and visually stunning. Choose from light or dark marbles depending on the look that you wish to create - where white Carrara marble brings a cool, crisp and contemporary look and brown Emperador or black Marquinia marble have a deep, rich and sumptuous look. For added glamour, combine two types of marble to create a simple pattern or border for the floor. A white marble floor with a black border has a stunning, Art Deco-style glamour, and a checkerboard or diamond pattern brings interest and pattern to the room.
The walls must also be durable, so painted walls or wallpaper are protected with a skirting board and dado rail, or for a more period look add mid-height wooden panels. Mirrored panels are another option that works well in the entrance as they will enhance the sense of light and space, as well as providing a full length mirror to check ones appearance before leaving the house. Mirror can also be introduced into the space on the doors of built-in cupboards.
Consider the amount of natural light in your entrance, as you will want to counteract a lack of natural light with clever and beautiful lighting solutions. Add windows to the entrance as and when this is necessary, or bring more light into the space through the door, by having glass panels inserted into it or a small pane of glass inserted in the space just above it. A lack of natural light can be solved with good lighting - a large and decadent chandelier will not only bring light but it will act as a focal point and will set the tone for the rest of the house.
Wall lights can be a great addition to a ceiling light, as they create a more even spread of light across the space. Typically an entrance is not large enough for floor lamps, however for a spacious entrance consider including a floor lamp and an armchair or two in order to create a defined seating area and to increase the sense of informality and relaxation.
The furniture in the entrance way will differ depending on its size and function - a small or narrow space will look best with minimal furniture in small sizes, whereas a large entrance can use the space to include large and dramatic pieces. A console table is a wonderful choice for the entrance as its slim proportions make it a discreet yet practical piece. Choose from wooden tables with a marble surface or a console made entirely in glass, and top it with a beautiful lamp, a dish for your keys and some personal items such as photographs or objects d’art. There are many interesting designs for coat stands, or alternatively scatter a wall with individual coat hooks to create an installation of sorts.
The entrance can be improved with some seating, so consider a bench or small armchair to create a comfortable seating area. A mirror is an essential item in any entrance, so choose a large, free standing mirror that leans against the wall as a casual yet impressive feature, or a more typical wall-hung decorative mirror. Hang artworks in the entrance as a way of showing individuality and personality in the space - a salon hang of several smaller pieces, a series of mid-sized works hung in a row, or an impressive, large-scale artwork all bring another dimension to the space.
Finding A Designer
Bringing an interior designer into the renovation of the entrance will bring a host of ideas, contacts and previous experience to the project. Start by doing plenty of research - look at many different interior designers and check a number of their previous projects. The Art of Bespoke website has a large and broad range of work by some of the top interior designers, so this is a good place to start when searching for the right interior designer.
Look for designers who have worked on similar houses to your own, and whose style is aligned with yours. Make a note of which materials they have a preference for, and which colour schemes that they tend towards and create a shortlist of designers who surprise and delight you with their work.
It is advisable to contact several of your favourite designers to discuss your project, your budget and your expectations. From these conversations you should be able to choose the right designer for the job. The interior designer will be able to make suggestions that will transform your room, and which you may never have considered without their expertise. From large, structural changes to the finer details, the interior designer will be able to pull together a harmonious and successful look.
If you are considering structural changes, such as adding a porch, changing the size or shape of the door frame or adding extra windows to the room it would be advisable to discuss this with an interior designer before committing to these changes. Bringing previous experience and design expertise to the renovation of your entrance can be invaluable in finding the best solution to your interior problems - the right interior designer will work with you in order to understand and create your dream space and to surpass your expectations.