5 finishing touches interior designers never forget to instantly elevate your entryway

Make the best first impression in your entryway with these elevating finishing touches

A decorated entryway
(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Thomas Melhorn)

My favorite part of interior design is the finishing touches, those small additions that can help an already stylish space feel complete. They are important in every room in the home, but it's the entryway where we often forget to make an effort, giving priority to the larger spaces in the home where we spend more time. 

But the entryway is the place where first impressions make their mark, whether it's about helping guests feel at home, or even just making you feel more relaxed as you come through the front door after a day at work. ‘A well-designed entrance sets the stage for the overall character of a home, offering a captivating sense of arrival,’ says interior designer Amy Hart of The Little Brick Studio. Here are 5 easy entryway ideas for finishing touches that will transform the space in mere moments.

1. Bring greenery indoors

An entryway accented with greenery

(Image credit: Eve Wilson. Design: Chelsea Hing)

Greenery in a vase is the ultimate finishing touch when all other aspects of design have been taken care of. It brings a freshness and lushness, whether that's a trio of bud vases with single-stem flowers, a trailing plant that cascades down, a jug of fresh cut flowers or a larger indoor tree that can bring some height. Working for every room in the home, I love the welcoming site of greenery in the entryway most.

‘A minimal console table adorned with an extra large colorful bouquet instantly elevates the entryway into a refined and welcoming environment,’ says Justin Capuco, co-founder and principal of Husband.Wife. 

2. Evoke the senses

An entryway console table with candle

(Image credit: Laura Kacklye. Design: Lindsay Letters)

To really elevate your entryway, use the sense of smell to take your design to another level, creating a welcoming feeling and subtle atmosphere to match your style. 

Candles on the entryway console table or shelf can release a calming aroma, while diffusers do the same job and don't have to be monitored as a potential hazard, making them better entryway table decor. It's a small finishing touch that goes a long way. 

'All five senses are critical to making a home feel welcoming and the scent of a home is an element that is often overlooked,' says interior designer Jessie McLaughlin of Jessie Lane Interiors. 

3. Curate your console table decor

An entryway with a selection of decorative objects

(Image credit: Read McKendree. Design: Chango & Co)

Curating a display in your hallway is a key finishing touch that helps a space come together. Making your home feel stylish and design-forward, when console table decor is done right, it establishes the tone and sets the scene, welcoming guests to your home.

A self-proclaimed 'experience vignetta', Jonathan Adler encourages thinking specifically about where the eye will rest. 'The three vignette technique that I always deploy is symmetry, the power of odd number and varied heights, and repetition.

'Eventually the eye becomes accustomed to how something works, but if you have to think about it it’s the symmetry, odd numbers and repetition.'

To apply this to the entryway table, look at your surface and divide it into two, thinking about what sits on each side of the table and whether they are roughly symmetrical. You don't want anything too bulky on one side that isn't balanced out on the other. 

Odd numbers are Jonathan's second top tip. Working in even numbers and pairs often looks too contrived and purposefully curated. Three is the perfect number of decorative objects, five can start looking a little busy. Finally, repetition is all about using the same colors and textures in your vignette which has been mirrored here in this entryway by Chango & Co.

4. Make room for soft furnishings 

a large neutral entryway with a console table and rug

(Image credit: Andrew Frasz. Design: Jessica Gersten Interiors)

Whether you have a large or small entryway, try and bring some soft furnishings into the space. Entryways with benches that sit flush against the wall offer the perfect opportunity for a throw or a scattering of throw pillows. 

Even though entryways are not typically viewed as sitting areas, the mere suggestion of a lounging area makes a space feel hospitable and welcoming. For smaller spaces, a rug underfoot can help soften the space through texture. ‘Adding a rug not only enhances the aesthetics but also helps define the space with zoning,’ adds Liat Eliav of Liat Eliav Design Studio.

5. Remember lighting

An entryway with a table lamp

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Thomas Melhorn)

Last but not least, entryway lighting was always going to have a place on this list.  It's true that hardwired lighting might not be considered a finishing touch, and your wall light and ceiling lighting are typically considered earlier on in the design process, but those additional accent lights can be considered a finishing touch. A mini table lamp on your console table to cast a welcoming pool of light onto your decor is a good example, or even a floor lamp in the corner that brings a structural quality to the space.

'Good lighting is an effective way to make a space feel more luxurious,' says Irene Gunter of Gunter & Co. 'Pendants or chandeliers are a good choice if you have high ceilings, as they offer a general wash of light and a stylish focal point. 

'Choose the pendant or chandelier based on the size and proportions of your space. For example, in a long and narrow entryway, you could have a trio of ceiling lights spaced evenly along its length. In a squarer hallway, a single central ceiling light may do.' 

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.