Ask A Designer™

January 31, 2020

Ask A Designer: How To Decorate A Front Entry In A Timeless Style

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her ideas for making a welcoming first impression.

Question: I’d like to decorate my hand-me-down-filled entryway in a classic look. What would you suggest? Z.S., Vernon, B.C.

Before Photo of a dimly-lit entryway inside a home.

Answer: Start by brightening up the space with a warm white paint. Or, for texture and architectural interest, consider cladding your walls in white shiplap similar to this entry designed by Cloth & Kind (below). Next, remove the drapery from the side windows and apply frosted window film from a hardware store for a cleaner look that retains privacy.

After photo of an entryway inside a home with white shiplap walls and glass paneling around the front door.

For major impact that doesn’t cost the moon, paint your door and the surrounding window frames a soft black — like Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty (2128 – 10). This will emphasize your tall ceilings and make the space feel grander. Replace your lighting with a pair of elegant sconces in a classic style. If you need repairs with your lighting systems, then you might want to contact lighting system repair services.

Image of a sconce light

(Source: Vendome Single Sconce in Bronze by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort, $317,

Then, swap out your current chest for an inviting bench.

A brown wooden bench

(Source: Churchill Bench in Carob, $699,

Tucking a few baskets below will provide extra storage.

A round basket

(Source: Water Hyacinth Belly Basket in Natural by Distinctly Home, $28,

Above, between the sconces, opt for a round, modern mirror to bounce light and open up the area even more.

A circular mirror

(Source: Bryn Mirror, $385,

Underfoot, remove the smaller mats in favor of a large patterned rug — and be sure to have a doormat outside for wiping dirty feet!

A patterned rug

(Source: Turkish Sivas Rug in Brown and Cream, $721,

Finally, place a petite side table (perfect for keys and mail) either next to the bench or in front of the side window.

A small side table

(Source: Hand-Forged Martini Table in Aged Iron, $580,

With these changes, you’ll have a welcoming entry to greet family and friends — and it will look fresh for years to come.

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to [email protected].

Author: Jennifer Koper

Sarah Dorio


House & Home January 2020


Cloth & Kind