Decorating home entrances on a dime

Making an Entrance

by Kathy Wilson

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Your entry is the point of your home where visitors get their first impression of you and your family. It serves you well to make it a creative space that showcases your tastes and personality. Here are five great ways to make your entryway speak volumes about who lives there, while keeping the green in the wallet.

Paint. Even if most of your home has white walls, paint the main, or focal wall in the entryway to distinguish it from the rest of the house. Use a deeper shade than the color in the connecting room to make it flow. If you don't want to paint, hang a quilt or a pretty rug there to give the entry a great background.

Place a piece of furniture in the entry, so that people will feel the welcoming comfort of your home. A small chair and a table from a yard sale work well tucked into even the tightest corner, or you can build a fabric bench with sturdy plastic crates covered with foam and fabric. Simply use duct tape to secure the fabric to the inside of the crates, and line them up against the wall. Visitors will only see upholstered cubes for putting on their boots. You don't have to tell them about the duct tape. You can even make a faux fireplace for an extra special welcoming touch. You can find directions at

Since the entry is usually a small space, you might be tempted to fill it with small objects. All that will accomplish is making the space feel cramped and cluttered. Go for several larger scale accessories instead. Use large baskets from the dollar shop to hang on the wall, use a larger area rug from a yard sale instead of typical scatter rugs at the door, and display your larger family photos on the wall. If all you have is small-scale collections, no problem. There is no need to run out and spend money on more accessories. Simply paint a large rectangle on the wall in a contrasting color or shade as a frame, and hang your collection all within that frame. The painted "frame" will pull all the little things together so the eye views them as one!

Always remember to use what you have, such as a pretty scarf draped over a chair, a chipped teapot holding flowers from the garden, old picture frames all painted the same color for unity, or a potted plant that isn't doing well in the dark bedroom. Look around your home for items you already have that when used in a new space, come alive!

Finally, make sure you leave a personal stamp on your entryway. Use pictures of your loved ones or pets, a painting you did yourself, a hand hooked rug, garden accessories, or whatever speaks of who you are. Let your entry welcome visitors to your creativity!

Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator. Would you like more free budget decorating tips and ideas? Visit her at, and don't forget to sign up for her free newsletter while you're there!

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