HGTV's Frank Fontana has mastered the art of making a fashionable first impression. Now, he shares his expert tips to help you create an impressive, affordable entryway that reflects your unique style and personality.
Everyone knows the expression "don't judge a book by its cover," which I agree with, but you can't deny first impressions are everything. To me, an entryway is the beginning of the story of your home, which really means it's the first glimpse people see of your most personal story, your home.

Yet, so many people are content to leave their entryways as empty space with some shoes lined up by the wall. (Worse: with the shoes strewn all over!) Others simply hang whatever extra items they have up on the walls and head back to the main home thinking they've done real decorating. This is the wrong way to go about it! You need to give a personal treatment to most everything in an entryway. Incorporate organization and a lack of obstructions into your plan, but find clever ways to show people who you are. In a way, you can think of your entryway as a mini-museum of the lives of you and your family.

Granted, sometimes a few problems may arise that might prevent people from designing their entryways with style and flair, and typically that includes the cost, existing architectural obstructions and lack of a formal entry "room." Really, let's face it: This is not a high-priority place to redecorate. So many people would rather save decorating money for other spaces. Well, that I disagree with! The entryway is the perfect spot for you to begin your decorating adventure.

The Design Challenge

Your entryway has a tricky function: You want to allow people to pass directly through, maybe take off their shoes and jacket, but you also want to tempt them to pause for a moment and consider the space. This can be tough to balance! An equal mixture of organization and style is required.

Incorporating Scents

Scents are a great way to add appeal to your home. After all, if you don't take some control of a space's smell, there are lots of nasty odors that will! Nowhere are scents most effective than in the entryway—a good (but not overpowering scent) will make visitors feel welcome and cared for. Think about yourself too—you can arrive home every day welcomed by a fragrance that you love and will, in less time than you think, associate with home. Find candles, incense, potpourri, plug-ins and the infinite other objects for scenting rooms. You can even make a hobby out of finding new scents to rotate in. A scent collection is cheap, exciting and affordable!

A Common Killer of Good Design: Clutter

Hats hung wherever possible, coats draped all over and occasionally dragging things to the floor, and shoes everywhere! This is not just a cluttered entryway—it's my recurring nightmare! Clutter from guests, family and life in general is a big problem in entryways where an unimpeded flow of energy is top priority. You need to prepare to support double the number of people in your family if you want to avoid stacking coats elsewhere all the time. The number one thing to pay attention to is shoe storage. Shoes and boots cannot be hung and take up lots of floor space. You need some sort of organizing solution.

Get a list of Frank's dos and don'ts of entryway design


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