Entryway Decor: Adding Elegance to a Tiny Back Entry Foyer
In this post: Looking for inspiration for your entryway decor? Here’s how I transformed our tiny back entry foyer, adding elegance and functionality.⇒
I’m not a mudroom girl.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate a great mudroom, with all those neat cubbies and hooks and such. In fact, I rather like them.
But when the back entry is the primary entrance that you use and you’re an empty nester with no book bags to store in those darling cubbies, it’s nice to be greeted by an elegant foyer, even if it’s pretty compact.
Such is the case in our townhome and so when it came to decorating our back entry foyer, I decided to approach it like it was the front entrance to our home.
I wanted our entryway decor to reflect the same French inspired treatment as the rest of our home.
However, the one complication was that the space is tiny, and it needed to serve a variety of needs, from storing items like hats and gloves, to providing seating or a place to rest packages on their way in, and offering a mirror to check before heading out the door.
There are also no windows or natural light, so it would always have a cave-like aspect to it.
We started with the empty space you see above. It was about as bland as bland could be, with builder grade molding, ordinary sliding closet doors, and floor tile I hated for its institutional quality.
Yes, it was neutral.
But that’s about all it had going for it.
And the look I wanted?
The essential character of our home is centered on pale neutral tones, a pretty French Country influence, a bit of gilded bling and a healthy dose of vintage. This is the look I set about capturing, while accommodating those requirements mentioned above, and all within the confines of this miniature unlit space.
This meant furnishing the space with intention and precision. There was no room for frivolous extras. Everything had to serve a specific purpose and to somehow be squeezed along the sole free wall.
I could just fit a small chest of drawers and two side chairs.
These would offer storage and a place to sit down, satisfying the bulk of our entryway needs. A mirror above the chest would take care of the final condition.
The one place I could indulge my taste in decorative objects was on the top surface of the rustic white chest.
I chose a reproduction garden statue with chippy patina cherubs and a gilded crown. A trio of mercury glass candlesticks balances their height, while a trinket box sits between them used to corral our keys.
I wanted to enhance the timeworn look with some additional pieces in the same feel. I found these wonderful vintage plaques at a local antique market and their oval shape works nicely with the curves of the gilded mirror.
I was limited in my selection when buying the chest of drawers, as I had very little width to work with. The piece I found is the right size and has lovely curves, but the faux painting was quite forced. I have since painted it and I love the new look, which you can see HERE.
I switch the chairs around from time to time, alternating between charming French cane back chairs with ruffled linen covers, and a simple slipcovered parsons chair.
Another key addition was the inclusion of grain sack pillows. I felt the room was lacking in authentic vintage pieces and so I bought the burlap sack from a European online shop and when I received it I cut it in half and made two pillows from the cloth.
I enjoy the casual tone the pillows add to the room. Our front entry is much more formal and serious, and I wanted the back to be more relaxed, albeit French and pretty.
Opposite the chest is a large double closet, offering plenty of storage for our coats and jackets, but leaving no room to place anything along that wall.
There is one tiny corner on an adjacent wall, which is the only other usable space. I opted for a ladder bookshelf which is styled with vintage pieces in my favorite categories, including leather books, silver frames, marmalade jars and a few Grecian busts. The palette is white and neutral with an accent of very pale pink.
To give you a sense of where this space fits into the layout of our home, this view shows you a peek into the dining room. You can also glimpse the adjoining wall where the bookcase is situated.
I covered the ugly tile with a tasteful rug until I have a chance to re-do the floor. The final piece is the crystal chandy that presides over the entire room.
A quick check of the room confirms that most of my essential defining design elements (outlined in this post) are present and accounted for. I love the mix of patina with shimmer and I’ve got it well covered here.
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
Have you visited the Designthusiasm shop? Click below to shop my favorites, my Instagram and my Amazon shop. Enjoy!!
subscribe to our newsletter and RECEIVE OUR FREE GUIDE “20 WAYS TO UPDATE YOUR HOME”
Are you following Designthusiasm on social media? Please join us at the links below:
Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Very pretty, well thought out and functional space. It really speaks to your decorating style. I so appreciate you participating in the challenge and doing a space that did not take on structural changes or construction. I am a pretty slow decorator and it is affirming to see a space evolve over the course of a couple of months. Really enjoyed following your progress and your informative posts on the process you use to achieve the final result.
Thanks so much, Pamela!! I could never do structural in 6 weeks… lol!! Of course, I didn’t know about the challenge until the night before it started, so I made a very quick choice… 😉 So glad it resonated with you!!
Your room makeover is lovely! I really appreciate you sharing the process with us, week-by-week. I love what I call “casual elegance” in room design. Just can’t get away from the bling but love the relaxed feeling of casual style. Congratulations on creating a design that will “make you smile” and inspire us!
Thank you, Linda! I use the term casual elegance, as well! 🙂 It’s definitely what I’m going after, so I’m really glad it read that way. Thanks for visiting!!
You have such a way with the details! So very pretty! The chairs, chandelier, and accessories are to die for. I love it all! Way to go!
Thanks so much, Nancy!! So fun doing the challenge with you and sharing the ups and downs along the way… 🙂
Lory, your entry is just beautiful! I’m inlove with the mirror and how you styled around it!Congrats & CHEERS to us for another room done!
Thank you! I’m so glad this tiny room read ok. So hard to photograph… 🙂
So lovely and feminine!!! xx
Beautiful prelude to all the glam that lies beyond. I love your plaques!
Thanks so much, Bobbi!!
Those chairs are beautiful. Stunning room!
It all looks beautiful and with so many pretty details – love your choices 🙂
Very pretty! I love that mirror!
Thanks so much, Erin!!
I love the results! And I just might find a couple of inspiration ideas here.
It is so beautiful and a look that never goes out of style In love!!
Looks beautiful Lory! Love those grainsack pillows : ) Such stunning pieces in here!
What a transformation and happy place whether leaving or arriving. I like that it continues the style of the rest of your lovely home in a less formal way. Lovely!
Love those walking sticks – what a great idea for a collection. I just saw a couple at my local antiques mall ( I may have to go look at them again…). Very nice!
Such a gorgeous room. Thanks for sharing, Cynthia
What a pretty space. Beautifully done.
Love everything about this entryway. Beautifully done.
Wow, that is beautiful Lory! Every detail adds to your overall French vintage look. I love your chandy and the gold box, and the plaques….just everything! I need you to come do this in my house!
Beautiful job & well done…just a note: Don’t change the flooring…it really adds to the elegance of the room!
Thanks so much! I was hoping to do marble, so it should still be elegant, but it will have to wait, so I’m glad you think this one looks nice… 🙂 Thanks for visiting!
Lots of function achieved while maintaining casual elegance. I wish you could visit me. I moved and am trying to downsize recently as well as I have a tendency to have too many small accessories or collections. I’m working on that, but would love to achieve a less busy elegance. Your photos are such a help.
I’m so glad to hear that! I’m actually working on a program to help people downsize and clear the clutter, but it’s a few months from completion… 🙂
Love the dresser been looking for something like that forever. Can u tell me the m’fr or where to buy?
It doesn’t seem to be available anymore, but I do have a shopping guid with links to many similar styles. You can find that here: https://designthusiasm.com/french-dresser-french-style-chests/
It’s a very pretty & well-appointed space, and thanks to your resource guide I finally know the name of something I inherited from my Mom — a dresser jar!
What wall paint color did you use in your home in your back foyer? I’m very interested in what paint colors you use in your home because I favor the neutral palette as well and it seems you have a good sense of light direction when you select colors for your rooms.
It’s Tapestry Beige from Benjamin Moore.