The entryway to a house is the first impression you and your guests get when you first step into your home.
This spaces always look amazing in pictures, but the reality is that to keep it looking like a perfect, organized and beautiful space is not that easy. Things tend to accumulate in my entrance. Mail, kids jackets and shoes, my handbag or a couple of them if I am having a crazy day and I'm switching gears. Sometimes water bottles, half eaten snacks and soccer cleats also make it into the scene. If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about.
In the picture below you see my entryway. It looks organized, the table has no junk mail on it, and you can see there are some empty hooks close to the door, which usually are covered with kids jackets. But I am an interior designer, I create magic, so I made all that life reality disappear.
I try to keep it as organized as possible. And I always make a point of having fresh flowers. It makes me happy to walk in at the end of a long day and see fresh flowers on that table.
Soledad Alzaga entryway- Photo credit Emily Johnston for Rue
Let's talk a bit about the interior design aspect of my entryway. My house is a Victorian in San Francisco, and I wanted to keep the entryway light and bright, but also make a statement with the floor. I thought of laying down hardwood floors and then add a rug. That would have worked and also given me the possibility of experimenting with different design patterns along the way (as an interior designer I like having options and changing constantly). But at the time I was in love with cement tile. This was 10 years ago, and I had seen so many different tiles in South America, and in Morocco that I wanted some in my own house too. Ten years later I am still loving them, and it's the first thing people see when they walk in and comment on.
With such a strong statement on the floor, I decided to keep the rest of the walls and moldings white. The painting and table I got in Argentina and the big mirror leaning against the wall is a solid wood door I found in a salvage yard. it was painted white so I stripped it and waxed it. Yes, I did it myself! Total cost was $50 for each mirror. (I have the other one on the opposite side of the table).
Soledad Alzaga Interior Design - photo credit Emily Johnston for Rue
In this space I designed, I brought some color with a Moroccan rug and a stunning lantern. The mirror I found in an antique store, but you can find something similar from Restoration Hardware. Again I chose to keep the walls and heavy molding all the same color. If you know my work, you know I have a thing for white. Love those flowers!
photo credit Alyssa Rosenheck for Domino - Designer?
I don't know who did the design on the picture above. The walls are again white and the statements are the dark black door and the colorful furniture. Love this space and the hardwood floor pattern. I might have used a long runner myself, but that's just me being difficult ;)
design by Lauren Nelson featured in AD
Your entryway doesn't need to be big to make a statement and look beautiful and put together, as you can see in the picture above. I love the materials and proportions of everything in this space. The console was designed by Nelson.
As an interior designer I always try to make spaces look beautiful, but you also have to be practical and keep in mind how you use your entry. If the first thing you do when you walk in your house is put your bag down, and take off your shoes, then try and incorporate a chair or bench where you can do that. If you live in a shoe free house, find options like baskets, or under a bench to put the shows awya. I have a basket close to my front table where I dump all my junk mail before I put the pile of useful mail down.
Do you like checking yourself in the mirror before going out? Add a wall mirror close to the exit, so you can get that last look. Your space has to work for you besides being beautiful.
Soledad Alzaga Interior Design