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Many people invest large amounts of time, energy, and money into decorating the various rooms of their home. The process of decorating allows you to express your creativity, to claim a space as your own, and to show off your personal tastes and style to friends and family. Unfortunately, there is one area of the home that is often overlooked during the decorating process: the entryway.

There are a couple of reasons that entryways tend to be passed over. One, an entryway isn’t really a living space; its just an area people pass through to get to the other rooms of the house. Two, often an entryway is a space that is small, dimly lit, or awkward making it a real challenge for an inexperienced DIY-er or decorator. However, these challenges should not keep you from extending your personal touches to this part of your home. This area serves to introduce your guests to the rest of your home; other than the exterior of the house, the entryway makes the first impression. You don’t want guests to be put off as soon as they enter your home. Here are some budget friendly tips for making an entrance.

Step It Up
If your entryway has stairs, consider adding a pop of color to draw the eye further into the home and to set the stage for the colors used in adjoining rooms. Unfortunately, stair runners can be pricy, so here are some more affordable ideas:

  • Wallpaper the risers. Since you shouldn’t need a lot of wallpaper you can probably find a discontinued or marked down pattern to use. Since the area being covered is relatively small don’t be afraid of bold designs.
  • Paint the risers. If you head to the clearance section of your local hardware store, you can probably find marked down paint. There’s nothing wrong with this paint – it simply wasn’t properly mixed to the customer’s color specifications. Again, don’t automatically shy away from bright, bold colors.
  • Add a stripe of color. As a standalone or in addition to painting the risers, you can paint a stripe that runs parallel to the stairs.

Guest Post: Make an Entrance
Photo Credit: Design Amour

Guest Post: Make an Entrance
Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

Open Your Home
If your entryway is small or not well lit, there are some easy, inexpensive things you can do to open the space up.

  • Take advantage of any and all natural light. If your entryway has any windows (for example, by the front door), put that natural light to good use. Regularly wash the windows inside and out and keep them unobstructed by furniture and hedges.
  • Use smoke and mirrors…err, okay, just mirrors. Hang an inexpensive mirror or two to reflect light and make the space appear both larger and lighter. Check secondhand stores, yard sales, and inexpensive stores such as Target and Walmart for fun mirrors with decorative shapes and frames.
  • If possible, eliminate clutter and get organized. If your entryway is small, clear out anything that isn’t actively being used such as a bench. Make sure that there is a place for everything. For instance, if you require people to remove their shoes when they come in have a little shoe rack for them to pile their shoes on rather than just leaving footwear scattered on the floor.

Guest Post: Make an Entrance
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

Guest Post: Make an Entrance
Photo Credit: My Design Secrets

Color Outside The Lines
As previously mentioned, if you visit your local hardware store you can probably find clearance paint. You can use that paint to brighten up your entryway and make it look less stark and boring. You can also try painting:

  • An accent wall
  • A coat rack
  • An entryway table
  • Picture frames

Another way to add color and interest is with art. Thrift stores and garage sales are great places to pick up cheap frames that can be cleaned up or painted to look like new. For inexpensive art you can frame:

  • Family photographs
  • Scenic photographs you took
  • Pictures your children drew
  • Discontinued wallpaper samples
  • Shelf lining paper
  • Scrap fabric pieces
  • Pieces of gift wrap paper

Guest Post: Make an Entrance
Photo Credit: An Enchanted Cottage

First impressions are important, and your entryway is the first impression visitors get of the interior of your home. Make an entrance. Don’t neglect this area of your home. If your on a budget, get creative. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to experiment. Prowl secondhand stores, yard sales, and clearance bins to find those perfect touches.

{Written by Janet Majors}