small spaces : entryways + foyers

Lately, I’ve been asked a few questions about design ideas, and small spaces.


Many of us {probably a large majority of us} live in them, and I’d be willing to bet we all have at least one small, challenging space in our home. Whether it’s a bedroom, mudroom, bathroom…basically that one place that’s a little more challenging because it’s a tight squeeze and you’re not sure how to make it work…


I’m truly inspired by what people make of where they are. Today I’m starting an inspiration series on what people are doing in their smaller spaces.

Room by room, idea by idea…spaces where people are using clever styling and and storage in limited square footage are the ones that intrigue me the most. Because the ones where individual ingenuity and creativity really shine, are the very best spaces, after all.

Some entryways are no more than hallways. The key is styling them well.

I thought I’d start, ever so appropriately, with the foyer and entryway category.

Obligatory disclaimer: space is all relative, isn’t it? Some of these rooms probably aren’t as tiny as we’d expect…but I still found them to be packed full of great decor ideas, clever use of space, great styling, or a little bit of everything. This is more of a wide angled lens view for inspiration, if you will.

So, Let’s begin, shall we?


The perfect spot for coming and going, and a great multifunctional yet simple task center…from a black board to write down messages, hooks to hang those essentials, and a straw bag to serve as a catch all for things like the mail and other whatnots.



This looks like a closet converted to a mudroom…I adore the individual cubbies for each pair of shoes!This door is swoonworthy.

I adore this gallery wall. Didn’t she do a great job?

Not sure of the original source, but that pew is a want for me. A long one for a narrow space…a short one for a smaller space. via

A fantastic gallery wall…and a great opportunity to infuse major personality into an otherwise plain jane corner and unexpected place.




via frolic via better homes and gardens



via southern hospitality via life in grace {not really an entry way so much as a nook in her home…but it holds plenty of potential for an entryway, and a great illustration for finding the right piece for the right space.}




I love a cozy, multifunctional space!


This is one of my favorite spaces ever. I think it’s a dining room that they transformed into a sitting room, but this could very easily become a small foyer with this look as well. It’s a wonderful little space!



This may be one of my absolute faves of all time. I really want to see the rest of this space! Oh the contrast + texture! Can anyone point me in the right direction?

This one is also a favorite. See the rest of her home, here. It’s purdy great!


neat and simple.

Be sure to check out this before and after on their blog, and this adorable schoolhouse light! I can’t resist that blue door and sign, either!

That about wraps it up! What are your favorite elements for an entry way? What do you think are some key components for making it successful? Any of you have challenging, small entryways? I’m really excited about this series and can’t wait to hopefully bring more inspiring images your way!

Have an inspired day!

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Responses to small spaces : entryways + foyers

  1. Lauren says:

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been planning out my projects for this year, and I’ve become stumped over my foyer. Thought I knew what I wanted, but am waffling, so this has helped me to make some decisions.

  2. Pam says:

    So many great ideas for any size space! Especially love the hallway with the tan/white striped rugs.

  3. Caryn Duca says:

    I’ve been looking at my EMPTY staircase walls wondering what to do with it….if I could ONLY have the guts to try hanging one of these ‘gallery walls’!! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    • Hey Caryn! Be sure to click on her link and see how she prepped her wall with the butcher’s paper trick. Not so scary when you look at it that way! It works like a charm every time-so fun… I want a staircase just so I can go crazy! ;}

  4. Erin says:

    Thanks for such a great post! That cottage living picture with the pew has been a favorite of mine for years. I love to see small spaces featured! Our family downsized from 4,000 sq. ft. to a 1300 sq ft cottage and this smaller space is so much cozier and easier to decorate!

  5. Lisa H. says:

    I was just noticing the other day, after putting all of the Christmas decor away, how sparse and uninteresting our entry is. You’ve given me some great ideas of how to spruce it up! Thank you!

  6. Ai says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve pinned a bunch of these photos and it will be yet another project this year.

  7. Dawn says:

    Great pics. The foyer you want to know more about is architect. Bill Ingram’s lake house that ran in Southern Accents. Here’s a link.

    I am working on a Big Ideas for Small Spaces special edition for Southern Living. It will be on the newsstands in mid-March. Loads of great ideas! Be sure to check it out.

  8. Jenn says:

    What a gorgeous round-up of entries! I am so honored to have my back entry be among these amazing rooms … thank you :)

  9. Kim says:

    Good ideas, and love the decorating, but to me most aren’t anywhere near what I’d consider a small entry. Now my entry is small. You step in onto a 3 1/2 foot by 3 1/2 foot piece of vinyl. Immediately behind the door that you just opened is the coat closet – small, too. Immediately in front of you are the stairs to go upstairs. Immediately to your left is the living room. CROWDED!! These entries look gigantic from my perspective :) Looking forward to seeing the rest of the series – love your blog!

  10. dirose says:

    Love your style!

  11. Wow… so many great spaces! I’ll have to start thinking of how I can use the few spare inches in our entry way better- thanks for the beautiful post!

  12. Thanks for all the inspirations! We need something like this as we have NO closet space. It’s on my list :)

  13. Alecia says:

    What a great collection of photos. Nicely done. Lots of inspiration there.

    Also, the unknown source for that adorable pic of the toddler on the church pew is from a Cottage Living feature years ago. I have the old issue, and that house is one of my faves. Need to find it to take a look again. Man, I miss that magazine…

  14. You have found some amazing space, Ashley. Love the more lived-in spaces and the ones with pattern and color are so very pretty with all the functionality – makes one want to stay more organizied. I love a foyer that is not too pristine but also is functional – some place to put keys and mail (but out of sight).

  15. Megan says:

    My entry way is basically non existent. As soon as you step in the front door, my coat closet is directly in front of you… To the right is a door for the office and to the left is the living room… For me a transitional piece of furniture fits the bill. Something for storage and able to drop the mail/keys on but something that’s able to be moved around when I change couch positions etc. I have yet to find that piece of furniture.

  16. Carrie Cauthen says:

    For selfish reasons I would LOVE to see more mudroom ideas. I love bench with the drawers and upper cubbies. Fabulous!!!

  17. Jill says:

    How fun to see my gallery wall posted here!!!!! Have to say I was inspired by many of the images you used! Thanks for the shout out!

  18. Jenna Sue says:

    Oh, thank you for featuring my “neat and simple” foyer! It’s an honor.

  19. beautiful interior designing and interior furnishing!