A warm welcome to your home

After curb appeal, the next best way to create a welcoming atmosphere in any home is at the entrance. Creating a warm welcome immediately sets the atmosphere for guests and visitors and makes them feel comfortable. We put together a few ideas on decorating an entrance, small or large, that won't cost a fortune and that anyone can do.



Not every home has its own entrance hall, but even a home that opens up onto a room should have a small table or feature that says "Welcome!"

Wood has a warmth and beauty of its own, and terracotta tiles add another layer of warmth. Throw in a handmade chair with woven seat and a tree stump and you set the tone for casual comfort that embraces your visitors. In the entrance above, a green wall serves as a backdrop for shelves of raw, wood planks and refreshes an otherwise neutral colour scheme.

Decorating in white is perfect for a small entrance, and with the addition of a few accessories and soft furnishings, white doesn't have to be cold and sterile. A floral rug and a vase of fresh flowers are all that are needed to add warmth. Add a large mirror in a small entrance (on an adjacent wall) to reflect light and visually enhance the size.



A larger entrance can also be put into use if you require additional storage. Don't let valuable floor space go to waste. In the entrance hall above, display units have been built in around and under the window to take full advantage of what would otherwise be wasted space. Use paint to highlight a wall or feature if you feel an entrance lacks colour or needs more impact.

Secondhand furniture or bargain finds are an affordable way to add a small piece of furniture to an entrance. It's all about adding a dash of your personality and style to a small space. The rug echoes the colour of the door and, while blue can be cooling, the right shade can also add extra warmth.

Choosing warm colours and warm LED or CFL lighting will instantly create an entrance that welcomes guests into a home. White doesn't have to be white if you look for whisper whites that have just a hint of colour added, preferably from the warm side of the colour wheel using. Build up layers of warm texture with cushions and rugs.

In an entrance or hallway that doesn't receive a lot of natural light, look at surfaces that allow natural light to flow through the space, or that reflect and bounce light around the room. A glass panel down the side of a staircase closes off and secures the stairs without making the entrance feel claustrophobic and dark.

In a home decorated with vintage or reproduction pieces, don't only designate these to rooms within a home, be sure to put a few select pieces in your entrance. Depending on the space available, a small console table takes up limited space and when topped off with a few personal accessories or collectibles, immediate creates a welcoming atmosphere. Add ambient light with table lamps to up the level of atmosphere and warmth.