This week has been exciting working with some clients on improving their entryway--a project that is really coming together now, and one that I look forward to showing you pictures of very soon. Because I have been focused on foyer functionality these past few days, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the key things that can make or break this very important space in each of our houses....or businesses too!
Fair or not, we do make judgments and assumptions...oftentimes without even being conscious of it. When we approach a house or place of business, all of our senses are giving us clues about how those who are inside feel about us paying them a visit.
Is the front light on? Which door should I go to? Are they expecting me? This path is awfully hard to walk on... What is that on the porch??--a bag of trash waiting to go to the curb? Does the doorbell even work?
It is easy to forget that how our visitors are welcomed when they arrive sets the tone for whatever event or exchange is about to take place. So is your home's entrance more like a warm smile with hand extended, or a disinterested glance over the shoulder accompanied by a gruff grunt?
Author and architect Sarah Susanka, in her book Not So Big Solutions for Your Home, states it so well:
"The Key is to think of entry as a process, not a thing. A good entry is a sequence of places, not simply a door...A well-designed entry provides a gradual transition from the outdoors to the indoors, with attention paid to visitors at every turn...is there a place for them to stand, to take off their coats, and to adjust to being inside before they step into the living spaces of the house?"
Because the entrance is, by its nature, a transitional space, it is often a dumping ground for things that were brought in through the door, but not needed once inside--boots, coats, keys, paper, mail, backpacks, sports equipment--you name it. Outside it is often easy to overlook leaning brooms, piles of leaves, dead flowers, cobwebs, and tattered welcome mats. Look at all of these things honestly and take a few minutes to spiffy it up. It can make a huge difference.
As the person who comes through that door every day, it is most important that the entrance is welcoming and functional for you. Do you have a place for all of those things that are dumped upon entry? A table for mail, a hook or dish for keys, a hanging spot for your coat? Do not take up precious storage space here for things that aren't used frequently or needed as you walk out the door.
Take a few minutes and think through what you want guests to experience when they come to visit. How do you want them to feel as they enter your home? Cut flowers and/or a special piece of art can be a welcoming addition to the space that also shows a bit of your family's personality.
If you own a business, creating a warm welcome can directly impact your bottom line--when people can graciously transition from outside to in and feel good about what they expect once inside, they will feel comfortable. When they feel comfortable and welcomed, they will want to come back again and again.