From foyers to entrance halls to front porches, this is how to make your guests say ‘wow’

From the bedroom to the kitchen, sometimes picking a room for your next project is the hardest part. Atlanta’s top interior designers are here to help. Their advice all starts at the front door.

According to a 2022 study by Houzz, an online community for architecture and interior design, many American designers are focusing on making an entrance this summer as home owners begin paying more attention to their homes’ first impressions.

Atlanta interior designer Minhnuyet Hardy, of Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that first impressions are a big deal.

“I think the entrance of the home is an important precursor to what’s inside the home, it is the first impression that guests have as they enter,” she said. “When working with overall budgets on projects, we ask our clients to allocate funds for possible new front doors, lighting, hardware, planters, etc.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors took a heavy, dark and foreboding entrance and made it light, bright and inviting by changing the front doors to steel and glass. The flooring was changed to a lighter stone and the outside of the home was painted to a more neutral color. Courtesy of Mali Azima

Credit: Mali Azima

"We took a heavy, dark and foreboding entrance and make it light, bright and inviting.  Changing the front doors to the steel and glass, changing the flooring to a lighter stone and painting the outside home a more neutral color lightened the mood of the entrance."

Credit: Mali Azima

Combined ShapeCaption
Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors took a heavy, dark and foreboding entrance and made it light, bright and inviting by changing the front doors to steel and glass. The flooring was changed to a lighter stone and the outside of the home was painted to a more neutral color. Courtesy of Mali Azima

Credit: Mali Azima

Credit: Mali Azima

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Many of her peers agree.

“First impressions start at the front door,” Kelly Kole, of Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “From the moment you walk into a person’s home, the light, the smell, the colors and the aesthetic speaks of the person who lives there. So to us, the foyer and entrance design is very important.”

When it comes to making the most out of your entrance without breaking the bank, Kristin Kong of K Kong Designs said that it’s all about accessorizing what you already have.

“An easy way to spruce up an entry is to add a colorful runner, fresh pillows on a bench, or baskets under entry tables,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We also love adding interesting lamp shades. We recommend changing out lamp shades with custom patterned shades.”

Combined ShapeCaption
"First impressions start at the front door. From the moment you walk into a persons home, the light, the smell, the colors and the aesthetic speaks of the person who lives there."

Credit: Lauren Rubinstein Photography

"First impressions start at the front door. From the moment you walk into a persons home, the light, the smell, the colors and the aesthetic speaks of the person who lives there."

Credit: Lauren Rubinstein Photography

Combined ShapeCaption
"First impressions start at the front door. From the moment you walk into a persons home, the light, the smell, the colors and the aesthetic speaks of the person who lives there."

Credit: Lauren Rubinstein Photography

Credit: Lauren Rubinstein Photography

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After your belongings have been accessorized, focus on maintenance. It’s a simple step that can go a long way towards making your home’s entrance a “wow” factor for your guests.

“Walk in to your home with a stranger’s eyes — like you are seeing it for the first time,” Kole said. “Make sure that your home entrance is clutter free and clean. No dead plants, no ragged entry mat, no dirty shoes in a big pile. Consider a fresh coat of paint on your front door, a new doorbell or kick plate and updated light fixtures.”

You can go an extra step by giving your home’s entry a regular update with the season.

“Using live plants, pops of color and layering in accessories can spruce up a home entrance and can easily be swapped out based on seasons,” Amy Morris Interiors recommended. “Changing out pillows with different fabrics, textures and colors based on the season is a good way to keep the entrance fresh.”

Combined ShapeCaption
"The antique settee in an updated vibrant colored velvet welcomes a guest to sit and drop their handbag or jacket. The texture of the brick, wall paneling, fabrics and antiques give the guest so much to take in and enjoy upon entering the house!" according to Amy Morris Interiors. Courtesy of Erica George Dines

Credit: ERICA GEORGE DINES

"The antique settee in an updated vibrant colored velvet welcomes a guest to sit and drop their handbag or jacket.  The texture of the brick, wall paneling, fabrics and antiques give the guest so much to take in and enjoy upon entering the house!" according to Amy Morris Interiors. Courtesy of Erica George Dines

Credit: ERICA GEORGE DINES

Combined ShapeCaption
"The antique settee in an updated vibrant colored velvet welcomes a guest to sit and drop their handbag or jacket. The texture of the brick, wall paneling, fabrics and antiques give the guest so much to take in and enjoy upon entering the house!" according to Amy Morris Interiors. Courtesy of Erica George Dines

Credit: ERICA GEORGE DINES

Credit: ERICA GEORGE DINES

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For the truly adventurous, there are some big trends that you can experiment with this summer to make the most of your foyer. According to Kong, wallcoverings are in.

“We are seeing wallcovering in entries and entry halls that define the space with texture and pattern and make a statement,” she said. “Wallcovering adds immediate interest, and we love layering patterns at the focal point of your home.”

Tish Mills, of Tish Mills Interiors, is a fan of high performance materials.

“I am really loving the trend of high performance fabrics and rugs,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I like to use elevated high performance materials in the entrance so they look great, but also the worry and fuss factor can be low knowing that that bit of dirt tracked in can be cleaned. I also love to use striking artwork in the foyer to set the mood of the home. The entrance is not just an area to pass through to enter, but rather that ‘moment’ that sets the tone.”

Many designers are also looking to bring nature back into the home, including Hardy. “This year, I’ve seen a lot of curves, lighter colors, fluted moldings and nature inspired elements incorporated into interior design,” she said.

Combined ShapeCaption
"Here’s a perfect example of artwork setting the stage for the feel of a home and leading the visitors into the main living area."

Credit: Chris Little

"Here’s a perfect example of artwork setting the stage for the feel of a home and leading the visitors into the main living area."

Credit: Chris Little

Combined ShapeCaption
"Here’s a perfect example of artwork setting the stage for the feel of a home and leading the visitors into the main living area."

Credit: Chris Little

Credit: Chris Little

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In the end, while new styles are a great way to keep your home fresh, it is important to follow your heart — not trends.

“We aren’t one for design trends,” Kole said. “Design with furniture, fabrics and artwork that make your heart sing and you can’t go wrong.”