5 ideas for entryways that open into the living room
Entrances that open into the living room: 5 stylish and practical solutions
In recent years, the entrance or hallway has tended to be significantly reduced in size in new builds and even in renovations, often sacrificed to create larger living rooms in response to the growing trend towards open plan living. Whilst, on the positive side**, this means increased living space and good bye to narrow dark hallways**, the flip side of the door opening directly into the main area of the home is a loss of privacy. It also poses the problem of how to deal with all the daily paraphernalia generally left near the door, such as umbrellas, keys, shoes and coats.
So, how can we delineate this space and create an entrance way inside a living room that manages to be practical without sacrificing aesthetics?
The good news is that it is possible, and we’ll show you how you just need to follow a few guidelines to achieve this seemingly difficult balance. Then, we’ll share 5 examples of spaces that have managed to do this and, of course, in true Salvatori fashion, we’ll include plenty of inspiring images of homes where the entrance way, foyer, call it what you will, opens straight into the living area.
As we wrote above, it’s becoming increasingly uncommon in modern architecture to dedicate precious square metres to a separate space for the entranceway. In an age of open plan, lovers of modern design are asking for fluidity and as few barriers or walls as possible.
This is not always the best layout if you want privacy, especially when it comes to the front door, if you don’t want your private home life put immediately on show to visitors, be they friends, family or more casual passers-by such as couriers.
If that’s the case, to make your main family living area more private or intimate, you may need to think about dividing it from the entranceway. But, how can you do this without compromising space and light?
There are a number of solutions that, if executed properly can work extremely well. The obvious one is a partial stud partition wall in plasterboard or drywall, but another idea, and one which is becoming more and more popular, is to use a double-sided piece of furniture to break up the space.
One of the smartest options here is a large shelving unit, as not only does it act as a divider, it also creates storage solutions, allows the light to flow through into both environments and won’t overwhelm or suffocate either space. Last, but not least, it can be a stylish décor element, which is why it’s worth investing in something that will lift the entire interior design.
We can’t talk about room dividers without mentioning our Colonnata bookcase, designed by Piero Lissoni, and a gorgeous example (if we do say so ourselves) of how function and form can happily coexist.
Whether the entranceway of your home is a separate space or is part of your living room, furnishing and decorating it can be a little tricky, and thinking about its layout and what elements it needs to include requires some careful consideration and planning.
At the risk of sounding as though we’re in a marketing meeting, the first step is to identify the needs it should fulfil. A hallway is, above all, a highly functional part of the home, and it has to work not only at an aesthetic level, but also in terms of practicality.
There are usually three main elements it will need to include:
- Solutions to place or store items
- Places to hang things
- Surfaces to lay things on
If you like the idea of some sort of cupboard to help you keep things orderly and out of sight, where you have the room, a built-in closet is ideal, as it can be designed to measure and will not crowd the space.
However, given that in many homes, the entryway can be somewhat cramped, this may not be feasible, in which case, you will probably need to opt for some sort of coat stand, otherwise wall hooks.
This can be a smart use of space, and can become even more so by simply installing a shelf above the floor that is just deep enough to hold shoes. And, if you want to go beyond mere functionality and add a touch of design to your walls, there are plenty of original, quirky and creative options.
If you’re more interested in style, however, why not make an elegant statement with one of our Fontane Bianche wall hooks. Available in three sizes and four types of natural stone their clean sculpted lines are a stylish and easy storage solution.
If you decide that the entrance way itself is not the place to leave coats and shoes, you will still need somewhere handy to place items such as handbags, briefcases and keys.
These are the typical things that you almost instinctively reach for as you prepare to walk out the door need a home and you certainly don’t want to be racing around the house searching for them. A practical and elegant solution, that keeps the entrance clutter-free is a wall-mounted cabinet or drawer.
If even that is not possible because you are really compromised for space, you can still do wonders with a simple shelf and mirror combination. A Ciane floating shelf is a stylish way to keep things orderly but easily accessible.
Or, you could even opt for the Quadro mirror on its own. Its striking brass frame is 7 cm deep, making it the perfect resting place for small objects such as keys and mobile phones.
As we noted earlier, it’s becoming more and more common for front doors to open directly into the living room, either with a partial dividing structure or entirely into an open plan space. But how do you achieve that without sacrificing the look and feel of your home?
As well as being functional, an entranceway should be:
- Well lit
- Well-kept and easy on the eye
Lighting is fundamental for this type of environment. Whereas traditional entranceways or hallways are often dark and windowless, opening up directly into the living room has the advantage of plenty of natural light. However, a little lighting design can help create an identity for the entrance zone and also serve to delineate it, even without any physical type of division.
It goes without saying that the entrance is the first point of contact for most guests so in it sets the scene for the rest of the home. They say first impressions count, so it should not only be tidy, but also reflect your style.
If your door opens directly into the living room, this becomes even more important. Furnishings should be chosen with care, down to the smallest details, to create a harmonious environment that works on its own and within the context of the open plan space.
While we are the first to encourage décor that is stylish and elegant, we are equally passionate about ensuring it is welcoming, and that is even more fundamental when it comes to the entrance to your home. An orderly, functional space is all very well, but you want to step over the threshold and feel you are in a home and not some soulless corporate apartment.
Even something as simple as a comfortable chair where you can sit down to remove your shoes will transform the feeling of the space.
So now that we’ve taken a look at some general principles when it comes to designing an entranceway that opens into the living, area, it’s time to see these in action with five examples of stylish, contemporary interior design.
Here we have a perfect example of an entranceway (in this case, widened in concept to include a stair landing) that integrates seamlessly with the main area whilst maintaining its own identity.
The design and colours of the environment are repeated in the clean, pared-back lines and colours of the décor.
The Flamingo coat stand could have been designed specifically for this space, blending perfectly but still managing to make a design statement. Then, just a single accessory adds a touch of magic with the light cast by the Urano floor lamp creating an intimate corner.
If the entranceway faces directly onto the living room and the only available area to create storage is the inside wall as you enter the house, assuming a place has been found elsewhere for shoes and coats, a wall-mounted set of drawers provides an elegant solution.
By avoiding a freestanding piece of furniture, you free up the space, creating an uncluttered area that has a clear function, yet integrates seamlessly with the open plan décor.
In this photo, the delicate lines of the Balnea modular drawers in Crema d’Orcia limestone pair beautifully with the walls and floor in Stone Parquet.
There is a lovely sense of harmony, and the drawers provide plenty of room to place keys, wallets and all those bits and pieces that can be hard to find a home for, from torches to bills to pens and paper, leaving the room clean and uncluttered.
Then, add a stool and a couple of carefully chosen decorative touches such as pieces from the Omaggio a Morandi collection and Intarsi wall art, and voilà, you have transformed a simple wall into a useful component that is completely in keeping with the overall look.
When you don’t have much space in the entranceway to play with, sometimes it’s better to accept that and, rather than cram it full, simply place one or two carefully chosen items in it.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be a functional space, as in this example where once again the Flamingo coat stand brings practicality and aesthetics to the table, with its marble hooks in stones such as Verde Alpi and Rosa Perlino adding a discreet touch of colour.
Completing the decor is a W coffee table, providing a stylish surface to leave essentials on.
An entranceway opening directly onto open plan living doesn’t have to be a small, compromised spot. When you step over the threshold from outside into the living room, you can also choose to open up the entire space, running them into each other without any particular sense of delineation, as in this example.
Here, you can perch on the oversize leather bench to do up your shoes or check your handbag as you leave, but then, if you turn to face into the room itself, you find yourself on a small sofa, the perfect place for relaxing or chatting with friends, while the two small Pietra L02 side tables are versatile in more ways than one.
They are the perfect place to drop your keys, coins and other bits and pieces that are always useful to have at hand as you enter or leave, or they can hold your drinks if it’s that time of the day and, by simply removing the base, you then have a stylish tray.
As we’ve already noted, you only need a handful of elements to define an entranceway, even if it’s clearly part of an open plan space. Design has well and truly moved on from the days when the easiest piece of furniture was a bookcase, to offer a myriad of stylish solutions, such as the Madia Pliss in this image.
In this example, there is no demarcation line between the entrance and the living room, with the two spaces flowing into one another, but the grouping of the sideboard, chair and Pietra L05 side table has the effect of creating an inviting nook.
Once again, a handful of accessories finishes the look and if they are both functional and gorgeous to look at, as in the case of this Urano lamp and Fontane Bianche set of trays, perfect for holding keys and so on, even better!
We hope you’ve found the ideas and advice we’ve shared with you interesting and inspiring.
When your entranceway opens directly into the living room, we know it’s not always easy to find a solution that is practical and aesthetically pleasing, but it can be done, however it’s an area where the input of an interior designer can be particularly useful.
On that note, we just happen to have a team of design consultants who love challenges such as this, so why not browse through our range of home accessories and storage solutions or contact us and we can put our heads together to find a practical and stylish solution for your home.