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The Ultimate Checklist to Creating a Welcoming Entrance

If at first, you don’t succeed, TRY, TRY, TRY, and TRY one more time because it is THAT important when it comes to the entrance of your home. Entrances are critically important! No, we are serious… People judge...even if they are genuinely not trying to! Your entrance will be the first room they see, and it is the first room that sets the tone for the rest of your home. I know what you are thinking… “Y’all are crazy. We barely even use that room.” Believe me when I tell you—Not only does your entrance make the first, it also makes one of the biggest impressions to anyone who enters. Last week, we began a "Making Your House into a Home" series taking on one room at a time in our house and sharing with you several components that tell our families’ stories. We keep referring to the “components” of a room. Think of them like a mailman, or for our younger audience email. Weird, I know.. The components are what sends messages to your guests, hints the mailman. With these components, your guests will walk two steps into your home and feel at ease. So keep on reading below to find out how we at The Old River Nest create a welcoming, practical, and overall eye-candy of a room that we like to call the entrance.

1. You Can Never Go Wrong with a Candle

You want your guests to walk in, take a deep breath, and whisper "home". How do you achieve this? Two words- Tyler candles! These suckers are the best smelling candles in the entire world! Best part- only one is needed to fill your entire about budget-friendly! Our go to scent is Warm Sugar Cookie. I am literally smiling just thinking of how good it smells. We continuously receive compliments when guests arrive with how “homey” our house smells. Candles are a simple and inexpensive way to make a lasting impression on your guests without needing a big space.

2. Coatrack, Hall Tree or Wall Hooks

(Talking about Brooke here.) As a mother of two young kids, I am one of those annoying guests that brings ¾ of their home with them everywhere they go. To accommodate a guest like me, an appreciated component of an entryway would be a coatrack, hall tree, or wall hooks. A designated place, especially right by the door, to hang my “house” is truly appreciated. It's important to have one place for guests to put their belongings. It keeps it from becoming that conversation of “Where would you like me to put this? Do you want me to bring all this to your room?” At our house, we use a coatrack in the entrance, but if space is limited you could always use wall hooks. Not only do coatracks hold your guests' belongings, but it also sends a message that you want them to stay awhile, relax, and get comfortable. 

3. A Junk Jug

Just like having a place for coats and purses, having a “junk jug” for your guests’ keys and phones are also something to think about. We (and “mother hen” aka our mom) are the absolute worst at walking into someone’s house and putting our keys down, and then when it’s time to leave we have no idea where we put them. Having a bowl or tray in your entrance will allow your guests to always be able to know where all their belongings are, as well as eliminating that awkward 15 minutes of them trying to find their keys when the gathering ends! Believe me....we know this from experience! 

4. A Buffet Table

Not only does your entrance need to be eye-catching, but also functional. We like the vintage feel of having buffet cabinets in our entrances. Our entrances have antique buffet tables that we acquired from The Round Top Antique Festival and also from family. An antique has a history, and we want that story to be felt as guests enter. Do you HAVE to have an antique? Of course not. There are tables that are just as beautiful and will make just as big of a statement. The point of the buffet table is to provide another space that guests can put belongings on and of course, add a little character to your home.

5. Lighting is Key.

Lighting is Key. If you are a follower, you know our love for pillows. Well, our love of lamps is a close second. Lamps provide a welcoming glow to your guests and create an instant warmhearted atmosphere. Something about the soft light makes your guests relax, they can unwind, and start visiting. Also, a beautiful light fixture can add character to the space. Fair warning… light fixtures can be expensive; however, we have found great deals at Pottery Barn and Amazon. 

6. Seating with Accents

Chairs, Benches, Blankets, and Pillows especially in colder weather, sends the message to your guests to come in, take their shoes off, and warm-up. Having a chair or bench is an ideal place for guests to sit, relax, and sort their belongings. It can also become a table for your guests that have to put their babies in car seats and can assist a senior guest when putting on their shoes. Or in our case, one place for the husband to sit and wait so we can say our 25 good-byes because we hate leaving good company. Back to our love of pillows- adding a pillow to a bench or chair makes the entrance softer, more inviting, and gives a pop of color. Blankets can also achieve the same softness and color.

7. Wall Art or a Mirror

Don’t leave your walls bare! Your walls want to accessorize also. Wall art is a wonderful way to create character to your entrance. It also gives you another chance to show off a bit of your personality. We love using mirrors because it gives everyone a chance to quickly glance to check hair and teeth before or after a visit. Since entryways are usually a narrow space, mirrors give an entrance the illusion of being large too.

8. Books

Something about books in a space makes our hearts go pitter-patter nowadays. Books make your house feel lived in, casual, cozy, and can be used in so many ways. In our entrance, we used books as lifts for the lamp and urn, and if they have a cute cover, they can be used as decor. Just one more budget-friendly way to bring personality to an entrance.  

9. Greenery

Greenery represents life. In our case, it represents faux life (we have a brown thumb). Greenery in a wreath or a plant will both do the trick. When it comes to greenery, we would love to say that we use live plants because they honestly do bring that fresh smell of spring into a home. But we have to be honest…. we like the smell of warm sugar cookies more. Thank you Tyler candles!!

If you are thinking about changing up the entrance of your home, hopefully, these 9 components are a starting point. We encourage you to take advantage of this space to show your style while giving a welcoming impression to all who step inside. We look forward to you sharing comments and pictures on how you decorate your entrances. If you do share your entry pictures, definitely tag us on Instagram @theoldrivernest. We get so excited, and it truly makes our hearts happy to see them!!

All our love,

amber & brooke :)

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