Entryway Lighting Ideas for a Warm Welcome
Your entryway is one of the most used areas of the home, and is the first impression visitors get of your house when they arrive. And yet, this all-imporant area is often overlooked from a design perspective. But utilitarian needs don't have to outweigh your desire for style. With the right lighting fixtures, you can bring your home's overall look into the entryway and make it a showstopper whenever guests step through the door.
Carry Shapes Through
Add depth to your design with lighting fixtures that reflect elements in the rest of the room. For example, rectangular-framed glass doors are paralleled in a rectangular, open-framed, geometric pendant light. You can either coordinate the materials to what's in the room or select contrasting components to give juxtaposition to the space.
Keep it in the Family
Connect your entryway to adjacent rooms by repeating similarly styled chandeliers through the different areas. They don't have to be exactly the same shape, but having them in the same design family gives a sense of cohesion and unity.
Big and Bold
Fill a tall, open staircase and ceiling area with a large statement lighting fixture. Whether a modern sputnik-style chandelier or a traditional crystal chandelier, the size punctuates the open space and makes a bold design statement right as guests enter.
Reflect and Repeat
A subtle way to add visual interest in your entryway is by repeating geometric patterns or themes between the lighting fixtures and the door or other features in the room. They don't necessarily have to be matching shape-wise as long as they emphasize coordinating elements. An open chandelier made up of strips of metal can reference slats in a door, for example.
In a large atrium or open space, look for a large chandelier. A contemporary Sputnik-style gives the impression of fireworks, immediately drawing the eye into the vast "sky" above while also communicating your design style.
Go for Glam
Get the shininess and bling of a traditional crystal chandelier with a elegant contemporary take. High-shine fixtures in metals like chrome, combined with exposed, narrow glass bulbs will glow and reflect the light, and multiple arms give the feeling of a candelabra. The combined effect will to give your entryway a luxurious yet still modern feel.
Consider foyer lighting ideas that contrast the other elements in a room. In an entryway area with sharp geometric patterns, an wild and abstract chandelier is an unexpected contrast that adds life and movement to the space.
More Can Be Better
Rather than just one large chandelier, consider using a multi-light pendant light instead. You can get as much or more light output than a regular chandelier, with a modern twist—the clustered effect amplifies the light, and installation is as easy as a single pendant light.
Let Stars Shine Alone
If you choose a large, dramatic chandelier for your entryway, keep the rest of the decor and furniture in the area to a minimum. It keeps the lighting fixture from overwhelming the space, while also emphasizing the chandelier's visual impact.
Consider Clearance Zones
When hanging an entryway pendant light, make sure to install it high enough that not only does it clear the opening path for all nearby doors but also so any tall visitors won't hit their heads. Similarly think of any other moving parts, such as inward opening windows, that would need clearance.
Don't Forget Other Exterior Doors
Front entryways aren't the only areas to consider. Think of hallways and other doors, like side exits or a back door, with as much design care as you would the main entry. Make sure to provide enough overhead lighting for illumination while also keeping with the home's overall design aesthetic.
Color Me Modern
In an ultramodern house with a neutral color palette, your entryway lighting fixture can be a great place to add a splash of color. You don't have to choose a painted or fabric fixture—a piece with contrasting materials or metals can be just as visually pleasing and impactful.
Curvy Does It
In an entryway with arches, like molded wall insets or a winding staircase, a drum pendant can mimic and emphasize those curves. The arcs don't have to match precisely, just be similar enough to give a nod to the essence of the architecture.
Get Enough Light
Along with applying your design aesthetic, make sure you're considering the amount of lumen output the fixture provides. An effective entry light has to illuminate the area enough for safe comings and goings. Supplement overhead light (or not enough light) with wall sconces or task lighting for storage areas, entryway tables or coat racks.
Keep a long entryway feeling coordinated with repeated elements in a regular pattern throughout the area. Whether it's using multiple pendant lights in a coffered ceiling or evenly spaced matching flushmount fixtures, the pattern draws the eye down the hall and provides a feeling of intentional design.
Update the Classics
For a modern take on a traditional lantern-style fixture, look for a piece with streamlined, simple lines and open visual space. Fixtures in bright metals like chrome or brass reflect the light, while multi-level candelabra arms recall classic candlelit chandeliers.
Show Off Your Curves
Swirl your entryway up in a dizzying design by mirroring the curves of a stairway with a spiral, curving pendant. Mimicing the shape draws the eye up the stairs and along the banister and gives a feeling of motion and energy.
A long outdoor entryway can get cave-like without enough lighting. By flanking the entry with similar fixtures and using a similar outdoor pendant further down in the hallway, you'll give a sense of cohesion and welcome the visitor in.
Small Space, Big Design
When looking at small entryway lighting ideas, a great way to keep the space from feeling cramped is to repeating visual motifs in various sizes. Horizontal lines repeated in entryway sconces, inset lighting and a door, for example, make the area feel uniform and interesting without intruding on the limited space.
Consistency Creates Unity
When planning your outdoor entryway lighting, using the same fixture in multiple places in the entry area is a great way to make the area feel unified. Using the same fixture flanking the doors and further out in the entryway areas makes the entire area feel interconnected. You can amplify that effect by mimicking shapes and patterns, like geometric door or window shapes, within the fixture itself.
Classic With Clearance
In a traditional entryway with moderate to low ceilings, semi-flushmount fixtures are a great way to add classic style without dropping too far into the room. Ensure you have head clearance for anyone walking through, and the moderate drop of a semi-flushmount lets you enjoy a grand fixture without impeding the traffic flow.
Tuck Away the Lights
If your entryway is small or has a low ceiling, flushmount fixtures or recessed lighting fixtures can offer tons of practical illumination without taking up with visual or functional space. Especially great in a modern, simple design style, these low-profile lights are visually streamlined for a clean yet well-lit space.
Just a Light Covering
In a rustic modern space, exposed Edison-style bulbs look great—but sometimes the exposed filaments of a brighter bulb can be too harsh on the eye. Look for fixtures tucked behind seeded or lightly frosted glass, which allow you to enjoy the exposed-bulb design but diffuse the light just enough to soften glare.
Hints of Contrast
If your entryway is mostly light or white, consider adding some contrast with a darker central fixture in a black or a dark brushed bronze. Coordinate it with other small accessories like dark frames or other components so that it doesn't seem out of place, without taking away from the brightness of the area.
While entryways have practical lighting requirements that need to be met, it doesn't mean that design and style have to go out the window. Knowing what your needs are, and what your design style is, can help you find the right fixture that will make your entryway both functional and inviting. Whether it's entryway chandeliers, flanking outdoor sconces, recessed lighting or any other style of fixture, choosing the right components can easily bring the design of the rest of the home into your entry area.