An entryway with a turquoise table holds baskets and incident items

Step Right In

These three stylish solutions for a smartly designed entryway require little money or time.

Step inside the front door to any home and you get an immediate sense of how the household functions. Greet guests with chaos—shoes, backpacks, coats and mail strewn about—and their first impression will be unfavorable. But don’t despair. It’s easy to bring order, function and style to this small space in just a few hours.

One-Stop Shop

Makeovers are easier than ever. Visit the right store and you can quickly redesign your entryway. Target, Walmart, Kmart, Marshalls, T.J.Maxx, Lowe’s and other stores often offer everything you need in one place, giving you a cohesive look on a budget. For even less cash, repurpose a few items from around your house, giving them a fresh coat of paint.

An entryway with a settee, end table and lamp

Focus on Function

Give your entryway a strong center with hardworking furniture sized to fit a small space. Start building the scene with a bench, settee, or a hall table or chest of drawers flanked by a chair or two. Look for choices that offer a place to sit for removing shoes; to set bags of groceries; or to put down a purse, car keys or travel mug. You’ll also want storage for items that need to be near the front door, such as a dog leash.

Before shopping, measure the entryway and map it on a piece of paper. Be sure to note which way the door swings. Plan enough space to allow easy passage through the entry and door. It’s also important to identify what really needs to be stored by the front door.

A bench provides a place to sit in an entryway, and a row of hooks offers a place to hang items.

Places Everyone

Backpacks, umbrellas, shoes, boots and other items will conspire to clutter the space. This makes organizing strategies and hiding places a must. In the planning stage, establish rules about what’s OK to leave by the front door. This tells you what storage accessories to include, and tells others in the household what won’t be left in the entry. Hooks will keep coats off the floor. Baskets will hold backpacks and personal items. Even a bucket can hold umbrellas. Use labels to identify what or whose items go where.

Personal Style

Because the entryway will give guests their first impression, let it speak to your personal style. It is a small space, so it’s easy to punch it up with colorful furniture and a few dramatic elements. Paint benches, baskets, mirror frames or shelving for more color. Welcome guests by including photos or a small collection that expresses your personality.