Design Spotlight: Entryways

Three perspectives regarding how to treat entryways and focal points.

Richard Berry entryway/staircase

Photo: Courtesy of Richard Berry

April 28, 2015


Jacklyn Graniczny

Sublime Development, Frankfort, Ill.

Jackie Graniczny

An entryway is defined as a transition space between rooms. It’s either a way in or a way out. The entrance of your home is the first impression presented to people when they arrive. It’s also the last impression when they leave. For these reasons, one should never shy away from investing in these often overlooked areas. 
Sublime Development Front Entry
Photos: Courtesy of Sublime Development
It all begins with curb appeal. This two-story, split-face, stone entrance stands tall and strong with a globe chandelier showcased above the mahogany stained 8-foot door. It’s important to balance the grand scale of this entrance with oversized coach lights and the loftier front door. 
Sublime Development foyer
Once inside, the foyer entrance becomes functional and aesthetically pleasing. The bump-out front entrance allows for a shelf above and coat closets for storage space near the front door. The touch of board and batten also adds a pleasant entryway view from the inside. 
Sublime Development garage entry
Last, but not least, the entry hall off the garage is often the main entrance for the family. Utility is needed here, but that doesn’t mean design should be neglected. In this entry, dual bench seats, beadboard backs, and hooks flank the coat closet wall. An added detail of a chalk ledge and chalkboard paint make it more functional and kid-friendly. A perfect area to unload.

Richard Berry

Halsell Builders, Santa Maria, Calif.

Richard Berry, Designer

Since the inception of classical architecture, focal points have been a fundamental concept of design. Sadly in modern construction—often thanks to limits put in place by function, budgets, and sometimes lack of understanding—focal points are something of a lost art today. I’ve found that the blending of focal points and entry spaces is a potent combination. Both indoors and out, “entry” is happening in diverse directions as the eye moves from one space to another.
Richard Berry focal point
Photos: Courtesy of Richard Berry
Not unlike some aspects of music, focal points in architectural design often go without mention, but are immediately appreciated. Designing a focal point and symmetry into an entry space is not only artistic; it can be welcoming, inspiring, and awesome.
Richard Berry entryway/focal point
Having learned this principle over years of design and construction, I make a practice of emphasizing the power of entry spaces in my works.
Richard Berry entryway/focal point
A visual focal point, harnessed by the design of an entry space, captures that magical moment where anticipation is met by impact.

Robert Hidey, AIA

Robert Hidey Architects, Irvine, Calif.

Robert Hidey

As the introduction to the house, the point of entry needs to be significant, definitive. Not only does the entryway create a sense of arrival, it serves as a welcome for guests, provides shelter from the elements for residents entering or leaving their home, and offers an inviting space to gather with neighbors. The design of the entry sequence should embody key elements from the overall architectural style of the home.

Robert Hidey, French doors entryway

Photo: Robert Hidey Architects

 Light from a formal entry courtyard passes through three sets of French doors into the groin-vaulted foyer flanking the great room of this coastal California home, imbued with a sense of Old World elegance. 


Robert Hidey, beach house entry

Photo: Toby Ponnay Photography

The entry foyer of this small redwood beach house was strategically repositioned from the side to the front of the home to create a stronger identity. The sloping beam ceiling and authentically detailed wainscoting recapture the relaxed charm of the cottage’s original character.


Robert Hidey, outdoor portico

Photo: Toby Ponnay Photography

After passing through a cozy arched breezeway, a rustic vaulted loggia adjacent to the primary entrance welcomes you to this Northern California home.


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