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What Is an Entryway?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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An entryway, foyer, or hall serves as the entrance into the main portion of a modern house. Entryways have a grand history, despite being rather downgraded in the modern era. Today, an entryway serves mainly as a cloakroom or storage space, but can still set the tone for the rest of the house.

The term “entryway” is a relatively new description of what once was commonly referred to as a hall. In Europe, through medieval times, the entirety of the house was referred to as the hall, since it consisted of one large room in which all functions such as sleeping, dining, and daily work, was performed. Over time, as building structures became more complex, and room divides more common, the term “hall” came to define only the small entrance room that served as the interior gateway to the rest of the house. “Entryway” developed as a similar term to describe the same room.

A modern entryway usually consists of the door that serves as the main entrance to the house, as well as storage areas or furnishings for garments such as shoes and overcoats. Many have a small storage closet for hanging up outdoor clothes, while those without a closet may have hooks or a rack for these items. There may also be a doormat, so that incoming guests may wipe their feet on the way inside. Other furnishings might include a table for mail sorting, keys, and other miscellaneous items.

The flooring in the hall is often made of a durable material that is stain-resistant, since people will be walking in from outside. Tile, stone, hardwood, and linoleum are popular choices for an entryway floor, since they are easy to clean. Carpeting is generally not recommended, since it wears and stains easily. A removable indoor/outdoor carpet can be a good solution if carpeting is desired.

Entryways can set the tone of an entire household; if the entry hall is beat up, worn down, or dirty, it may make an immediate impression on entering guests. One of the best ways to ensure a good first impression is to keep the area neat and organized through the use of storage spaces and closets. If the home has a distinct decor or color palette, adding small hints in the entryway can create a smooth transition into the rest of the house.

In a large apartment building or commercial space, the entryway may be referred to as the lobby. This typically signifies a larger room, where a significant amount of activity may take place. In a hotel lobby or entryway, for instance, visitors may find check-in and concierge desks, restaurants and bars, baggage checks, and restrooms. In an apartment building or business, an entrance hall or lobby often contains a receptionist that serves as a guide and gateway to the other rooms in the building.

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Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGEEK. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

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Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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