Entryway Rug Guide: How to Choose a Rug for Your Entryway or Foyer

Your entryway is one of the first impressions a guest has of your home. Because of that, it’s a space that you want to consider stylistically—but it also needs to be highly functional. This is the space where shoes and jackets come on and off, where keys and bags are dropped, and where pet supplies are stashed.

Something that helps optimize both the functionality and style of your entryway? An entryway rug. Rugs look nice and add some style, pattern, and color to your entryway. Rugs can also help define the space if you’re trying to fake an entryway. However, since all entryways are different, landing on the right size and shape of entryway rugs can prove difficult.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to entryway rug sizes and shapes, there are some general guidelines you can follow when considering entryway design ideas. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about choosing a rug for your entryway, with examples of the best options for common entryways shapes and set-ups.

Types of Entryway Rugs

First off, what are your entryway rug options? This part is actually fairly straightforward, as there are only three common types of rugs that you’d typically use in an entryway.

Doormat in small entryway

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A doormat is a small rug made to fit directly in front of your front door. A standard doormat ranges from 18”x30” to 24”x36”. They’re typically very durable and less decorative, as they’re primarily used to wipe shoes and catch dirt and moisture so they don’t get tracked into the house. This is a practical way to keep your floors clean, and with a lot of design options out there, a doormat can be a cute way to personalize your entryway.

Blue entryway with runner as doormat

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Runners are narrow and long rugs. They’re commonly used in hallways, in longer entryways, and in front of wide doorways. In terms of size, they’re typically 2’-3’ wide and 5’-14’ long. While a runner is a great option for a standard hallway, an average runner rug might be too narrow for an extra-wide hallway.

Small entryway with large area rug

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Area Rug

An area rug is a larger rug, meant to cover a larger “area” of the floor. (Hence the name.) Its purpose is to cover and protect your floor while adding decorative colors and patterns to your space. A rectangular area rug is most common, but you can also opt for a round or oval rug if that works better for your space! In an entryway, a rug size will range anywhere from 3’x5’ to a 9’x13’ rug, depending on the size of your entryway or foyer.

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Early Considerations When Choosing an Entryway Rug

Aside from the size and type of entryway rug, there are a few other things to consider when choosing an entryway rug. Specifically: rug pile and material.

Rug Pile

In general, rugs don’t interfere with doorways since they tend to reside in the middle of a room—but that’s not the case in an entryway. You often have front and closet doors to contend with in an entryway, so you want to make sure your entryway rug’s pile isn’t too tall. (There’s nothing worse than having your front door catch on your doormat everytime you open the door or having to kick aside your area rug everytime you want to open the coat closet!) Not only will a lower-pile rug make it easier to open and close doors, but low-pile rugs are also easier to clean and vacuum. Since this is a high-traffic area, you’ll want to avoid high-pile and shag rugs, which can trap dirt more easily.

Rug Material

For an entryway rug, you’ll want to look for something durable and easy to clean—both hugely important in such a high-traffic area. The material you choose can impact how easy it is to clean. Indoor-outdoor rugs are good options for entryways, since they’re both durable and easy to clean. They can be brought outside and hosed down to clean, then simply hung to dry. Natural fiber rugs are also known for their durability, and machine-washable rugs are also a great option for an entryway. Stay away from lower-durability materials, like silk and cotton. And, consider color too! For example, you wouldn’t want a white rug in a busy entryway, as it would get dirty and damaged far too easily.

Read our guide on natural vs synthetic rugs to help you find the right material for your home! And if you have kids or pets, be sure to check out our round-up of best rugs for kids and pets!

Ready for more specific guidance on how to choose a rug for your entryway? Read on for a breakdown on your options depending on the size of your entryway!

Best Rugs for Narrow Entryways

If you have a narrow entryway, a small rug is best—either a doormat right inside your front door or a runner rug that extends the length of the entryway.

Doormat in small entryway

Doormat in a Narrow Entryway

Doormats are good for narrow spaces, as they provide a practical solution for floor protection without taking up too much space in your entryway. For a more decorative look, you can layer a durable doormat over a more stylish accent rug.

Entryway with runner as doormat

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Runner Rug in a Narrow Entryway

For an entryway that’s more of a passageway or corridor, a runner rug is a great option. A runner will cover more floor space than a doormat, without being too wide for the narrow space. Runners tend to be more decorative, too, and help visually draw you into the space by elongating the entryway.

Best Rugs for Open Entryways

If you have a more open entryway—often within a larger room, like a living room—there are a few different approaches you can take. Below, we’ll walk you through where you could place a rug in an open entryway, as well as what sizes of rugs to consider.

Small area rug used as doormat in entryway

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A Small Area Rug, Just in Front of the Door

A smaller area rug that defines the entryway can be great if you want to keep the entry to a small portion of the open space—especially in an entryway that opens to other spaces without clear definitions of where one space ends and another begins. These rugs can be larger than a doormat but shouldn’t spill into the other areas of the home if you want to keep the area defined. Depending on the size of your space, a 3’x5’ or 5’x7’ rug would be best, placed horizontally in front of your front door.

Foyer with large area rug extending into the space

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A Larger Area Rug, Extending into the Space

If you want your entryway to expand beyond the couple of square feet right inside your front door, lay down a larger area rug that vertically extends from the front door into the open space in your home. This can draw you into the home and cover more floor area. (Anything from a 5’x7’ rug or larger will work—the exact size will just depend on your entryway size.) This is good if you have a lot of people coming in and out of your home, or if you have a large family where everyone tends to gather in the entryway before leaving home. A larger rug will also protect more of your flooring!

Best Rugs for Large Entryways or Foyers

In large entryways or foyers, you have the most options when it comes to entryway rug size and shape. We’ll help you think through where you could place a rug in a large entryway or foyer, as well as what sizes and shapes to consider.

Large entryway with large rectangular rug

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Very Large Rectangular Rug

Large, open entryways can feel undefined—so a large area rug that covers a big amount of the floorspace is a great way to define the space. A large area rug also adds color, pattern, and comfort to such a vast space. This is a great way to incorporate a major style moment into your home right away, plus it adds a lot of practical space for welcoming people in.

entryway with large square rug

Square Rug in the Center of the Foyer

Adding a smaller but symmetrical rug in the center of a large foyer can act as a focal point. This is a good option if you want to show off your beautiful wood or stone floors and have less of them covered by a rug. Since a square rug will be floating in the space more than a rectangular rug, opt for a rug that makes more of a style statement rather than something more plain and neutral. This will help the square rug feel more intentional in the space.

Entryway with doormat and round rug

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Two Rugs in the Foyer

In a long and large entryway, two rugs can be necessary. Consider the entryway above, which has both a distinct entry and a stairwell area. It would be difficult to have one rug span both spaces—so, instead, we opted for a small runner in front of the front door, along with a round area rug in the stairwell area. If you go for this option, you can choose coordinating rugs or go for a more practical doormat-style rug near the door and a decorative rug further in near the stairs.

Designer Tip: If you have a rounded entryway, like a rounded wall or curved staircase, use a round rug to complement the flow of the space.

Large ornate area rug in entryway for shiplap

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Large Area Rug that Encompasses the Space

If you have an entryway with several pieces of furniture, like a console and bench, pick a rug that fits between entryway furniture and encompasses the full entryway. This will create a pathway for people to enter your space while also creating a stylish landing space that protects your flooring.

entrywy with shiplap walls and layered rugs

Layered Area Rugs in an Entryway

If there’s space, you can also layer rugs in an entryway! Simply pick a more durable base rug, then layer a more decorative rug on top—either symmetrically or in one corner. (We love the look of a hide rug or asymmetrical-shaped rug for this look!) Just remember: when layering rugs in an entryway, keep both low-pile, and keep the second rug away from the immediate front door area so your door doesn’t get stuck or cause a tripping hazard.

Best Rugs for Entryways at the Base of the Stairs

Some homes not only have small entryways to contend with, but they also have a staircase right when you walk through the front door. This type of entryway definitely limits your rug options—but don’t worry, you still have options!

Samml entryway with cozy doormat

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Doormat on a Small Landing

If you just have a small landing that acts as an entryway at the base of your stairs, go for something practical and durable. A basic (but cute!) doormat would be our recommendation here, giving you a non-slip place to wipe your feet as you walk through the door.

Small room with round rug

Small Round Rug at the Base of the Stairs

A round rug can be practical and stylish in small spaces, as long as the circumference isn’t larger than the floor space. It gives you a place to wipe your feet and set shoes while also adding visual interest to a small entryway.

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May Edit: Best Entryway Ideas of the Month

Your entryway might not be seeing it’s usual action these days, but it’s still an important part of your home! It’s the last area you see before you head out into the day and the first space that welcomes you when you come home. The right small entryway ideas make sure that the room flows cohesively into your living room style and the rest of your home. It can also reflect your unique personality and add a little extra life and vitality to your living space. We’ve put together these 15 best entryway design ideas of the month to help you get inspired!

best entryway designsClassic and Collected

This is one of our favorite entryway design ideas for a classic formal style that’s both elegant and sophisticated. It’s very tastefully decorated with ornate vases, colorful art and a beautiful lamp—extra lighting one of our favorite small entryway ideas! We love this look because it’s a simple design that’s still very functional and makes a classy first impression.

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best entryway designsRustic Minimalism

We love entryway design ideas that let simple, natural materials do all the talking. This wood console table paired with ceramics and glass make a beautiful first impression and set the stage for a bright and streamlined approach to entryway design. The large credenza provides extra storage to tuck away excess clutter like shoes, umbrellas, and other things you might need to grab on-the-go. And the textured doors add plenty of intrigue and sophistication. Rustic minimalism is simple and restrained -definitely one of our favorite styles for modern entryway designs!

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best entryway designsBright Modern Entryway

If you love coming home to a cheery sight, bright, mid-century entryway ideas like this might be just right for you! This room offers a fun and playful take on mid-century modern design. The elements of this style are fun and playful with bright pops of color for added vibrance. The bookcase and bench add lots of extra storage—an important design element for an entryway! And we love how the rich acorn wood adds tons of extra warmth and retro mid-century modern vibes to entrance hall ideas like this.

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best entryway designsSimple Entryway Moment

This front door entryway has a super sparse and simple design with no extra frills. One of our favorite entryway design tips is to use a console table that’s a real showstopper! It features an inlaid design with eclectic coloring that brings together the various design elements for a dazzling first impression. The contrasting colors of the tapestry are a budget-friendly way to fill the blank walls and the pouf is a perfect place to sit and take off your shoes on your way in. Design ideas like this are a great option if you don’t have an entryway proper as they don’t require more than an empty wall.

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best entryway designsChic Greetings

This glam entryway design is rich with luxe materials like velvet, marble and brass to give you and your guests a luxury first impression upon arrival! It’s a super elegant look that can add a dose of richness and ritz to any space. The console table is minimal in form so it can showcase a couple of stunning decor pieces. And keeping baskets tucked away underneath is a great way to add storage without taking up any extra space.

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best entryway designsRustic Welcome

This entryway is one of our fave design ideas for a charming passthrough entryway. It makes use of both sides of the hallway to showcase both luxurious decor and functional pieces. The storage bench offers a place to sit and is also useful for stashing clutter or kids’ stuff. The console offers a handy place to toss mail and keys and the mirror above it opens up the space—and gives you a last-minute hair and fashion check on your way out the door!

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best entryway designsFarmhouse Entryway Nook

No proper entryway at home? There are plenty of small entryway design ideas that can help you solve that problem! This farmhouse entryway lets you create a tiny nook by tucking the console off to the side. This way, it makes use of the space behind the door that would otherwise go to waste! There’s tons of used space below the shelf for extra functionality—a stool for seating and a basket for easy stashing makes a great shoes-on/off area! Two shelves offer double storage space and a free-standing coat rack adds even more functionality.

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best entryway designsMid-Century Chic

This ultra-chic entryway is a mid-century modern dream if you ask us! It features a bold retro meets glam style filled with iconic mid-century shapes like the classic armchair and sputnik clock. There are plenty of bold jewel tones and gold accents to give the look extra pizazz. This is definitely an entryway that makes a statement you can’t miss!

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best entryway designsSeaside Style

For a healthy dose of seaside style, we love the look of this coastal entryway design. It features nautical motifs galore—check out the shell decor, woven textures, driftwood mirror and rope-wrapped lamps all throughout the look. The symmetrical design offers a more formal, balanced vibe and the woven textures contrast beautifully with the sage green wall. It creates a soothing welcome home greeting in any home.

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best entryway designsMural Moment

For a front door entryway design that makes a splash, try defining your entryway with an accent wall. The bold mural really sets this space apart from the rest of the house without clashing with other design styles. Hanging striking artwork on the wall makes an even bolder statement—this one keeps the art and mural in the same color palette to keep the look cohesive.

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Rustic and Retro

For those who love retro looks but want a toned-down version, try something like this 70s meets rustic design! This entryway features rustic woods and natural textures with a color palette that nods to 70s mod stylings. It is full of playful shapes, like the quirky console table, funky lamps and the faux-fur rug. Plus, it has a tucked-in stool for a quick spot to sit.

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best entryway designsTextural Treat

If you have a dedicated entryway like this, you can go all out in creating a beautiful, textured space that will set just the right tone for your home. This design features natural textures galore, like the jute rug, bone inlay console, knit pouf, baskets, and fringe chandelier. It creates a perfect contrast with the moody grey walls—a great way to make an eclectic style statement.

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best entryway designsSwing Into Gear

Take your entryway off the beaten path with a gorgeous setup like this! Bring a swing indoors for a fabulous seating option that’s both fun and unexpected. (Just make sure the swing is installed properly for safety!) This is a creative way to make a sunroom/porch if you don’t have one outside.

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best entryway designsRustic Welcome

Check out the welcoming vibes of this rustic entryway design scheme! Weathered woods give it a nautical edge and the hairpin bench and seaside accents like the art, decor and kelp patterned rug offer extra seaside sass. There are a lot of bold elements in this design but keeping the color palette neutral maintains the welcoming, soothing vibes of this style.

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7 Pretty & Practical Entryway Ideas

entryway ideasMore than any other room in the home, your entryway should be a space that’s both stylish and functional. It’s the first room you and others will see, so it should make a lasting impression.

At the same time, it’s also a busy space that gets a lot of everyday use. As such, it needs to be practical and functional, designed with pieces that work with your lifestyle. Additionally, if you live in a small space and have a tiny entryway, it’s all the more important to make sure it’s styled and furnished just right.

All to say, the entryway is one space in the home that deserves lots of smart design attention. Read on for some of our favorite entryway ideas and tips for creating a perfect welcome spot in your own home.

modern entryway ideas1. Make a Stylish First Impression

Because it’s the first space guests will see, put your style on full display in your entry. This way you’ll set the tone and overall vibe for the rest of the home.

We love this minimal-Deco space with a rounded mirror and console. The accent chairs provide a pop of natural texture and a place to sit. The curved shapes on repeat give this entryway a curated and streamlined look that’s sure to captivate.

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rustic entryway decor2. Say Yes to Statement Storage

No closet space? No problem! Bring in a large storage console or sideboard to add major function to your entryway. Choosing a captivating storage piece will help to define your space by setting it off from the rest of your home.

Consider starting with a large enclosed piece that has elaborate carved detailing on the facade. This will add tons of visual texture, a must for any space. You can even opt for one in a lighter wood tone, as in this sideboard, will make for an especially show-stopping focal point in the entryway.

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small entryway decor3. Carve Out an Entryway Corner

If you don’t have the square footage for a full-on entryway, you can create a makeshift one in a corner.

To start, you can’t go wrong with this tried-and-true entryway furniture formula. A console paired with an art piece or a mirror, a stool and a tall plant. Then if you have the room, take a cue from this corner entryway and layer in a basket for some extra easy storage that’s perfect for shoes and kids items.

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4. Define the Space With a Rug

Just like a statement cabinet, another way to set off your entryway is to add bold style from the ground up with a rug. This is a great way to visually define your space and is one of our favorite entryway ideas.

For a durable rug option in the entry, lay down a natural-fiber rug, which can stand up to lots of foot traffic. Flatweave rugs are also good choices as they often come in a range of neutral and vibrant colors that can enliven your space. You can also use your rug as the jumping-off point for the rest of your entryway, as in this space, where the colors and patterns of the rug tie in with the warm wood of the credenza and the green walls.

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entryway ideas5. Pull In Pretty Seating

Needless to say, your entryway furniture isn’t just limited to consoles and credenzas. An elegant bench or settee is another way you can put the space to work while giving it a high-style look.

Pull in a chic settee, as in this classic one, to create a place for putting on and taking off shoes on the way in and out of your home. This is a great idea if your entry is part of a long hallways or pass-through space. Then round out your seating with equally pretty accents such as matching side tables, lamps, and a pillow or two. A captivating art piece will also help bring focus to the spot.

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bold entryway ideas6. Punch It Up With Wallpaper

There’s no better place than the entryway for impactful wallpaper. It’s an out-of-the-box option that’s guaranteed to leave a fun first impression for guests and also add a bit of whimsy and personality to your home.

You’ll also be less likely to get tired of a bold wallpaper in the entry since it’s mostly a pass-through space. Opt for a wallpaper pattern that’s a little unexpected, like this striated geometric motif, and try a color you normally wouldn’t go for in your living spaces. This is one of our favorite entryway ideas because it lets you experiment with new designs and expand and your decor boundaries. Don’t be afraid to go very bold. Offset your wallpaper with streamlined pieces to strike good visual balance.

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7. Tuck in Extra Seating

Finally, open consoles look great in the entryway but they lack the extra storage you’d get from a credenza. Nonetheless, you can put that open space to work by stowing stools and storage ottomans in there.

This is a great way to add extra seating to your entryway without taking up more floor space. Opt for a matching pair of ottomans and stools to create a cohesive overall look. If you’re not sure ottomans will fit underneath your slender open-base console, try pulling in a few baskets for easy storage instead. It will provide you the same compact and collected look.

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