Decorating Formula for your Hallway Table Vignette

You know that old saying it’s hard to change a first impression. It applies to your home too. Consider all those people who show up at your door and never go beyond the front door – friends of friends, salespeople, the pizza delivery guy and so on.  The space at the front door is like the suit you wear on a job interview, it creates that all important first impression.

I noticed the mail carrier eyeing my entry way last week as she handed me the mail. She said, “you’re the Interior Designer right?” Busted. You have to consider she does get to see a lot of houses up close. I admit I’ve slacked off.  The mail carrier did me a favor – she provided me with this week’s post.  This is a decorating teaching moment. I’ve been hired to decorate many rooms but it’s rare for an interior designer to get hired to decorate the main hall entryway and yet it’s the space that connects all the other rooms and is the first space your guests see.

First, and foremost stand at your entry door and identify the first thing you see. In my case it’s a wall that leads you to the kitchen. I have to provide form and function to this entryway focal wall. The keys, sunglasses and cell phones must have a place to land and especially if you don’t want to be asked that annoying question, ” have you seen my keys?”.

Now that you know what area to address, start with the basics – a hall table (AKA console table). The hall table is an important structure and it needs to perform and not just look pretty. I look for a sturdy table construction with a shelf or drawers which provide additional storage for those odds and ends like extra keys, found buttons, etc. I like a table with no obstructions underneath so I can place baskets or a stool or a large lantern. Below are some great examples of decorative and functional console tables.



I like classic glass tables because they are adaptable to most styles and because I have a tendency to change my decorating direction.  Below is my blank canvas, pretty blah, right?entryway console table (1)

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a formula to follow on how to create that perfect console table vignette? Well, there is, sort of. As I was considering my plan of attack on my blank canvas I perused Pinterest and found this interesting and yet basic theory on table top display formula.

table top vignette display formula


Here is a look at how this styling vignette formula can look like.


This is a general formula but I don’t think it goes far enough and it doesn’t relate well to entry/hallway tables because they require more than just a pretty vignette display. The hall/entryway console table must first address function to be efficient. The entryway table must allow enough space to put your keys, cell phone, mail and glasses easily. I always incorporate trays and bowls as a visual enticement to keep things neat and organized. Each tray or bowl act as a place card which says “PLACE YOUR KEYS ON ME”, said decorative and useful metal tray.  I came up with my own more elaborate formula.



Here are some other versions where I followed (sort of) the entryway console table decorating formula. Notice the use of boxes rather than trays.

So, after all that what did I end with?  I created a mish mash of glam meets vintage vignette.  It looks like a loosey-goosey version of the console table vignette formula. Use the formula as a guide and play around with it. In my case my household complained about not having a mirror in the hallway, so I added one. We didn’t need more storage because there is a closet two steps in the door, but we do need a seat to put boots on in the winter. As you can see the formula will only take you so far.  The rest is up to you. So get creative, play around with your stuff and let me know what you think.





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