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How to
Choose the Perfect
Lighting for an Entryway

The entryway to your home gives guests their first impression of your interior space. Whether you pick a light fixture that makes a bold statement or something more subtle and subdued, your choice of lighting sets the tone for the rest of the house. From chandeliers and ceiling fixtures to recessed lighting and table lamps, the variety of light fixtures that work well in an entryway is as boundless as your creativity and imagination. 


When it comes to choosing the perfect lighting for an entryway, start by considering the scale of the entryway along with any furniture, artwork or mirrors that you might want to highlight. Select fixtures that complement the architecture and design of your home while casting the right glow. You won’t find a strict set of rules that tell you exactly what type of fixture to use in every situation, but Pottery Barn has some entryway lighting ideas to get you thinking about your options.


Chandeliers add a bold, glamorous look to your entryway, and they come in a variety of styles including elegant crystal chandeliers, colonial candle styles or sleek drums and cage chandeliers. Choose a fixture that’s proportional to the space of the entryway. For example, if your entryway has 75 square feet of space or more, look for a chandelier with a diameter of at least 12" to 18". Smaller entryways look better with smaller chandeliers unless you want the fixture to serve as a focal point. 


Pendants work equally well in modern and traditional spaces, and they add radiance to your entryway while still drawing the eye upward to create the illusion of a taller space. Styles range from single, chandelier-like pendants to clusters of smaller pendants. Use a series of small pendants to light a long hallway-like entryway, or a single, large pendant for a smaller area.

To calculate the size you need, try using the formula that many lighting experts use. Add the length and width of the entryway's dimensions and convert it from feet to inches. For example, if your foyer is 15' by 18', you get 33' after adding the two figures. In this case, you need a pendant that’s around 33 inches wide.

Ceiling Fixtures

Ceiling lights don’t have to blend in seamlessly the way some lighting does, and if you don’t have the space for a chandelier, this type of fixture is a smart way to add visual interest to your entryway. Choose from traditional, elegant, contemporary or bold styles to fit your home and add a dynamic feel. From flushmount ceiling lights to semi-flushmount and track lighting, ceiling lights offer versatility in addition to casting pleasant ambient lighting. Track lights are a great option for highlighting specific areas or works of art, while all ceiling lights add a lovely glow to the area without limiting overhead space. 

Wall Sconces

Wall sconces add a welcoming glow to the entryway without taking up valuable real estate on a console table or your entryway furniture. Use one on either side of the door or an entryway system. You can also use wall sconces to draw the eye into the rest of the house by installing them in the foyer and down the hallway, if you have one leading out of the space. Choose from a variety of styles, shapes and finishes to pull your entryway’s look together. Sconces also come with uplighting, downlighting and multidirectional lighting to cast their glow on a variety of surfaces.


If you have the space and you want to add a little extra visual interest to the area, lamps offer an attractive solution. Choose from floor lamps, which add a stately presence, and table lamps, which work well on consoles and shelving. Keep the lamp simple, but add a custom shade to create a sleek but interesting lighting solution. Play with different types of lightbulbs to determine the level of warmth or coolness that works best in the room. One final great thing about lamps is that you can move them around easily, and if you want to quickly change the look of your entryway you can simply swap out the lighting to keep things feeling fresh.