Arrive in Style: Homes with Stunning Grand Entrances

By Iyna Bort Caruso

F ine design is about the creation of memorable spaces, and a home’s entrance represents the one shot architects have to set the right mood. “An entrance is the starting point from which everything begins to unfold,” says Chris Whitehead, managing director of Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty in Dubai. “It dictates the way the property talks to visitors,” he adds. “The feeling generated in the entrance echoes throughout the house.” Entrance halls may communicate the homeowners’ boldness, their desire for calm, their regard for history, their concern for warm hospitality or their penchant for drama – among many character traits.  

Whatever the tone, an entrance’s design should be completely assured. “When someone walks into an entry space that is inspirational, [that] has great proportion and incorporates beautiful materials, those are the elements you savour,” says Nancy Ruddy, co-founder and managing principal of the New York architectural firm CetraRuddy, a 2015 inductee into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.  

Today’s entrances differ from the soaring ceilings, expensive consoles and large flower arrangements of old. Contemporary foyers are warmer and more nurturing, with a greater interplay of natural materials like stone and wood. Art is more prominent, too. The entrance to one of Whitehead’s listings, for instance, features sculptures set in an infinity reflecting pool. For her part, Ruddy frequently incorporates clients’ artwork into their entryways, which make ideal environments for showcasing art collections and the owners’ tastes. Her clients appreciate this approach: “As one of them told us, ‘I never tire of coming into my home. There’s something amazing when you open the door.’” Now, that’s an inspirational entrance.

New York-based writer Iyna Bort Caruso has contributed to The New York Times and Newsday, among other publications.  

Emirates Hills

The airy, symmetrical entrance hall to this exquisite home facing a golf course in a prestigious community features a cathedral ceiling and a floor made from Italian hand-cut mosaic tiles. So great was the attention to every detail and to the quality of the materials in this house that the completion of its design and construction took five years.

Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty
Leigh Williamson +971 600 545 451 

New York

A grand entryway filled with natural light leads the way into this 15,500-square-foot house, where refined luxury reigns. Modern appointments and state-of-the-art amenities are to be found in the estate’s every corner.  

$39,500,000  Property ID: TQGCYN
Sotheby’s International Realty – Southampton Brokerage
Harald Grant +1 516 527 7712  


This impressive estate on Smith Mountain Lake commands a spectacular peninsula setting. Elegance combines with light in this Mediterranean-style manor’s circular entrance hall, which sets  the home’s gracious and inviting tone. Completely renovated in 1998, the finest of materials are incorporated throughout.

$5,950,000  Property ID: WBZTNY
Frank Hardy Sotheby’s International Realty
Rob Nelson, Frank Hardy +1 434 296 0134 

West Harrison
New York 

This stunning Colonial-style residence underwent a custom redesign that fused its traditional architecture with renewed, sophisticated interiors. A formal chandelier and sleek finishes adorn the dramatic entrance, where the central staircase divides in two, making a wonderfully modernised classic statement.

$3,500,000  Property ID: GCXES9
Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
Michael Holmes  +1 914 497 5997 


Surrounded by 4,000 acres of open space, this impressive grand estate on picturesque green pastures offers panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and Pikes Peak. Its grand foyer features towering stone walls, a marble floor, stained-glass windows, a cathedral ceiling and a double staircase.  

$8,999,000 Property ID: 3ZZ7KM
LIV Sotheby’s International Realty
Deborah Syke  +1 303 324 1967 

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