Make a good first impression and improve day-to-day functionality with a spruced-up entryway.

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Whether you want to make a good first impression on guests, or are just concerned with functionality as you come and go each day, an attractive, well-organized entryway is an important part of your home.

But how do you approach decorating an area that sees a lot of traffic but isn’t usually a focal point? With high-impact decorative accents that create wow factor right when you walk in the front door, and set a stylish tone for what’s to come. Here are some ways to do that.

Play with scale: Large, oversize art creates drama and leaves a lasting impression. “It’s all about creating interesting vignettes while playing with scale,” designer Wendy Blackband says.

Embrace fashion and function: Lead guests in with a mix of interesting décor and design elements that extend floor to ceiling. “Anchor a smaller space with a rug that can handle the traffic and maintain its original charm for years to come,” says designer Amanda Barnes. If you only have room for a welcome/mud mat, try upgrading it to an antique (or antique-looking) rug.

Lighten up: For a fashionable quick-fix in a small space, swap out the lighting, as designer Brady Tolbert did in his own home. A chic chandelier or pendant light can be transformative without adding clutter.

Step outside the ordinary: In a more formal foyer, try adding personality with unexpected art, such as a dramatic photograph or avant garde sculptural piece. Make sure it’s something that will surprise guests and get them talking.

Have a seat: Benches and chairs are practical and homey, providing a place to sit down while putting on or taking off shoes. Entry seating can also be accessorized with throw pillows and plants that showcase your personal style and act as a preview of the rest of the home.

Clockwise from top left: Crate & Barrel Onslow Tray, $40; Schoolhouse Electric Factory 3 Chandelier, $399 at schoolhouse.com; Olive Leaf Mirror, $58 at anthropologie.com
Clockwise from top left: Crate & Barrel Onslow Tray, $40; Schoolhouse Electric Factory 3 Chandelier, $399 at schoolhouse.com; Olive Leaf Mirror, $58 at anthropologie.com

Take the opportunity to reflect: Working with a smaller space? Shannon Wollack of Studio Life.Style offers this tip: “Mirrors can help make smaller entries feel bigger.” And with mirrors of all shapes and sizes available, there’s no shortage of opportunities for reflection. They’re also practical — it never hurts to take one last look at yourself on the way out the door.

Mix it up: A console table is a classic choice for adorning an entryway. It can hold a few chic décor pieces and provide a little bit of surface area on which to set keys or mail. But where does one start when styling a console vignette? “Always remember the rule of threes, especially for an entryway moment,” says designer Jenn Feldman, meaning you should pair at least three objects together. She suggests mixing heights and textures on an entry table, such as “an interesting lamp, catch-all tray and a floral arrangement; or a sculptural object on a stack of books next to a photo frame.”