1. Set your sights on something you love. I completely agree with Tess on the importance of having at least one thing that really makes you happy right when you walk in the front door. In her case, it is a light switch decoupaged by a friend — in my place, it's a cute print by Kate Pugsley that makes me smile and feel at ease. Flowers and plants are great mood-boosters, too, if you have the space.
2. Edit, then put everything in its right place. Maybe even more than the kitchen, an entryway is the place you have to decide what you really want to see and need to use. For most of us, the minimum is a place for keys and mail, but things — bills, scarves, bags — can pile up fast. Baskets can give quick organization, and something as simple as putting away your coat as soon as you walk in the door will help keep the space uncluttered.
4. Look down. Surprisingly, even when I had art on my entry wall and a shoe organizer in place, my little entryway didn't feel complete until I put a narrow strip of leftover gray indoor/outdoor carpet along the length of the wall. It sets the spot away from the rest of the hallway and also is helpful under the dog dish and kicked-off shoes. Similarly, having a nice doormat or colorful runner will make you happy to have gotten your feet there.
5. Create a place to sit. Depending on how much space you have, you could have a big, colorful bench or, in my cramped case, a short double-duty stool. Seeing a surface to plop yourself or your bag down on makes the space immediately more inviting.
MORE ENTRYWAYS ON APARTMENT THERAPY
• Our Favorite Entryway and Landing Strip Ideas
• Inspiration: Entryway Organization
• Entryways for Any Apartment
• Key Points to a Well-Functioning Landing Strip
• Landing Strip Roundup
Image: Pottery Barn via Copy Cat Chic