I think every home should have a designated entryway to set a gracious tone for yourself and your guests. You don't want to walk directly into your messy living room or kitchen now do you?? Having a place to set your keys, take off your shoes and coat, sort the mail, place your wet umbrella or just look at something pretty is so important. Here is my entryway
Notice the mirror - so important for checking that you look ok before leaving ( or tying your tie as you are late to work AGAIN ). Also the urn I have for keeping umbrellas, a great place to put them when they're wet too! I have a little dish for holding the content of my pockets such as my keys and my burts bees chapstick ( which i'm addicted to, sadly ) and also a little pot for loose change I pick up. A little lamp is good to because even if you don't have a seperate foyer just the pool of light will designate the seperate entry area. ALso important is a chair to sit in to put on / take off your shoes and also serves as a great place for guest's coats ( or holding dry cleaning or things so you don't forget to take them out! ). This chair is really not very stylish but was my great-grandmothers and it's nice to have some family around. I use the lower shelf of my console to hold my collection of 'World of Interiors' magazines - surely the greatest shelter magazine ever published! I took this picture last month at christmas, so you can see my little decorations - including a cute ceramic tree that was my grandmothers.
Even if you don't have a seperate hallway or foyer, you could designate one in the corner of your kitchen or living room (wherever you walk into your house / apt ) with just a console table, mirror and a bench. Wouldn't that be nice to come home to everyday?
Of course, in my DREAM house I have a large square foyer with a fireplace anchoring one wall ( or staircase perhaps - or both! ) and gracious entries into a living room and a formal dining room ( so important to a gracious home! ). I would furnish it with a large round table in the center -perhaps with a floral arrangement or lamp in the center and my favorite books around. 2 comfy chairs surrounding the table would be an inviting little rest stop. I would line the walls gallery style with my collection of architectural drawings and benches or perhaps bookcases in a small apartment so that the foyer would double as a library. The fireplace would just be SO inviting when you have parties and guests could warm themselves and pretty up for the party by taking off coats and primping in front of a mirror ( I think mirrors are required over mantels, don't you agree? ).
I've included some images of some great entryways with this post - and I'm sorry to say they're just from my image files and I don't remember where I scanned them from! So I'll credit all my favorite inspirational shelter magazines for these images - World of Interiors, Elle Decor, Southern living, Veranda, House & Garden ( defunct :-( ), house beautiful........and any others if thats where I got these images........