Come home to color: 16 ways to brighten your home
Create some drama
"An entrance sets the tone for the rest of your house," says designer Charlotte Moss, so she likes to cover the walls with art and hang a pretty light fixture. She also loves "a chair to make guests feel welcome, and a table for keys and flowers. If space is tight, pick furniture with slim lines. You don't want obstacles!"
More on MSN Living: 10 happy kitchens
Mix things up
"My yellow door brings sunshine into my house year-round," says designer Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau. Also upbeat: the mismatched pair of patterned rugs. It can be tricky (and expensive) to find a rug custom-fit to your space, but a couple of smaller rugs does the job.
For a yellow door: We like Valspar’s Golden Delight, $31 a gallon, or Pratt & Lambert’s Barleycorn, $22.99 a gallon. A high-gloss finish is rich and easy to clean.
Try a bench
In photographer Sarah Yates's home, the front door opens directly into her living room, "so I used a bench to carve out the space and make it feel more like an entryway. It's a landing spot for our stuff, and also a place for our favorite accents—the ampersand and print were gifts from cherished friends."
Punch things up with orange
Playful umbrella holder
Corral soggy umbrellas before they drip all over your floor. Umbrella stand, $79.95; zgallerie.com.
Throw stuff in a bin! This chevron one is also great to look at. 20-inch canvas bin, $90; seejanework.com (20% off with code rbook20).
Have a seat. This bench is less than 17 inches wide, so it’s great for a tight hallway. Sigurd bench, $79.99; ikea.com.
Create ambiance with a hanging lamp. The iridescent tiles on this one cast a soft glow. Mosaic glass pendant, $99; westelm.com.
Pretty plus useful: A mirror lets you do a last-minute spot check—and is so lovely on the wall. Mirror, $95.52; wayfair.com.