Show ‘em the door. We can’t stress this enough: The door is the first and last thing your guests see when they’re coming and going. Make a good impression by cleaning up any skids and scuffs and giving the hardware a good polish. If you’ve got peeling paint—or if it’s been a while since you’ve had an update—now is a fantastic time to choose a bold new color.
Set it apart. The foyer is a transitional space that sets the mood for the rest of the home. If your front door opens up directly into the living room, a substantial piece of furniture such as a chest (bonus storage space!) or a folding screen will help define a separate space. If the front door opens up to a staircase, invest in good flooring and paint the banister a rich color. Painting is also an opportunity to create a strong focal point.
Light it right. Lighting can speak volumes when it comes to establishing a mood. And with the days getting shorter, it’s more important than ever. Soft lighting creates a sense of warmth and intimacy and can be achieved through the use of table lamps or wall sconces. If you have an especially large entryway, feel free to go large with a dramatic suspended lighting piece. And if you’ve got windows, hang sheer curtains instead of opaque ones to let in more natural light.
Mirror, mirror. Sure, it’s great to be able to take one last look to check your hair before you head out the door, but a mirror in the entry offers more than a fleeting opportunity for vanity. Groupings of mirrors can reflect more light into the space, which can make it seem bigger.
Have a seat. If you have the space, add a chair so you’ve got a place to sit when you take off your shoes. Hooks and baskets offer storage for jackets, hats, bags, scarves and gloves. Wicker baskets, in particular, can impart a rustic, autumnal feel.
Flower power. Whether you go with silk or fresh-cut florals, it’s time to move away from summery hydrangeas and roses. Chrysanthemums, asters, sunflowers and alstroemeria are more seasonally appropriate. If you don’t have a tabletop, you still can incorporate nature’s beauty into your décor by hanging framed pressed leaves.