Your entryway is the first part of your home that greets you upon your return. It’s also the place where your guests form their first impressions of your home, so it’s an area that deserves special attention. The entry to your home has the added challenge of acting as a landing pad for your keys, mail, shoes and whatever else you might have in your hands. But with a bit of creativity, your entryway can be both a functional and beautiful part of your home.

Start by enhancing your entryway with small additions that make a big difference. Placing a runner at your entryway is not only a practical solution for dirty shoes, but the elongated shape helps to draw the eyes – and your guests – farther into your home, creating an inviting feel. Mirrors are also a fantastic way to open up an entryway. They’ll catch the light of the outdoor sun and refl ect it into your home, which is especially important if your entryway is without windows. Mirrors also help to make the typically narrow entryway feel wider and more spacious – and are handy for a quick touch-up before you head out the door.

Next – add furniture to make your entryway functional. Console tables are a great place for keeping the little things that you might otherwise be running around to find. Place a set of wicker baskets underneath to keep items like pet toys and accessories organized and off of the floor. If you’re tight on space or want a minimalistic feel to your entryway, a floating shelf also makes a great console. Place hooks on the wall next to or under the console to hang dog leashes, backpacks or umbrellas.

Finally, add a bench for taking o and putting on shoes. You can opt for a multi-purpose bench with a plenty of built-in storage space. Or go for a traditional bench which allows for shoes to be easily stowed away underneath. Minimalistic backless benches serve the purpose while still being a light and airy addition. With a functional and beautiful entryway, you’ll look forward to coming home every day.