To start your grand entrance off right, pick out a front door that is style appropriate yet interesting and unique. Think about what works best with your home — an all-glass door is pretty contemporary, while an ornate wood door is elegant and traditional. You can also experiment with the size and shape. An arched door works well for Mediterranean-style homes, and a double door is a great way to make a dramatic statement. To give your current door an exciting new look, try painting it a bright color or adding new hardware.
In spite of your best intentions, your front door always becomes a drop zone. Instead of fighting this, embrace it by adding storage to house all those car keys, purses, backpacks and shoes. If there's space, built-in shelves, cabinets and hooks are great for coats, shoes and bags; if there's not, baskets or bins, coat racks and benches can help your foyer function the same way. Be sure everyone has their own drop spot so items are easy to grab and go on the way out, and don't forget about some extra space for guests. For the smaller items like mail, cell phones and keys, include small bowls or bins.
For larger families, a mudroom is the ideal storage space for shoes, lunch bags, sports equipment and pet essentials. Although this space is often near the back door or garage, you don't need an entire room to reap the benefits: A narrow hall or partial wall will do just fine. In the end, a mudroom is all about the built-ins. Counters, tables and benches can collect and organize day-to-day items, while built-in lockers or cubbies will give individual family members their own space. You can further organize your built-ins by adding smaller storage solutions, such as baskets, bins and trays.