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Too little space is often an issue in this high traffic area, so keep entry furniture compact without sacrificing style or warmth. A 12" deep chest is ideal for tight spaces, especially one that blends plenty of storage with rich hand-painted finishes, or calm Zen-like styling. furniture chest with cabinet doors conceals what you want close by, but not in view ... a handbag or briefcase, portable mail shredder, bill-paying supplies, gloves or even shoes.

An open shelf is ideal for items you want to keep visible, or for storing small, removable bins that corral loose items ... videos, library books or other items to be returned, unopened or unsent mail, and notepaper and pens for quick messages. A handy gallery shelf creates an ideal place for items ‘in transition’. Choose entry furniture with shallow, small drawers that let you store small items in specific places. Speed retrieval by allocating keys, sunglasses, cell phones, parking change and tip money, upcoming event tickets, stamps and envelopes, pens and a notepad to specific drawer locations.

The entry is an ideal place to keep household information. A compact furniture chest that doubles as a desk stores files in one place ... making them handy when needed but completely out of sight. Or create an instant communication center with a cordless phone and storage for take-out menus, phone directories or the family activity calendar.

Pull-out and drop-leaf surfaces create a compact, expandable work station to re-charge lap tops, pay a bill or write a note.

Entries are the ideal location for a mail center. Cubbyholes allow you to sort mail by family member, or keep separate slots for bills, incoming, outgoing or unread mail. If possible, place your entry furniture in front of an outlet so you can recharge portable electronics as soon as you get home, plug in a lamp or store a paper shredder.

Create the illusion of a bigger entry by hanging a large, decorative mirror. Mirrors reflect light, brighten and expand space. They're also handy for a last glance before going out.

Place a narrow buffet lamp on an entry chest, or place a set of lamps on either side of a mirror or artwork to create a warm, inviting first impression.

Add a coat tree or row of hooks if closet storage is tight. Being able to grab a frequently-used hat, umbrella, coat or handbag without scrounging through a crowded closet is fast and convenient.

Label the inside edge of drawers and shelves to indicate contents. When everyone knows where things go, things end up where they belong!

Even without a lot of space, an efficient entry foyer can keep us organized, make everyday coming and going easier, and improve the value of our home.

For more information about interior design and Feng Shui, visit www.manobluedesign.com or email Marie Burgos: marie@manobludesign.com