First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your home. And the best way to make a good impression on all who enter your abode is to have a sharply decorated entryway.

"Entryways and foyers have really become an important part of the house because it's a view into the lives of the folks who live there," says Dee Frazier, owner and lead organizer of Dee Frazier Interiors.

The entryway is your chance to showcase your personality. Plus, if you're selling anytime soon, this is a potential buyer's first look at your house.

But effectively curating an entryway is something of an art form. And not paying attention to the following principles could be the difference between a foyer that's cluttered instead of one that's chic.

To help you make this hot spot a memorable space in your home, we've polled the pros for their tips and advice—and their warnings of what to avoid.

Do: Add a place to sit

Photo by Dalliance Design LLC 

Whether you use a bench or an extra chair from the kitchen, a place to perch is critical. Where are you going to sit to lace up your sneakers or tug off your boots?

"Make it [do] double duty by opting for a bench or ottoman that offers interior storage," says Jamie Novak, an organizing pro and author of "Keep This Toss That."

Don't: Let clutter creep in

Photo by WO Designs 

Newspaper stacks and piles of shoes are your entryway's worst enemy. They look sloppy and could be a tripping hazard.

Drew Henry of Design Dudes suggests keeping your entryway as open as possible by using light, streamlined furniture like a sleek console table or a mirror.

It's also smart to place a wicker basket near the door as a catch-all for shoes and other items that you're likely to set down upon entering your home.

Do: Consider your entryway's size

Photo by Sigmar 

You may love that vintage coat stand that you snagged from a flea market, but if it takes over your entire entryway, you're just going to bump into it every time you take off your rain slicker. Instead, use your limited floor space for another more useful piece like a bench and mount a small set of hooks or a simple Shaker peg rail for jackets and scarves.

Don't: Waste vertical space

Photo by Sims Hilditch 

Entryways tend to be narrow, so it's best to take advantage of vertical space. Novak suggests adding wall storage like a hanging mail caddy or a small shelf to hold your keys. Label the cubbies for each family member, and you'll never lose a utility bill again.

Do: Consider covering the walls

Photo by elisabethphotography.com 

Give your entryway walls a critical eye and decide whether wallpaper or a wall treatment like stone, wood planks, or tile might add some oomph to your decor, says Frazier.

"Any of these options would make an impact, but if you don't want to cover the entire foyer with wallpaper, you could place it on the wall going up a staircase or in alcoves around the room," she says.

Feeling extra bold? Take it one step further and apply wallpaper on the ceiling.

Don't: Hesitate to add color

Photo by RICCO STYLE Interior Design 

Does the color palette in your home skew neutral? The entryway is an ideal spot to take a risk with color, says Frazier.

Ideas to try: bold artwork on a wall, a brightly patterned throw pillow on the bench, or a vase of colorful flowers.

Do: Think about lighting

Photo by Cottage Home Company 

Your entryway should also feature some light fixtures to illuminate the front part of your house and make it look welcoming to all who stop by. Our experts recommend installing both ambient lighting (e.g., a chandelier) and task lighting (e.g., a floor lamp).

A chandelier offers both light and a dramatic statement upon entry, and a floor lamp can light your way when you enter the front door and then switched off in the evening when everyone goes to bed.

Contact The McLeod Group Network for all your real estate needs! 971.208.5093 or [email protected].

By: Realtor.com, Jennifer Kelly Geddes