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First impressions matter—especially when it comes to the home. And nothing says “hello” quite like a stellar entryway. Here at Domino, we firmly believe that the entryway is more than just a spot to dump your everyday stuff: It’s a pivotal space that sets the tone for the rooms and memories that follow.

So, what makes an inspiring entryway? There’s no one secret, really. While a spectacularly styled console can elevate an uninspired space, so can a minimalist makeshift arrangement. It all comes down to unexpected design moments and spaces that speak honestly of the people who call it home. Read on for the entryways that wow’d us this year, as well as the design lessons we’re stealing from each.

Art and earth collide in designer

rachel craven

s quiet Los Angeles home, which begins on a particularly colorful note. A true testament to light and proportion, this effortless entryway immediately won us over with its retro ways and geometric details (peep the brutalist planter and vintage, stained glass window). Our takeaway? You can never go wrong with a clutter-free entryway.

This sweet Upper East Side pad proves that a little charm can go a long way. Instead of wallpapering her entryway, interior decorator Starrett Zenko Ringbom called upon friend and artist

happy menocal

to give her entryway a painterly facelift. The result? A whimsical, one-of-a-kind space that sets a joyous tone for the home to come. Not to mention, Menocal’s celestial depiction of Ringbom and her family serves as the perfect backdrop for her insanely cool, surrealist umbrella stand.

Introducing simplicity at its finest: At her Benedict Canyon abode, director Hallie Meyers-Shyer decided to improvise a cozy entryway along the side of her fireplace with an antique console. Makeshift or not, fresh blooms and art will always promise a warm and welcoming entryway.

Of all the eye-catching entryways we spotted on Pinterest this year, this multifunctional, monochromatic set up has us convinced pink is here to stay. Given the area’s clean lines and contemporary accessories, you’d almost never guess that this precious entryway is situated within a centuries-old farmhouse in upstate New York.

No foyer? No problem. Even the smallest of nooks can prove to have purpose—as this Scandi-inspired entryway can clearly attest. With the help of clever shelving and minimal furnishings, this exclusively black and white entryway defies its tiny size in the chicest way possible. We also love that the charming cubbyhole doubles as the perfect place to read on a rainy day.

When you walk into designer Louisa Pierce’s Nashville home, one thing is clear: Pierce, along with design partner Emily Ward, approaches every project with an edited eye. Our wildest entryway dreams come true, her style-focused hallway is the epitome of drama and luxury, thanks to the striking mid-century mirror and Karl Spring table—which add surprising intrigue and shape to an eclectic

gallery wall

This not-so-standard entryway instantly won us over with its unconventional ways. Instead of using a traditional console as a catch-all surface, San Francisco-based design duo Susan and Ben Work opted for a vintage bench from an Italian cinema to give guests place to drape their coats and stash their shoes.

Another art-focused entryway we can’t stop thinking about? Peep this playful, museum-worthy arrangement. At her wild abode in Topanga Canyon, CA, artist

carly jo

Morgan turned her entryway into an unofficial gallery of her own works of art. Here, energy and funk trump functionality—and that’s okay by us.

For graphic insight and inspiration, we’re revisiting Domino’s spring cover star, Jessica Walsh. The graphic designer and creative director uses her Chelsea loft as a personal canvas for bold hues—from electric blue to sunshine yellow. In the vibrant (and microscopic) entryway, handy hooks and drawers help keep Walsh organized, while a pop of wallpaper and charming array of art elevate the storage-savvy space.

Even in usual entryway spaces, a touch of natural greenery can act as an easy and elegant upgrade—as this earthy Long Island retreat reminds us. Inspired by its woodland surroundings, the home’s interiors complement and embrace the landscape’s serenity through a soft palette, neutral ceramic accents, and plenty of fresh plants.

So, what do you do when there’s simply no floor space? Let loud wallpaper do the trick. In this colorful Brooklyn pad, striking, jewel-toned wallpaper by Flavor Paper designates the entry hall from the rest of the home and complements the custom walnut surround and brass lights by the elevator door—teaching us the value in refusing excess.

See more of our favorite spaces from 2017:

The Best Small Spaces We’ve Seen This Year15 of the Best Bathrooms We Saw All YearThe Best Kitchens We Saw All Year