(The Washington Post)

Linda Harmon would like the two-story entry of her Fairfax Station home to be more inviting. The builder-grade light fixture and white paint need to go, she says. Harmon wants the space to create a dramatic first impression instead of being a forgettable, vanilla pass-through. Her only requirement is a place where people can sit while removing their shoes.

(Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Designer Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas uses a neutral paint color with warm undertones and an eye-catching chandelier to give the space more visual impact.

(Interior rendering by Rodney Co/ 3D Storm Studio/ for The Washington Post)

A dramatic chandelier lends the entry a sophisticated, elegant look. Warm up the space with paint. Try Mineral Deposit from Sherwin-Williams. Colorful accessories are visually interesting and an opportunity to reflect your personality in the design. A chest with a lamp and decorative items on top will add storage and create a focal point. A plush upholstered bench will soften the space and function as a place for taking off shoes. Opt for a large area rug in soft neutral tones to ground the space.

(Courtesy of Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas; The Washington Post)

Rojas, with Interiors by Design (301-933-7723, interiorsbydesignmd.com), is based in Silver Spring.


(Lamps Plus; Amazon)

SPLURGE: Flirt crystal-and-chain 26-inch-wide pendant chandelier ($3,220, lampsplus.com), left. SAVE: Mason 34½ -inch-wide polished-nickel chandelier ($2,088, amazon.com).

(Pottery Barn)

SPLURGE: Elle wall mirror ($599, potterybarn.com), left. SAVE: Layla wall mirror ($129, potterybarn.com).


Furniture: Melange Savion cabinet ($920) and Playlist wood bedroom bench ($620), both from wayfair.com.

Accessories: Whittaker taupe/beige area rug ($219 for 6-by-6-foot rug) and Wagner table lamp ($165), both from wayfair.com; Brady vase ($64) and Brady oblong vase ($58), both from allmodern.com; set of two artisanal circular wall-mount sconces in blackened bronze ($169, potterybarn.com).

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