Choose a wall color in the entryway

A monochromatic palette helps keep everything from becoming too busy. (Pottery Barn)

From a gracious front foyer to a well–organized mudroom, the entryway is a place of first impressions. Paint color is the key to smoothing the transition to and from this highly trafficked space. Neutral tones are always a good choice, but if you prefer a bold paint color, take the lead from the palette of an adjoining room. After all, the entryway is a transitional space.

Dark neutrals — chocolate brown, hunter green, gray, such as Philipsburg Blue HC–159 — have a confident, stately quality that suits a more formal entryway. They are paint colors that also provide a good retiring backdrop for art and collectibles.

Pretty powdery blues and greens are welcoming, restful paint colors that set a tranquil mood after coming in from busy outside activities. This heavenly shade of Arctic Blue (2050–60) is pale enough to widen a narrow hall and serve as an ideal backdrop for a photography display.

Staying neutral by using an earthy beige or brown is the simplest way to bridge the indoors to the outdoors. Using Monterey White (HC–27) allows an adjacent space to move equally easily into a cool or warm palette, offering maximum flexibility.

Red greets guests confidently and warmly in an entryway. Paint with earthier red hues, such as cinnamon, ocher, and cranberry, such as Dinner Party (AF–300), to avoid an overpowering effect in small spaces.