The entry way is such an important space. I think it's too often overlooked, but it is your transition from the outside world into the safety and cocoon of your home. This space needs to pull its weight both in form and function. If you go too much for form, it won't function and it's wasted but too much function and it could feel like you're walking back into work. Who wants that?
Your entry really needs only a few important pieces.
Not only is the entry your transition from the world to your home sweet home, it's a great place to give others a preview of your style. Think about something interesting on the floor or great art. This solution is a perfect fix for the long hallway type entry because this is completely customizable. Again, there's a place to sit and a bowl for mail or keys, as well as a pin board for messages, events or momentos.
An entry can be snuck into a quiet corner of your home as well. You are not limited to your home's official footprint. My favorite pieces for an entry are simple. A mirror, a place for mail and keys, a place to sit and something that clearly says home. Having said all that, I guess I should get really busy on my entry!
(Images from My Sweet Savannah and Martha Stewart)