Use an oversized urn with a sprawling palm tree. A 19th century Victorian Hall Tree in the right home would be beautiful and functional. An antique store would be the best place to look for a piece like this or better yet an auction or estate sale. Use a pair of corbels topped with marble or a pair of iron supports topped with glass for a shelf to hold a vase of flowers, keys and mail.
Choose a color that will give you a lift when you come through the door after a long day. extured, glazed or marbleizing walls are an excellent choice. It’s virtually impossible to see dirty marks or fingerprints. Give your walls a kind of strie’ effect of three or four different shades by glazing any darker color with a lighter one.