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Want to Increase Your Home’s Value? Start With the Entrance.

The entrance to your home is often its public face, communicating your sense of style to the world. It’s also a transition space that can be either inviting or forbidding — a source of pleasure or frustration.

“I think of it as an outdoor room, and it’s the first room you come into contact with, which sets the stage for everything you’re going to experience in the house,” said Scott J. Sottile, a partner at Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, a New York-based firm whose latest book, “Collaborations: Architecture, Interiors, Landscapes,” will be published next month.

So getting the design right, Mr. Sottile said, is “incredibly important.”

The front entrance is also a place where a few inexpensive changes can boost a home’s overall value. “In a very direct way, we think curb appeal increases property values,” said Prentis Hale, a principal at the Seattle-based architecture firm Shed. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics estimated that curb appeal alone could account for up to 7 percent of a home’s sale price.

Credit…Philip Gorrivan

So it’s nice to have an attractive front entrance, but there’s also a strong financial incentive. Mr. Hale and other architects and designers offered some advice about how to proceed.

It’s conventional wisdom that paint is among the easiest, least expensive ways to transform a room. But “easy” is a relative term, and doesn’t take into account the hours required to prepare, prime and paint four walls and a ceiling.

Painting the front door is a more manageable task. To give your front entrance a new look in a hurry, paint the door a color that is different from the rest of the house and the trim, making it a focal point.

“It’s something that causes the eye to stop, so you say, ‘Yes, that’s where I’m supposed to go,’” Mr. Sottile said. “It can be a strong, contrasting color, or a fun color,” he said, like a bright red or yellow. “Or maybe it’s a lush green, to blend in with the plantings.”

Even if you choose a subdued color, changing the sheen can make the door appear special.

Philip Gorrivan, an interior designer based in New York, painted the door to his London townhouse high-gloss black to make it stand out. “I love a lacquered door,” Mr. Gorrivan said. “It adds a little personality.”

If you’re feeling more ambitious and have a front porch, consider painting the ceiling. It could be a traditional light blue, long popular in Southern states like South Carolina and Georgia, or something unexpected, like a light yellow, said Lindsay Anyon Brier, the founder of Anyon Interior Design in San Francisco.

But choose “a really subtle shade,” Ms. Brier advised, “so there’s just a little pop of color.”

Lighting around the front door can do more than simply illuminate for safety and help you find the lock at night — it should set the mood.

“You don’t want a blaring security light when you come through the front entry,” said Beth Webb, an interior designer based in Atlanta. “Exterior lighting is so incredibly pivotal. You want that soft glow.”

A large hanging lantern is a good way to provide general illumination while making a statement, Ms. Webb said, as is a pair of wall-mounted lanterns.

When choosing decorative fixtures like that, think carefully about scale. Fixtures that look big in a store, or inside your home, can sometimes appear diminutive when you move them outside. Depending on the size of the house, bigger is often better.

Credit…Paul Dyer

Then look for ways to add accent lighting. “I always like to layer lighting,” Ms. Brier said. Options include step lights above stairs, fixtures that wash textural walls with light, landscape lighting and candle lanterns.

Mr. Gorrivant tucked landscape lighting into the planters flanking the front door of his London townhouse, and Mr. Sottile uses candle lanterns at his home. When equipped with battery-powered LED candles with built-in timers, he said, they can provide worry-free illumination every night.

Placing a few containers planted with greenery around the entry is an easy way to make it more attractive. “Just putting some plant material out there always makes a difference, whether it’s boxwood, bougainvillea or something else,” Ms. Webb said.

One way to add containers is to install a matching pair of tall pots or urns on either side of the front steps. For a more casual approach, cluster two or three pots of various sizes to one side of the front door.

“Even if you have a house that’s very formal, urns with loose plantings make it feel a bit more friendly,” Mr. Sottile said. “You’re adding things that bring life and softness.”

Ms. Brier looks for plants that are not just visually appealing but also smell good. Sometimes she fills pots by the front door with rosemary, for a touch of green and a pleasant scent — as well as a convenient supply for cooking.

If you have an expansive front porch, there might be room for a fully furnished seating area. But even with a smaller front entrance, it’s usually possible to add a single small stool, chair or bench that serves multiple functions.

“It doesn’t have to be as contrived as a whole seating arrangement,” Ms. Brier said. “It could be a stump or a pedestal of some sort that provides an impromptu place to perch.”

Such a surface — a ceramic, teak or metal-mesh stool, for example — offers a place to sit during casual encounters, as guests come and go, and serves as a place to drop bags and packages, said Ms. Webb, who placed a compact faux-bois bench on a client’s porch for precisely that purpose. “When they’re unloading the car, there’s a bench out there to put packages and luggage on,” she said.

Many homeowners have improved the look of old kitchen cabinets or a bathroom vanity by changing the hardware, and the same technique can be used to upgrade a front door.

“Your front door hardware is very important,” Ms. Webb said. “It’s your exclamation mark.”

If the door has a transitional-style, satin-nickel handle but you want a more modern look, for instance, replace it with a clean-lined design in matte black. If you want more character, consider a traditional brass or bronze handle with intricate detailing, or one with handmade appeal.

But don’t stop at the handle: Mr. Gorrivan frequently recommends installing a distinctive door knocker, for extra visual interest. “They can be wonderful, whimsical and unusual,” he said.

Credit…Joshua McHugh

Other functional pieces can add more decorative flair, like the boot scraper topped by a horse figure that Ms. Webb installed beside the door of a house in South Carolina.

House numbers are also worth attention. “Often they’re an afterthought,” Mr. Hale said, but they should be chosen and placed with just as much care as any other decorative element. For some of Shed’s projects, the firm designs custom metal panels with water-jet-cut digits; for others, the architects choose modern numbers installed on raised posts, creating elongated shadows.

It’s called a welcome mat for a reason: A small rug placed before the front door is an inviting gesture that has the advantage of scrubbing dirt from shoes.

“You can monogram them or have logos on them, but I like to keep them very simple,” said Mr. Gorrivan, who recommended installing a plain, coarse coir or coconut fiber mat in front of the door. “The focus should be on the door and door hardware,” he said, not on a quirky mat.

Ms. Brier also uses simple coir mats and suggested choosing the largest one you can reasonably fit in front of the door. “The idea is that, with your natural stride, both feet hit the mat before you get into the home,” she said.

Ms. Webb recommended a two-stage approach to welcome mats: “We do a decorative one inside the front door and a more practical mat on the exterior,” to remove dirt with progressively finer fibers.

Outside, she often uses a rush mat. Indoors, she said, “I try to use something either super textural or antique, with a pattern that just isn’t going to show anything” — even if it gets trampled by muddy boots.

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Estilo de Vida

Shopping for Canopy Beds

Any bed can provide a place to sleep, but a canopy bed does something more.

“You can create a room within a room,” said Sandra Nunnerley, an interior designer in New York. “It’s like a cocoon.”

That’s why she installed a custom canopy bed in her New York apartment and frequently specifies them for clients’ homes, as well. “They’re heavenly to sleep under,” she said.

There are various ways of getting a canopy effect. One is to buy a bed with a canopy structure; another is to do what Ms. Nunnerley did in her home: Mount a fabric canopy on the ceiling that suspends curtains at the corners of the bed.

Either way, a canopy can provide an extra touch of comfort heading into fall.

“We’ve done many of them over the years,” Ms. Nunnerley said. “And I’ve never met anybody who doesn’t like to sleep in one.”

Teak platform canopy bed by Mash Studios

From $4,840 at Horne: 877-404-6763 or

Hammered-iron canopy bed

From $4,475 at Oly: 844-354-2925 or

Customizable curtain-track system

About $46 at Ikea: 888-888-4532 or

Iron-tube canopy bed with upholstered headboard by Leanne Ford

$1,799 at Crate & Barrel: 800-967-6696 or

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2021 Emmy Winners: ‘Queen’s Gambit’, ‘The Crown’ and More

Shows on streaming services dominated many people’s spare time during the pandemic. Many of those shows ended up dominating this year’s Emmys as well.

The 73rd annual Emmy Awards were held on Sunday night in Los Angeles, where they were hosted by the comedian Cedric the Entertainer. Netflix won two of the top awards, including best drama for the British royal drama “The Crown,” and best limited series for the chess-prodigy odyssey “The Queen’s Gambit.” “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+ won for best comedy series.

Winners in the acting categories included Kate Winslet, Jean Smart, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Colman. Michaela Coel, the creator, writer, co-director and star of the HBO limited series “I May Destroy You,” won for best writing in a limited series, her first Emmy. She also became the first Black woman to win in that category.

A complete list of winners is below.

Best Limited Series

The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)

Best Drama

The Crown” (Netflix)

Best Comedy

Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Variety Special, Pre-Recorded


Outstanding Variety Special, Live

“Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020”

Best Actor, Drama

Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”

Best Actress, Drama

Olivia Colman, “The Crown”

Best Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie

Ewan McGregor, “Halston”

Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie

Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown”

Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special

Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”

Directing for a Limited Series

Scott Frank, “The Queen’s Gambit”

Reality Competition Program

“RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Best Actor, Comedy

Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”

Best Actress, Comedy

Jean Smart, “Hacks”

Directing for a Comedy Series

Lucia Aniello, “Hacks” (“There Is No Line”)

Writing for a Comedy Series

Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky, “Hacks” (“There Is No Line”)

Variety Sketch Series

“Saturday Night Live”

Variety Talk Series

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

Writing for a Variety Series

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

Supporting Actor, Drama

Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”

Supporting Actress, Drama

Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”

Directing for a Drama Series

Jessica Hobbs, “The Crown” (“War”)

Writing for a Drama Series

Peter Morgan, “The Crown” (“War”)

Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie

Evan Peters, “Mare of Easttown”

Supporting Actress, Limited Series or a Movie

Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown”

Supporting Actor, Comedy

Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”

Supporting Actress, Comedy

Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”

Directing for a Variety Special

Bo Burnham, “Inside”

Directing for a Variety Series

Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”

Guest Actress, Comedy

Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”

Guest Actor, Comedy

Dave Chappelle, “Saturday Night Live”

Guest Actress, Drama

Claire Foy, “The Crown”

Guest Actor, Drama

Courtney B. Vance, “Lovecraft Country”

Television Movie

“Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” (Netflix)

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Emmy Awards 2021: ‘The Crown,’ ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘Ted Lasso’ Take Top Honors

And now there is the inevitable dressing-as-the-carpet moments, courtesy of Sarah Paulson, Catherine O’Hara and Tracee Ellis Ross. Happens every time.

With that velvet green Tom Ford suit, Jason Sudeikis is part of the male peacocking trend. Maybe this is the official end of the penguin suit as red-carpet wear? What do you guys think?

Credit…Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

There’s also Seth Rogen, wearing a pumpkin jacket with brown pants. I welcome the end of the formal black suit. But there is also a happy medium, right? See Josh O’Connor in his sharp tux (with tails!) wearing a flower instead of a bow tie. Both peacock-y and traditional.

Credit…Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Tonight, the Emmys red carpet comes on the heels of the extravagant Met Gala, the wild VMAs and the glitzy Venice Film Festival. How will the television awards show compare to the rest of the attractions in this month’s fashion circus? Watch as we find out.

So far this is a pretty tame carpet compared to what we’ve seen over the last month. There have been a lot of black suits — on the women, as much as the men. Maybe more than the men? Not much sheer. Not that much sparkle. Nothing that makes my jaw drop on the floor or scratch my head. (Except Emma Corrin, and maybe Aidy Bryant; what was that Heidi look?) A lot that would qualify as “tasteful” and “appropriate,” like Yara Shahidi’s emerald Dior. It feels a little anticlimatic.

Just as I read this, Kate Winslet — one of the biggest stars of the night — materialized in a completely unremarkable black Giorgio Armani Privé gown. So yes.

Elizabeth Olsen — Wanda — is doing her part for the family, wearing The Row, the brand created by her sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley, and one that isn’t often seen on the red carpet, since it tends to be more Zen than zowie!

It’s nice to see The Row! The brand didn’t have a presence at New York Fashion Week this month, nor did the Olsens make their regular appearance up at the Met Gala. And that white caftan gown is dreamy (from what we can see of it).

Credit…Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

A win for Mj Rodriguez could be one of the night’s biggest moments. Rodriguez’s performance as Blanca Evangelista in FX’s “Pose” earned her a nomination in the best actress in a drama race, the first time a transgender person has been up for the award. To pull it off, Rodriguez will have to beat Emma Corrin, the favorite for her role as a young Princess Diana in “The Crown.”

“Saturday Night Live” nominee Bowen Yang is here in metallic platform boots! First power shoe of the evening.

Credit…Chris Pizzello/Invision, via Associated Press

Kathryn Hahn, meanwhile, has a power belt. And there are a lot of power jewels going around.

Credit…Rich Fury/Getty Images

Talking about “The Crown” and the remote London red carpet — Emma Corrin just appeared, channeling what may be Princess Diana’s psyche? She’s got a bonnet, a matching strapless gown and matching opera gloves with very pointy black fingernails.

Credit…Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The host of the night, Cedric the Entertainer, is in a celadon-green tux. The men are, once again, making statements.

Credit…Rich Fury/Getty Images

We’re seeing more cast members of “The Crown” trickle onto the carpet. Gillian Anderson is wearing a white gown by Chloé (no surprise there — she wore a black gown by Chloé to the Met Gala) with a little midriff and a lot of tassel action.

Credit…Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Update! It turns out some of the cast (including Anderson and Olivia Colman) is walking the red carpet from an Emmys event in London. Not Josh O’Connor, though! Prince Charles is in Los Angeles.

Credit…HBO, via Associated Press

Michael K. Williams, the beloved star of “The Wire” who was found dead on Sept. 6, is nominated for best supporting actor in a drama for the recently canceled HBO series “Lovecraft Country.” If he does win — and he is a slight favorite over Tobias Menzies from “The Crown” — it will not be because Emmys voters wanted to give him the award posthumously. The Emmy voting period ended before Williams’s death.

OK: Billy Porter is here. And he has … wings? Now things are taking off.

Credit…Rich Fury/Getty Images

And Josh O’Connor, a.k.a. Prince Charles, is making an entrance in Loewe, with a big black flower at his neck instead of the traditional black tie. He pretty much always wears Jonathan Anderson, the Irish designer behind Loewe, on the red carpet, though their relationship seems less like the modern pay-to-play arrangement, and more like a meeting of creative minds.

The Emmys red carpet is about to start, but I have to say, after the pageantry of the Met red carpet, the kookiness of the VMAs and the glamour of the Venice Film Festival, it’s hard to imagine there are any dresses left. Is this Emmys going to be anticlimactic? Or are actors like Anya Taylor-Joy — who is a face of Dior — Billy Porter, Gillian Anderson and Emma Corrin going to try to top what’s come before? What do you think, Jess?

Hi Vanessa! I’m usually in favor of red-carpet weirdness, but I don’t think I can handle any more swords, robot babies, or horse heads as accessories (all of which made appearances at the Met on Monday). So yes, right now the Emmys red carpet is seeming pretty low stakes. But I bet there will be a few surprises. I think we’re long past the days of Jason Sudeikis wearing a tie-dye hoodie while Zooming from a living room (into the Golden Globes, to be fair). There will be some glitz. There must be some glitz! I see Dolly Parton was already named an Emmy winner for her Netflix Christmas special. Maybe the “Bridgerton” cast will come in costume.

That would be something to see. One thing that seems clear, though, is that all those predictions about people wanting to go all out with color and sparkles and feathers and express themselves post-isolation is definitely coming true on the red carpet.

Credit…Apple TV Plus, via Associated Press

It appears that Apple’s streaming service, not quite two years old, is on the verge of getting its first major Emmys win, thanks to an aphorism-spouting, fish-out-of-water soccer coach.

The feel-good Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso” is the favorite in the comedy category. Nominated for its rookie season, which had its premiere in August 2020, the show already won best cast in a comedy last weekend. The winner of that award has gone on to win best comedy six years in a row. “Ted Lasso” also cleaned up at the Television Critics Association Awards earlier this month, winning best new series, best comedy and best overall show.

Jason Sudeikis, the former “Saturday Night Live” stalwart, is poised to win multiple Emmys, including for best writing and best actor in a comedy series. Those would be his first Emmy wins.

A long shot competitor for best comedy is the HBO Max series “Hacks,” starring Jean Smart, who is also likely to win her fourth acting Emmy, for her role as a Joan Rivers-like stand-up comic.

When it comes to comedy this year, the broadcast and cable networks are on the outside looking in: They earned only one nomination in the category, from ABC’s “black-ish,” its lowest combined total in the history of the Emmys.

Credit…Des Willie/Netflix

At long last, it should be the year that a streaming platform is triumphant at the Emmys.

The tech companies upended the entertainment industry years ago, but they’ve had mixed results breaking through with members of the Television Academy, who vote on the winners. That will likely come to an end on Sunday when the envelopes are unsealed at the 73rd Emmy Awards.

The Crown,” the lush Netflix drama chronicling the British royal family, is the heavy favorite to win one of the night’s biggest awards — best drama — on the strength of its fourth season, which took viewers into the 1980s as it portrayed the relationship of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

“The Crown” already picked up four Emmys in the first batch of awards handed out during last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which recognizes achievements in technical categories.

Netflix built a considerable lead over its television and streaming rivals at the Creative Arts Emmys, all but guaranteeing that it will win more awards than any other studio, streaming platform or TV network.

A best drama win for “The Crown” would also be a significant first for Netflix. The streaming service has never won a top series award, despite a whopping 30 nominations in best drama, comedy and limited series from 2013 to 2020. Only one streaming service, Hulu, has won best drama, an award that went to “The Handmaid’s Tale” four years ago.

It would be a fitting win in a ceremony that is recognizing the best shows aired or streamed amid the pandemic. During the stay-at-home months last year and early this year, people increasingly turned away from cable and embraced streaming video entertainment, accelerating a trend that was already underway.

While “The Crown” is the favorite, keep an eye out for spoilers in the best drama race. “The Mandalorian,” the Star Wars action adventure show on Disney+, picked up seven technical awards last weekend, and Television Academy voters love themselves some popular, action-packed entertainment, as evinced by the success of “Game of Thrones,” which won best drama a record-tying four times.

A show with an outside shot is “Bridgerton,” the popular Netflix bodice-ripper from the super producer Shonda Rhimes. FX’s “Pose,” nominated for its final, emotional season, has the best chance at an upset of any of the cable or network series nominated.

Credit…G L Askew II for The New York Times

Year after year, the Emmy Awards have sought a master of ceremonies who can reverse its declining trends in viewership and bring audiences back to this annual broadcast honoring the television industry. Maybe what the show needs is an all-around entertainer.

So for this Sunday, the Emmys have enlisted Cedric the Entertainer, the veteran stand-up and star of the CBS comedy “The Neighborhood,” to host the show, bucking a recent tradition of drawing from the talent pool of late-night TV.

Cedric, 57, knows he has his work cut out for him: It’s not easy for people to get invested in the Emmys while the pandemic continues and when there is little overlap between the fan bases for nominated shows like “Ted Lasso,” “The Crown” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

But he is hoping that this year’s Emmys — which, unlike last year’s largely virtual event, will have an in-person ceremony at the Event Deck at L.A. Live, in Los Angeles — will encourage viewers to come back by fostering a spirit of inclusivity.

As Cedric said in a video interview last month, “I want to bring a familiarity that comes with my brand of stand-up. I’m somebody you know. I’m your cousin or your uncle, and we’re here to celebrate each other.”

“I’m there to do every job that a host is supposed to do,” he continued. “I may go and kick it with people. You may see me do a food-pass tray — have some crudités, my friend. Please, go in my closet, wear one of my jackets, you’re fine.”

Credit…Richard Shotwell/Invision, via Richard Shotwell/Invision/Ap

There’s sure to be both drama and comedy at the 73rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be mostly an in-person edition of the show. Hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, the comedian and star of CBS’s “The Neighborhood,” the awards will be handed out Sunday night in Los Angeles before a limited audience, and will honor the pandemic-era television programs that got us through lockdown.

What time do the festivities start?

The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific. On television, CBS is the official broadcaster. If you have a cable login, you can watch online via, or if you’re a CBS subscriber, via the CBS app.

The show will also air live and on demand on the streaming service Paramount+, which is one of the cheapest options for streaming the Emmys. Paramount+ offers a one-week free trial or is available starting at $5 per month. Other livestreaming services that also offer access to the channel include Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV or FuboTV. All require subscriptions that start at $65 per month, though many are offering free trials.

Is there a red carpet?

This year’s attendees will still have the chance to sashay down a red carpet, albeit a limited one with only about a dozen media outlets. The cable channel E! will have preshow entertainment and then red carpet coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. Livestreams from the red carpet will be available on the websites of People and Entertainment Weekly starting at 7 p.m.

Who will be presenting?

Among the approximately 50 stars scheduled to hand out statuettes are Annaleigh Ashford, Awkwafina, Stephen Colbert, Misty Copeland, Michael Douglas, Ava DuVernay, and Taraji P. Henson, Gayle King, Daniel Levy, Eugene Levy, LL Cool J, Annie Murphy, Catherine O’Hara, Dolly Parton, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Patrick Stewart and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Reggie Watts, the band leader on “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” will serve as D.J. for the evening, and the R&B artist Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” will perform a special “In Memoriam” song written by Bridges.

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