I love the darker mantlepiece above the white bench. Pegs in the same stain unify the look. Bench would have to have storage cubbies underneath to be useable.
Newel Opinions from mydesignchic.com ----- I like stairways that turn and have landings. The sofa by the front door is also very appealing. In large old homes, you sometimes see a fireplace in the entry area. So cool (I mean warm).