The back entry’s 13-by-10-foot dimension, fully walnut-paneled walls with four openings and one closet door proved no match for Diana S. Walker, who managed to transform what was once the back, and most-used, entry of the house—a mudroom of sorts—into a place to pause, read a paper, drink coffee, and take in the views beyond. “I loved the curved paneling and the charm of the large plaster crown,” she says. “The room needed great ceiling detail, a wonderful rug and attention to the display of art.” The starting point: a rug with a neutral background and color woven into the details. Two cream armchairs offset the millwork and pull in the plaster ceiling, where, using a trompe l’oeil technique, Walker recreated what might have been very nearly the original design. A six-arm brass chandelier gives diffused light in the room and enhances the ceiling. Bold contemporary artwork packs a punch against the wood-paneled walls.