How do you feel when you enter your home? Is it relaxing and inviting? A little bit elegant and understated? Is it dark and dramatic offering a glimpse of Gatsbyesque cocktail parties? Or is it more practical to suit the dog and the kids? Did you do it yourself or have the help of an interior designer?
Entries and foyers are all about first impressions, a chance to glimpse the homeowner’s unique style and taste, an anticipation of what lies beyond. They are a great place to make a wow statement while harmonizing with the rest of your home’s interior design.
1. First you must consider Function. Where will you put your keys and the mail? A lovely console can solve this problem. Do you or your guests need a spot to sit while taking off their boots? Be sure to add an unusual chair or bench. Ideally, your Foyer will have a closet for hanging your guests’ coats. Of course an umbrella stand is always a great addition. If you are fortunate enough to have a mud room, you can skip the spot for the boots and just focus on making your entryway a dynamic reflection of you.
I love how this interior designer incorporated a bowl for keys, a mirror to check your lipstick, a lamp for that much-needed light and ottomans that can be pulled out to put on your shoes. This is a great use of a small space and also warm and inviting. I want to have coffee with the person who lives here – don’t you?
2. Make it wow with color or pattern. A bright paint or wallpaper with amazing texture can show off your fun side. Entryways tend to be small and can be little jewel box statements. You can get much more creative and daring in your Foyer.
I love the black chest for storage against the metallic patterned wallpaper and how the shape of the mirror and the front of the chest pick up on the repeating image in the wallpaper.
More amazing trellis wallpaper but done a whole different way. I love the cheeky bright yellow stools under the sleek mirrored console table. This could be a busy look, but the interior designer has paired the lamps and the stools to give it a sense of harmony and timelessness.
3. Display an amazing piece of artwork or collection. Or if your space is narrow and you want to open it up, add a large mirror. Not only will it widen the room, it will help reflect the light. Always add a beautiful vase of fresh-cut flowers – they smell wonderful, add a fresh element to the room and are a great way to get a splash of color.
This is the Foyer in my own home, which is a center hall colonial. I picked up the beautiful Chinese painting of cherry blossoms in my travels through Shanghai. The collection of wood carvings were my Great Aunt Mabel’s. She was an avid traveler and collector – surely it runs through my blood. If you look closely you can tell that the wood carvings are from various church pews and doors. They are so unique. I love my antique altar table underneath.
Yes, we do have a mud room so my Foyer is all about the relaxed elegance look I favor. I will say that if I could do it all over again, I would buy a home that could be more contemporary. But I believe that your furnishings should complement the architecture of your home, as well as highlight your unique personality. I am in the process of adding an occasional objet d’art or the perfect modern lucite table to freshen the vibe in my home.
4. Make sure you have great lighting. A combination of overhead, accent lighting for that fantastic painting or sculpture, as well as even a lamp on a console is best. It’s so important to have lighting for the stairs and any dark corners in your hallways.
I love how Kelly Hoppen has used practical lighting along the floor to such dramatic effect. The lighting and the sunlight streaming in the window at the end of the hall draws me in and makes me want to find out what lies beyond.
5. Creating a sense of entry. What if you don’t have an actual defined entry way or foyer? My Fairfield client’s entry is a straight shot into their open living space. We plan to add a sconce by the front door and a small console table to differentiate the entry space from the dining area. But there are so many options from bookshelves and screens to fabrics to even using lighting to differentiate a space.
This staging company used a pair of open shelved bookcases to create a sense of entry. I love the red door.
These LED lighted organza curtains would create a sense of drama and mystery when separating a Dining Room from a Foyer.
Speaking of light, imagine a series of sleek floor lamps dividing your living space from your front entry. That’s a statement!
Or the unusual Algues curtain from the Bouroullec Brothers.
Finally, a console table can divide the space and provide storage on both sides. This would be perfect to divide a Foyer from a Dining Room.
I love to hear from you. What do you love about your Foyer?