Should we be invested in creating a foyer with flair, when decorating? The one-word answer to that question is – absolutely! Well, let’s explore why and how to create a foyer marrying visual appeal with high functionality.
The foyer has an important place in the hierarchy of rooms in a house – function-wise as well as design-wise. Oftentimes the smallest room however, this gives us a good excuse to use superior materials that are a bit more expensive, without breaking the budget. More importantly, it is a preview of what a guest first sees, and what kind of statement it makes about the kind of house and its owner.
Is the foyer a room?
A well designed foyer creates a warm and welcoming first impression for a visitor to your home. What’s more, it is also the first room you enter when you come home after a hard day’s work. It should put a smile on your face.
Function with finesse
A foyer also performs an important function. However, if the entryway looks like a place to dump keys, backpacks, shoes, and the dog leash – in other words, if it is an eyesore, you have your work cut out. Upon entry, if it’s a reminder of all the things you need to get to before bedtime, it will make you anxious and irritated instead of welcomed.
A home without a proper entryway is like a Christmas tree with no ornaments, and that’s just bad luck. That’s the why. Now for the how – how to dress up that room right behind the front door to your home. Foyers come in all shapes and sizes. Some homes come without a foyer per se.
A non-foyer and how to fix it.
Some houses have the living room start right at the front door with no foyer. The solution is to create one. First Trace the pattern of traffic in and out of the room, on paper. The rule of thumb is to have 3 ft of clearance around doors. Make sure there is a straight path leading to the front door as well as to the next room. Then plot out a furniture layout to scale to ensure everything you intend to buy will fit, allowing for traffic pathways and enough clearance.
What goes here
What kind of furniture should you buy for a front hallway? A foyer is not just about aesthetics. An important function of this space is to provide a place to pull on boots or shoes ready to step outside, put on a coat and grab the keys. A hall console table and a cabinet as storage for shoes are two major furniture items in an entryway.
Just add drama
How do you deal with a blah entryway that while not lacking in space does lack in character – the large foyer with no focus? When you have too much space and nothing interesting going on, you create a wow factor.
Start from the bottom and work your way up. If you see builders grade generic orange oak underfoot – it’s time to make a change. Think new flooring – in a material that’s resilient yet chic. If the budget allows – here us where you splurge. Coming home will mean something and make you happy.
Go for a handcrafted hardwood parquet floor. Or marble tiles in a herringbone pattern or a slate tiled floor. Then add layers – such as an antique Persian or a bold zebra print rug.
Mirror the mood
A foyer needs real furniture and furnishings that echo the style and mood of your home. If you are decorating a mountain cabin, add a soft plush rug and hall table finished in a warm wood tone to add warmth and coziness. If it’s a beach cottage bringing in a textured sisal rug and painted furniture will do the trick. Add a pair of wall sconces instead of table lamps and an oversized artwork instead of the usual wall mirror for added effect.
If you are lucky enough to have a sweeping circular staircase use it to advantage. Buy a round hall table to mirror the curved staircase. Place a tall vase on the table and fill it with long-stemmed flowers or dried branches thus drawing the eye upwards. Tuck in an armchair in the curve of the stairs. Make up a cozy nook to sit down and take off your high heels after a long day at work as well as a waiting area before heading out the door.
Cut a long story short
Some homes have a long and narrow hallway running the length of the house. This is a good problem to have. A long foyer can be a great blank canvas for creating a transition to the rest of the house. First divide the foyer into two parts. Make the first part a transition from the outdoor. The second part is a transition to the rest of the house.
Pull in what is in the adjoining spaces to create harmony. If the front hallway also has a set of stairs going up, spring for a fancy storage unit such as a tansu chaser against the wall opposite the stairs to draw the eye across the room and stretch the space visually.
Some houses have a small foyer that does not have a window. An obvious solution for a tiny window-less foyer is – wall sconces. Let there be light!
A small front hall can also benefit from wallpaper. There are many options to choose from for example a geometric print or a mural. a subtle pattern or a bold oversized print.
A carefully chosen wallpaper can turn a cramped room into a jewel box of an entryway without spending a lot of time or resources. It can upgrade your style setting the tone for the rest of your house.
Image credits – Entryway with pink carpeted stairs | Functional Foyer | Hallway with Marble floors – pics courtesy Verandah. Hallway with yellow walls | Entryway with black wall and painted furniture – pics courtesy Tori Black Homes. Foyer with Artwork | Long Narrow Hallway | Entryway with wall sconces | Bold Wallpaper Front Hall – pics courtesy House Beautiful.