Consider the foyer or entryway as part of the welcoming committee to your home. It is your greeting place, where you embrace and receive family and friends. Therefore, your goal should be for the foyer to be just as friendly and accepting. Plus, it is the first impression visitors will have of your abode.
Whether your foyer is your primary entrance or only used occasionally (and mostly by guests), please assess your entryway with me…
How do you feel when you enter your home through the foyer? What do you notice? Is it cluttered? Is there a place for guests to hang coats and take off their shoes? How is the lighting? Do the colors reflect your family’s personality? Do the colors lead your guests into the rest of your home or does it abruptly stop? Is there ample room to greet guests?
When we first viewed our home and walked through the door, the foyer felt worn. What we noticed:
- The solid double doors did not allow any natural light into the room
- The overhead light was dim
- The poor lighting in the foyer made the space feel smaller even though it was completely empty
- The curved wall encompassing the bathroom was fun and unique
- The curved wall was very bold (red)
- The tile in the foyer stopped abruptly and did not create a welcoming flow thru the house
How we created visual and functional harmony:
Paint. Picking the perfect paint color is quite a big task. Why? Because a house needs to flow, especially in homes with an open layout and long, unbroken wall space. I prefer neutral walls. I like to add splashes of color and contrast in decorating. Painting a wall can be a tedious task verses updating wall hangings and decorations to reflect seasonal colors or my change of taste. I have a whole post dedicated to “How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color” coming soon so stay tuned and you’ll understand why we chose Cathedral Stone and a sandy taupe for our color palette.
Lighting. I love chandeliers, but it was not feasible for this space. (If you have a vaulted entryway, go ahead and go for big and beautiful.) We have 8’ ceilings and we needed to make sure even our tallest of friends had clearance. We also wanted a light with some personality. We had already picked out our paint colors so this short-stemmed hanging light fixture with taupe & brown accents made it a perfect fit.
Our biggest lighting improvement came when we replaced the solid double doors with a single ¾ glass paned door and sidelights. I understand this can be very costly or even prohibited by landlords. However, if you are considering replacing your door, think of not only the exterior appearance, but how it will affect your interior appearance and lighting as well.
Functionality. Besides welcoming guests, we needed the foyer to be purposeful. We needed somewhere to kick off and store our shoes. Plus, in the reconstruction of some areas on the main level, our coat closet was shrunk to a modest 24” wide. So we needed somewhere for both our family and our guests to quickly and accessibly hang coats. However, our challenge was the curved wall. While we loved the uniqueness, it restricted furniture possibilities. Thus enter the coat tree. We chose one that swivels so as to fully and easily maximize its hanging capacity. And by concealing it behind the door, it amplified foyer space when greeting guests. Likewise, our shoe solution was the Stall shoe cabinet from IKEA. With its depth being a mere 6 ¾”, we had an ample passageway through the foyer and four compartments in which to store shoes. (BTW… we have gotten so many compliments on this piece! You can check it out online at http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90178174/)
Decorating. This actually took some thoughtful consideration for me and I tried out several pieces. Options for the round wall seem to be limited to wallpaper, stenciling, or wall decals. I’m still musing over this one, but for now I’ll keep it plain. Therefore there were only two decorating spaces left. Straight in front of the front door below the doorbell or over the shoe cabinet. I chose the shoe cabinet to focus on. I initially used one large frame to display our family picture (which felt dull and overdone) and tried a myriad different ideas for the top of the shoe cabinet, none of which “did it for me.” I wanted color. I wanted simple. I wanted to capture our liveliness and energy and yet welcome our guests. Finally, I stumbled upon the solution in the frame department of Hobby Lobby! Colorful, shapely, expressive frames! And, with a couple simple, self-arranged (fake) succulents, my goal was achieved!
I would like to note that details do count. Even something as simple as a floor rug can make a big impact in your room, especially a small space. Consider if the size is appropriate and how the colors will blend. Do the colors compliment your paint palette? Don’t know? Pick out at couple rugs and lay them out at home. I bought two rugs I thought I would like, but positioning them in the foyer gave the grey/blue/brown patterned one clear staying rights!