First impressions are vital. I am sure many of you have taken time to pick out the perfect ensemble for a first date or interview. Houses are no different. Aside from the overall curb appeal and façade, foyers are the most important space for introducing the overall look and feel of your home. A well-curated foyer evokes a welcoming, personalized space that makes you proud and urges your guests to stay.
The below moodboard was created for a client here in Sydney who wanted to revamp her apartment entryway. She mentioned a family heirloom that she wanted to utilize in the foyer. In the design world, “family heirloom” is often code for “unsightly relic.” Lucky for me (and the client), the Oushak area rug that she revealed was beautiful. Her apartment is near the water, so the sandy-toned background and splashes of blue seemed like fate. It offered the inspiration I needed to spiff up her small space in no time.
Notice that I blended the old with the new, the sleek with traditional lines, the family heirloom and existing furniture with just a few new pieces. Not only was this methodology budget-friendly, it allowed for these beloved pieces to have a fresh new life, front and center! The main changes were applying a navy grasscloth to the walls and mounting sconces for some additional light. Otherwise, the entryway alterations were quick and easy.
- Existing Oushak Area Rug (Old)
- Client’s existing 19th c. English chest (Old)
- Sleek Capiz Mirror (New)
- Transitional Sconces (New)
- Navy Grasscloth Wallpaper (New)
- Schumacher Print Fabric (New)
- Fresh Flowers (New)
- Oil Painting (Old)
- Bamboo Bench (New)
I’ll leave you with these comprehensive tips to making your own foyer memorable, yet practical. Think of it as an outfit- you wouldn’t leave the house without shoes (OK, maybe you would here in Australia, bad example) but the point is, it must be complete. Envision the space as one, from the floor (shoes) to the furniture (outfit) to the accessories (jewelry). Combined, they should introduce colors and personal touches reflective of the remaining rooms in your home.
There are two main categories here: hard surfaces and area rugs. You may have the pleasure of owning a home with beautiful wood inlay flooring or a unique tile design. If so, avoid covering it up. Disregard the area rug and let its simple beauty remain untouched.
Otherwise, an area rug is really important. It offers softness, traction, and a method of bringing color into the space. I actually love antique rugs in a foyer as it makes dirty shoe tracks less detrimental. If you prefer a newer option, make sure you choose one with some texture or pattern, not only to offer interest but to disguise stains.
Chests provide great added storage, but ottomans placed under a console look chic (and add a place to sit if needed). If there is space, add a chair or bench for an extra place to perch.
Whether displayed over a chest or hanging smaller version near the door, a mirror is essential. Not only does it let light bounce around the space, it is a practical tool for checking your appearance before leaving. It may sound silly, but you rely on it more than you know.
Foyers are an ideal place to get creative. Paint the walls a high-gloss or apply that wallpaper you’ve had your eye on for years. This is also a great place to display a collection, whether a set of black and white photos or a variety of antique porcelain.
Do not go overboard here. If you have a favorite pair of lamps, display them on an entry console and leave overhead lighting simple. If you adore lanterns or chandeliers, use one in the entryway (watch the height with the front door!) as the main focal point. I also love sconces in foyers to keep the space on the entry table simple and clean. Put them on a dimmer switch if possible to control the ambience at different times of day.
These take the form in two main categories: practical and personal. By practical accessories, I mean a pretty dish for keys or baskets for kids to throw their shoes. By personal, I mean a stack of favorite coffee table books or an adored piece of art. A display of your favorite fresh flowers also does wonders.
No matter what the size, shape, and style of your foyer, spend some time on it. Tweak the details until is evokes a cohesive space that is welcoming, practical, and reflects your unique personality.