The foyer offers a first impression inside your home and is an opportunity to set the tone for the aesthetics in the rooms that follow. Although design taste is personal, there are guidelines from the experts that can help you avoid a dark and dreary entryway or just a plain awkward space. We’ve collected a list a do’s and don’ts for the foyer that will bring a bit of cheer every time you walk through the front door.
Foyer Design Don’ts
Large furniture. The foyer isn’t intended as a gathering space, so don’t place a big side table or bulky chairs here. Even if you have a wide, open foyer that will fit large furniture, it will probably feel awkward here. Use furniture sparingly and keep it small and slender.
Cluttered coat rack and floor. Coats, shoes, keys, and mail all tend to get dumped in the foyer. If a few hooks on the wall are meant to house the entire family’s coats and jackets, a big mess is likely the first thing in one’s line of sight upon entry. And shoes left on the floor always present a tripping hazard. If there’s no foyer coat closet, you need a better organizational system.
Theme décor. Themes feel right in kids’ bedrooms and recreational rooms, but not in the foyer. Resist the urge to put your beach, sailing, or “Live, Laugh, Love” themes all in one place.
Too bland or too bold color. Color for the foyer can be tricky. Most people defer to something very neutral, though some go too far in the opposite direction. This makes for either a bland or overly bold statement upon entry. You may want to follow the 60/30/10 rule, which means 60% is a main color, 30% is a complementary shade, and 10% is a pop of something deeper or brighter.
Foyer Design Do’s
Good lighting. Proper lighting is welcoming. Darkness, whether from lack of good light or from darkly painted walls, creates a feeling of wanting to leave. Ensure you have a proper size light that fits your foyer and keep the walls on the light side of the color spectrum. If you have natural light to help brighten this space, even better.
Large rug. Too many people skimp on the entryway rug size. Welcome mat size is for the exterior of the home. You should have at minimum a three-by-five-foot rug in the foyer. Smaller sizes feel awkward for guests.
Hanging mirror. An entryway mirror offers style and function simultaneously. It can enlarge an otherwise cramped-looking space. It’s also your last check for what you look like before heading out the door.
Sitting spot. Because not everyone is still spry, it’s nice to have a quick spot to sit for taking off or putting on shoes when coming and going. This can be a minimalist bench or stool with a decorative flair. No need to find a grand sofa chair.
Organization for clutter. As mentioned earlier, we all have regular “stuff” that gets dumped in the foyer. There are plenty of stylish yet functional pieces you can use to help organize the mess. These might include a key caddy, a small mail table, an elegant coat and umbrella stand, or a shoe cubby. Keep the foyer closet or coat rack thinned out so that less frequently used items are tucked away elsewhere.
Real Estate Term of the Week
Professional Organizer: Designs systems and processes using organizing principles to help individuals and businesses take control of their surroundings, time, paper, and systems for everyday life.