Get the most out of foyer decor
By Melissa Erickson
The foyer is a place of welcome and transition. Enhance your entryway with some tips from expert designers:
“Given your entryway may be the only room a person ever sees, consider what you want people to know about you. It’s a great place to hang a sign saying something about your family, your love of a pet, your beliefs, a motivational saying. The entryway is usually a place where so much happens, so it’s important that everything in there serve a purpose, especially if you are tight on space,” said interior decorator Ellen Lindgren, owner of Ellen Lindgren Interiors.
Clutter-free and organized
“Nothing makes a small space look cluttered faster than shoes, keys, backpacks and other accoutrements that end up on the floor or bench instead of in their proper home,” said Lesley Myrick, owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design. “If there’s a closet, invest in a great closet system to maximize storage. If you’re without a closet, a tall, slender shelving unit with bins or baskets can bring order to the chaos.”
“Since the entryway is likely the collection spot for a lot of the random things that come through your door, give it a home,” whether that means generic square cubbies with basket inserts or a small built-in, said Kayla Hein, creative director at ModernCastle.com. “Painting an entry built-in the same color as the existing trim in your home will help it to look like it was always there. Simply adding painted beadboard and hooks is a quick and inexpensive way to get the built-in look without the cost.”
“If a shoe cabinet would never work for your family, consider placing a large wicker basket in your entryway. Kids can just kick their shoes off and throw them in the basket,” said Sarah Karakaian, interior designer and owner of Nestrs. “Make it a chore for someone to return all the shoes to their rightful owners before bedtime.”
“The biggest mistake people make with small entries, believe it or not, is going too small with their design elements,” said interior designer Rebecca West, owner of Seriously Happy Homes. “Choose as large a rug as will fit in the space, and hang a large mirror or piece of art. Having fewer, larger things can make a space feel intentional and interesting, while a bunch of small things ends up looking cluttered. Go smaller on depth — keep tables, benches and other things that protrude into the room as shallow as possible.”
If space is lacking, think vertically
“Interesting wall hooks for coats or bags could serve as art pieces as well as for having a place to hang things,” said Marina V. Umali of Marina V Design Studio.
“For small entries, shallow wall-mount shelves can be a great way to provide a place for mail and a few decorative accents without sacrificing valuable floor space,” said Tory Keith, president of Board and Park.
“For small-sized entryways, consider implementing multifunctional furniture pieces into your design — trunks provide storage, but can also double as a bench,” said Tracy Stern, of T&T Design,.
Let there be light
“Invest in a pretty chandelier to greet guests,” said designer Shell Neeley of J. Banks Design. “Layers of lighting are great. If you have room for a side table, add lamps. These create a nice ambiance.
“Incorporating pendant lighting adds a touch of warm and inviting character to any space. Hanging lights also take up less space than a table or floor lamp, which will make your foyer seem larger and clutter-free,” said Molly Kay, community manager at Arhaus Furniture.
“I think we are seeing a rise in the appreciation of hand craftsmanship, so we are starting to see some beautiful rugs making an entry come alive, or some fantastic handmade frames, etc. People are looking for unique and unusual pieces so that they can use this moment as a statement of their taste but also of their ability to curate an interesting collection,” said interior designer Mark Cutler.
“Interesting flooring that can be installed to visually enlarge a small entranceway, such as installing tile or wood planks on an angle or juxtaposition to the flooring of the room adjacent to the entryway, can set off the entry as an interesting, but separate room,” said Leslie Markman-Stern, president of Leslie M. Stern Design.“Circular mirrors have been increasingly popular in 2018, are great for small spaces and blend nicely across most design styles. Complete the space with a dramatic pendant light fixture. We find that geometric shapes work best in foyer areas as these shapes distribute light across the whole room, while providing the biggest ‘wow’ factor,” said interior designer Dayna Hairston.