The foyer is the room that greets you as soon as you step through the front door. This is the first space and sometimes the only space guests see of your home, yet often foyers or entryways are neglected. This strikes me as odd. Somehow, I always think of the foyer as one of the most important rooms in the home. The foyer is usually where first impressions are made.
Some say their foyer is so small, why bother with it at all? I have had others explain that their foyer is so grand that it feels cold and uninviting, no matter what they do to it. Whatever the size of your foyer, you should make the most of it! There is no reason in the world, why your foyer shouldn’t be stylish. The tiniest of foyers can be made to feel grand. Likewise, the grandest of foyers can have a sophisticated coziness.
Follow your heart! You can be as adventurous with pattern and color as you desire in this room. You can get away with it in the foyer, because remember you are only in this room for brief periods of time. You’ll want the room to have impact and make a statement. Of course, keeping in mind the spaces your entry foyer may be linked to. This after all, is the space where your guest will get a preview of the rooms to come. The goal is to create a continuous flow, room to room, each space complimenting the other.
Where do I start? What about the walls? What kind of furniture should I use in the entry foyer? How should I accessorize my foyer?
· Wall color should never be chosen strictly according to the latest trends or home fashions. Instead, choose colors that suit the character of your home.
· You should select a color that makes you feel comfortable and happy.
· Choose a color that will give you a lift when you come through the door after a long day.
· Textured, glazed or marbleizing walls are an excellent choice. It’s virtually impossible to see dirty marks or fingerprints.
· Give your walls a kind of strie’ effect of three or four different shades by glazing any darker color with a lighter one.
· Pastel or softer colors look better in flat paint.
· Chocolate brown or very dark colors, I think look better with a little shine to them. The satin or semi finish will keep them from looking dreary by reflecting light around the room.
· Painting is the most cost effective way to give your room lots of impact.
· You may want to select a striking wallpaper pattern in keeping with the color scheme of the rest of the home. Stripes are great for adding volume and height.
· If you choose wallpaper with lots of pattern, you will have very little need for pictures or artwork
· When choosing wallpaper, don’t assume that a small foyer should be papered with an equally small printed design. Some of the prettiest foyers I’ve been in, were small ones, where the paper chosen was large scale and very bold. The effect was wonderful!
· The entry is the perfect spot for tromp l’oeil. Possibly a mural of a Grecian urn or a large topiary.
· If your foyer lacks architectural interest, secure an oversized decorative wall shelf or bracket on the wall directly facing you as you walk through the door. I like to place them on the wall at least five feet high or higher depending on ceiling height. This is a great place to display an elegant antique vase or urn. In a less formal setting you may want to display a simple pot of trailing ivy to add softness. This is also a great idea because it keeps your floor space free of clutter.
· In a small foyer maximize the light and make a tight area feel less cramped with a floor to ceiling mirror.
· Your foyer may be a tiny space with only a coat closet and no place to hang a mirror. So why not mirror the closet door! This will make your space appear larger. Depending on how your closet door is positioned, it may double a gorgeous view of the outdoors.
· Sometimes foyers can be devoid of natural light. You guessed it! Add a mirror! It’s like having a window where there isn’t one. Thus, catching every trace of light, bringing the space to life!
· In any foyer there is nothing more beautiful than using a fine gilt framed mirror.
· Change out your old lighting fixture and replace it with a new chandelier. This will improve the rooms’ light and add charm.
· Give attention to hardware in the room. The switch plate cover for instance should be attractive. This gives a sense of quality. Especially in the foyer. If you can’t afford to replace your switch plate cover that’s okay, just make sure that it blends in. If the walls are painted, paint it to match. If they are papered, well you get the idea.
· If you are using a pricey rug in your entry. Do what I do. Protect it with a small washable throw rug. Covering the spot most traveled on a daily basis. Then for special occasions stow the throw rug in the closet. Meanwhile, the better rug will stay clean.
· No space for a rug? Paint an interesting design on the floor. There are a wide variety of stencils that you can use if you do not consider yourself an artist. Be sure to use a sealer topcoat to ensure your painted design holds up to heavy traffic and will clean up easily.
· A plant stand made of wood; wicker or iron with a luscious green fern is a gracious look.
· Why not use the foyer as a tiny art gallery? Designate an entry hall area or wall where you can hang paintings or pictures that are special to you.
· Hang a group of fine prints all framed the same. The prints will stand out more, if the color of the frames contrast with the wall color.
· A small chair may be all you need in your foyer, providing a place for a visitor to rest. It also serves as a temporary place for packages or anything you need to put down as you come through the door.
· A narrow console table may be just the ticket.
· A towering case clock is always great in a foyer.
· Garden Statuary isn’t just for the garden. Bring it indoors! Be greeted by a life size statue. Depending on your budget you could select from concrete, resin, marble or bronze.
· Use an oversized urn with a sprawling palm tree.
· A 19th century Victorian Hall Tree in the right home would be beautiful and functional. An antique store would be the best place to look for a piece like this or better yet an auction or estate sale.
· Use a pair of corbels topped with marble or a pair of iron supports topped with glass for a shelf to hold a vase of flowers, keys and mail.
· Hang a tapestry on an iron rod and place a garden bench beneath. The tapestry will add softness and texture. The bench will not only be esthetically pleasing but functional as well, serving as a place for removing shoes or simply a resting place.
· If you have the ample room in your foyer, using a chest or commode is an excellent choice. The top of the chest gives you plenty of area to display your favorite lamp or a pair of candlestick lamps. You may also want to accessorize with a small collection of boxes or any other collection. I love the idea of all the extra storage space you gain when using a chest.
· I would also suggest a pair of occasional chairs to flank the chest of drawers.
· I love to group, silver candlesticks on foyer a table.
· A large crystal compote placed on any foyer furniture piece looks fascinating. In the Spring, fill it with fresh flowers…Summertime it can be filled with loads of seashells…Fall, potpourri with your favorite scent…Christmas, fill it with beautiful sparkling ornaments and in between seasons it will look dazzling all by itself.
I have more ideas I’ll share with you later! So have fun decorating your foyer!
©Donna Jolean 2005 January
For more ideas and articles, please check Donna's site at http://www.classicdazzle.com
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