When you ask people what their favorite room of the house is you will get a variety of answers: for the workaholic it may be the cozy yet cluttered home office; the busy mother finds solice in her guest room-turned reading room while the chef retreats to the kitchen. Though the answers are varied there is always one area of the home that gets passed over: The foyer. In smaller homes this space is called an entryway as a foyer, by definition, includes an “entrance hallway”.
Many clients hire me because they’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, decorating the other rooms of the home yet still complain of a “cold, uninviting” environment. It never takes me long to spot the culprit– an ignored entryway or foyer is often to blame. This is the first thing your guests see upon entering your residence. For many of us its the first thing we see when we come home from a rough day of work and the last thing we see before heading out for the day. Why put all of your energy into every room but this one? Here are my solutions to the most common problems I see:
Dead space: Try a console table but refrain from the demilune (half-table) style if you have a narrow space. No room for a table or chest? Try a bench instead, which come in a variety of sizes and styles. This comes in handy for removing shoes upon entering the home (a must if you hope to prolong the life of your carpet).
A “closed in” feeling: A large mirror or a collection of smaller mirrors will make your small entryway seem much larger instantly. Even if you have a small entrance, go ahead and opt for the oversized mirror. Sometimes a small mirror in a small space is the same as doing nothing at all.
Builder-grade walls: You’ve painted your bedroom, faux-finished the bathrooms and added beadboard paneling to the living room. It all looks lovely. So why is your entryway still white (or whatever boring tan color your builder selected)??? The paint color you choose for this space is perhaps one of the most important ones. Go too dark and you create a “cave” when you wanted “airy”. Too light and the walls run together with no clear definition and little interest.
Clutter: For those of us who use the foyer/entryway rather than entering through the garage, this area can quickly get out of hand. Shoes on the floor, coats, purses, change, car keys, mail, it all ends up here if you’re not intentional about the design of your space. Try attractive, durable baskets on the floor (under your new table?) for shoes/toys/dog leash/etc. Petite trays, bowls or platters can be purchased inexpensively to hold keys/phones/mail. Chances are you already have a serving dish in your kitchen that will do just fine. Hang hooks for the coats, briefcases and purses. If you inherited OCD from your elders like I did, two seperate trays mounted to the wall will serve you well: one for incoming mail, one for outgoing mail.
Boring decor: No need to cram every pretty object you own onto the foyer table. Keep it simple and pretty. Fresh flowers go a long way and don’t have to be pricey. Most grocery stores now carry a decent selection of flowers year-round.
The guests will be here soon, what are you waiting for? GO, GO!
For more decorating ideas, visit the Designing Diva gallery at www.decorateokc.net.