Is your foyer fabulous or forgettable? The entrance to your home should hint at what is to come — like the introduction to a great book. The foyer at my listing 1905 Lone Oak Point is one of the finest I’ve ever seen and prompted this post on how to make the most of yours.
Some entryways are spacious and others are intimate. Some may even be nonexistent. If that’s the case, make the most of the walls near your door. Don’t settle for a pass through with no panache.
First, you may want to roll out a rug to add texture and color. Your space will dictate shape and size. When it comes to fiber, aim for durability. Wool in a darker color or pattern will stand up to wear and tear. Nylon is your best synthetic choice for a high traffic area. It’s less expensive than wool but more expensive than other synthetics. Here in the low country, natural fibers such as sisal and jute are practically de rigueur.
Showcase pristine hard wood floors if you have them. Note the hickory flooring in the photos of 1905 Lone Oak Point, which are forgiving of dust and animal hair while looking lovely.
Repainted in a splashy red, the old wooden side chair you almost donated could be perfect for taking off rain boots by the door. Or, for more seating, consider a bench. I’ve used salvaged church pews. Add custom cushions for color and to soften the space.
Umbrella stands are my favorite foyer accessory. Find one loaded with personality at a flea market, antique store or estate sale. If you don’t have a closet in your foyer, add a coat rack or decorative wall hooks.
If you have the square feet, consider placing a console or accent table near the door. You can stash large baskets underneath it for more storage. The drawers in a small table or bureau can offer hidden storage as well as a surface for decorative items such as a clock or a vase of fresh flowers from your garden.
Decorative mirrors look beautiful, expand the space and offer a last minute checkpoint for lipstick and hair. If you don’t have one on hand, find good deals at garage sales and discount home stores.
Overhead lighting gets noticed in foyers. Splurge to make a wow statement. The super-sized brass beauty in my Philly foyer was salvaged from a local motor lodge that was being torn down. It was exactly what I could afford at the time. Free. That wouldn’t matter unless I loved it and I did.
The bottom of the fixture should hang at least seven to seven and a half feet above the floor. In a two-story foyer, hang the chandelier so it’s even with the top of the staircase. Or, do as the owners of my Lone Oak Point listing did. Stagger a grouping. If there are tall windows, cater to curb appeal and adjust height so the chandelier is visible from the outside.
For eight-foot ceilings, stick with a flush-mounted fixture. The styles are seemingly endless.
To calculate what size chandelier or ceiling fixture you’ll need for a foyer, measure the width and length of the entry space in feet. The fixture’s diameter should be the sum of those two numbers converted to inches. That’s it for math. I promise.
Stairways are often in the foyer mix. Builder-grade spindles, newel posts and banisters can be oh so boring. Hit a local salvage warehouse for an architecturally interesting replacement.
My Lone Oak listing’s grand curved staircase is even more dramatic because the hickory wood treads are stained a deep dark brown to contrast with the light hickory flooring of the foyer. You can also have fun with risers. I’ve seen wallpaper applied to risers and painted ombre effects where the risers go from lighter to darker tints in the same color.
The walls leading up the stairs and through foyer hallways can house a gallery of artwork, family photos or a mix of both. Most of my family is faraway so I enjoy seeing their faces and our history.
However, spectacular architectural details may be all you need. The curved foyer walls of 1905 Lone Oak Point are dressed in judge’s paneling and triple crown moulding completes the craftsmanship.
I hope these ideas gave you inspiration. Your foyer should welcome you home with a hug.