Vestibule, foyer, entryway — this space goes by many names and serves a number of purposes. It welcomes guests to your home, tells the story of the people who live there, and provides much-needed storage. With so much to do in a limited space, designing a great entryway can be challenging. Check out these simple tips to make your foyer functional and fabulous. Whether you’re making the improvements for yourself or hoping to entice a prospective buyer, you’ll be glad you did.
Tell a story. The entryway sets the tone for the entire interior of your home and tells the story of the people who live there. What do you want your entryway to say? Ideally, you’ll greet guests with a defined space that says this home is stylish, neat, and clean. A small furniture piece or shelving provides storage. An area rug or runner provides warmth and also helps to further define the space. Tasteful art and a few select accent items create interest and a preview of your home’s style.
Cleanliness counts. Don’t greet your guests with a mess. Clean windows and mirrors, wash the baseboards and hard surfaces, dust furniture and fixtures, and remove stray marks on walls. Oil door hinges and make sure knobs and locks are in good condition.
Size matters. Foyers come in all shapes and sizes—from virtually nonexistent to mammoth. Consider the scale of your furniture and the size of your space. A cramped entryway is not appealing. Nor is a tiny table in a grand space. The same goes for art and other décor items. If you have large walls or vaulted ceilings, you’ll want larger light fixtures and paintings.
Smart storage. An entryway is easily cluttered with keys, mail, mittens, and all the other items we drop when we walk in the door. A well-chosen piece of furniture will keep things neat and organized. Secretary desks, storage benches, or even an interesting chest of drawers are all good choices. Select something that fits the space and the style of your home. The idea is to make your storage solution a creative focal point.
Keep it light. Bright homes make the best impressions. Set a slim-based table lamp on a desk or console. Hang a fixture in the hallway. A mirror is another way to lighten your foyer and create the illusion of extra space.
Look around. Take the time to view the rest of your home from the vantage point of your entryway. Make sure the view is cohesive and in good condition. Check the stairs and surrounding areas. Does the trim match? Do the colors coordinate? The good feeling you establish in your entryway should flow through the rest of your home.
Closets carry weight. Hang only a few regularly used items on good quality, wooden hangers in your front hall closet. Pack up out-of-season items and remove everything from the closet floor. Doing this will help ensure there’s always room for your guests’ items. As a bonus, you’ll have a great-looking closet year round.