Designing and Decorating a Welcoming Foyer

Designing and Decorating a Welcoming Foyer

To some homeowners the foyer is simply a place to enter and exit the house, but to others it is a space to combine decorating style with function and practicality. A foyer should be balanced and well-lit while providing plenty of handy and practical storage space for shoes, outerwear, and other entryway items such as keys and mail. Consider the following ideas on designing and decorating a welcoming foyer for a space that is as functional as it is stylish.

Designing an Entryway with Sidelights

Before a home is built, many designs feature optional entryway sidelights. They frame one or both sides of the doorway, and depending on the extent of the outdoor overhang and the direction the entryway faces, sidelights can let in a tremendous amount of natural light. If possible, opt for dual sidelights to let in the greatest amount of natural light to create a warm and welcoming feel. Keep in mind that sidelights can be covered with sheer window treatments for privacy, or they can be designed using opaque glass that allows light to shine through while distorting the view.

Consider Hanging Pendant or Chandelier Lighting

In addition to natural illumination, consider designing a foyer with chandelier or pendant lighting. For the greatest visual impact, the light must be positioned not too high above the floor or too low. Hang a chandelier or pendant light too low in the foyer and it will visually lower the height of the ceiling. Position the fixture too high and the lighting will not look nearly as dramatic. The proper height for the lowest point of a chandelier or pendant light is approximately six feet nine inches from the floor. At this height it will make the greatest visual impression, and it will be high enough to clear the heads of most people entering the home.

Add a Console or a Re-purposed Sofa Table

A place to toss keys, gloves, and mail is a must in a fully functional foyer, and a console or a repurposed sofa table is the ideal furnishing. Not only can a sofa table or console work to temporarily hold odds and ends, but it can also add a considerable amount of style to the foyer. Re-purpose a sofa table to a spacious foyer or invest in a small console to embellish a more modest foyer. In addition, be sure to center the furnishing of choice against a wall. Pushing one side into a corner will make the foyer appear cramped and inadequate.

Accessorize The Foyer with a Stylish Table Lamp

When natural lighting is not enough, and when overhead lighting is too much, a table lamp can provide just the right amount of illumination in a foyer. Instead of using an ordinary table lamp with a plain shade, look into the many stylish options that are designed to add character as well as light. In a contemporary foyer, consider a table lamp with an interesting shape and a unique design. In a traditional foyer, contemplate selecting timeless wrought iron with a pleated shade. In any case, keep in mind that lampshades are designed to direct various levels of lighting, and a sheer shade will allow more light into the foyer whereas thicker material will direct the lighting to the surface below.

Add a Practical and Stylish Runner

An area rug or runner adds warmth and welcoming appeal to a foyer. It also provides protection for the flooring beneath. However, a rug designed to protect does not have to lack style. Select a practical and stylish runner that serves double duty to protect the floor and add color and design to the foyer. Keep in mind that an area rug or runner should not completely overtake the square footage in a foyer. As a rule of thumb it should not expand down the entire length of the foyer, and it should be at least eighteen inches from the walls on both sides.

Wall Décor Ideas for The Foyer

When decorating a welcoming foyer, stylish eye-catching wall décor is a must. However, before selecting wall décor, take into consideration the dimension of bare walls. A small work of art will look miniscule on an expansive foyer wall, and an oversized wall hanging will overtake the space. Keep balance and proportion in mind when selecting wall art of any variety to design a welcoming foyer that is well-composed and harmonized.

Metal wall art is ideal for decorating walls in a welcoming foyer. Contrary to popular belief, metal works of sculptured wall art can be quite colorful. Consider a large work of metal art to create a vibrant focal point in the foyer, and decorate around it with a pair of stylish wall pockets or planters filled with faux blooms and foliage.

The addition of a wall mirror is also an excellent choice when designing and decorating a welcoming foyer. Select a wall mirror that matches the decorating style of the space, and position the center a few inches above eye-level over a sofa table or console. Tabletop lighting will add double the amount of illumination in the foyer, and tabletop art reflected by the mirror will be visible from many more angles.

Ideas for Adding Concealed Storage

Storage is essential in a foyer, and storage options are available that go far beyond the typical entryway coat closet. Contemplate the addition of an ottoman with hidden storage beneath the top. It will serve double-duty as a storage space and a comfortable place to sit while putting on footwear.

Concealed storage can also be placed beneath a foyer bench. If space allows, invest in a stylish bench with hidden storage space for shoes, boots, and other footwear. This will help to eliminate the compilation of shoes in the doorway. It will also help make the foyer appear more welcoming while providing an area to sit down.

In any case, opt for symmetry while designing and decorating a welcoming foyer. Paying attention to details will help pull the look together in a balanced way. With the aforementioned ideas for designing and decorating a foyer, it is possible to transform an otherwise faux pas space into a stylish and inviting area of the home.

The Author:

Home decor specialist Alyssa Davis is the senior staff writer for and offers numerous other ideas for displaying decorative music metal wall decor and abstract wall art throughout the home.

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