Whether you pronounce this room in your home “Foy-er” (North American), “Foy-ah” (Massachusetts) or “Foy-ay” (Classic British), the Oxford dictionary defines this important residential space as “an entrance hall or other open area…”
With accents and formalities aside, what does this room mean to you from a design standpoint? Well, I’ll tell you that I think it’s one of the most important spaces in the home and here’s why. In short, this space is your home’s first impression – regardless of neighborhood, scale, style, or budget – this entry point sets the tone of what’s to come. AND, in my opinion, the easiest and most cost effective space to design and outfit. I ask my clients “How do you want to portray your home’s look and feel to guests? Because, this is where that all begins.”
Formal, casual, utilitarian…? Let’s break this area down design block by design block.
Storage – big and small
Do you have closet space or do you need furniture pieces to check this important item off? If you have closet space in this area, I go to my 98% rule – “how will this space be used 98% of the time?” Day in and day out, you’ll want ample hangers and even some stacked storage for your shoes, boots, etc. When guests are calling, a few extra hangers will be suffice. For smaller storage, you’ll want surface area or small drawers for items that you or your guests will walk in the door and drop – think keys, purses and umbrellas.
Decor – pretty vs functional…scratch that, pretty AND functional
This is where the entry storage piece makes her dramatic entrance. Open? Closed? Doors? Drawers? …Overwhelmed yet? Well, don’t be. The good news is there are thousands of options in every style and budget. A sleek stone table, painted table with drawers, fluted cabinet with doors…an option for all esthetics/budgets can be found in a few clicks. A beautifully designed console table can check the impact box for great style, but adding smart storage checks the functionality box. This piece provides a surface for not only great decorative items, but also a perch for guests’ item’s upon entry.
Mirror or artwork – or, both?
Sitting proudly above your console table is a natural spot for a mirror, and/or artwork. Think big mirror to check yourself prior to walking out the door, or a prominent spot for loved art that helps great guests and give a sneak peek to what your style is that they’ll see more of shortly. Sometimes, it’s both! Best of both worlds – hanging a mirror and flanking it with stacked smaller pieces of art which provide more design impact.
Hidden storage – Baskets –
Hidden storage tricks like larger baskets tucked neatly underneath a console table or bench can house more unsightly items like extra shoes or our furry friends’ item’s living steps from where they’re needed. I try to leave an empty option for overnight guests, so I can keep my entry way neat and tidy, but my guests feel like their items are easily accessible.
One for pretty and well, one for dirty. I keep a smaller 2×3′ rug upon entry for the day in and day out feet wiping (dogs and humans) and then a more statement rug to define the space. Now, “statement” here absolutely does not mean expensive. Think design defining piece for the space. I often select a low budget item for this, now, I know it’s going to get a lot of wear and tear, it’s not a place to drop money. There are thousands of rugs on the market, every color, shape, size and price point. Pick what works for you. Oh and BTW… select one that you’re not heartbroken to replace in a few years when the family, dogs, in-laws….etc have “loved” it to pieces, literally pieces.
Next up Jewelry, I mean Lighting. Similar to jewelry being the finishing touch to your outfit, lighting is the finishing touch to any space. Once I have the previous design boxes checked, I want to look at everything as a whole and see where to go here. What best compliments the console, mirror, artwork? Do I want sparkly, dramatic, minimalist? Options are infinite both in style and budget. I also pause to think about function. Are there overhead lights? Wall sconces? Lamps? Ideally we can have it all but if not, think about how you can address functional lighting.
January 30, 2023