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What Is a Foyer? + How to Decorate One

A foyer is an entryway. In a hotel, it is a lobby; In a private residence, it is the space or hallway leading up to the front door.
Think of a foyer as the lobby of the home. It’s a reception area where hosts can welcome and greet their guests, and guests can shed their coats and drop their purses. Because it's the home’s “first impression,” foyers are often formal. Especially when throwing a party, hosts will want to make this space extra special and inviting with beautiful art and decor.

If all of this sounds like something out of a grand entrance in a Victorian mansion, it’s not. Well, at one point in history it was, but today, foyer is a term that can be applied to entrances of modern homes, of any size, everywhere.

How to Create a Foyer in an Open Living Room

If you have an open living room that shares the same floor as the front door, then creating a foyer in your home will be easier than most others! Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Define the space with a rug or runner. The area rug is notorious for its ability to define spaces. For small spaces with no entry, placing a rug in front of a front door will open up an “entryway” you never knew was there!
  2. Set the purpose. The parts of a home can be easily identified by their purposes. A space with sofas is obviously a sitting room or living room; a space with bar seating or kitchen islands is obviously the kitchen; and a space with a desk and filing cabinet is obviously an office. Since a foyer is meant to transition you from the outside in, make it obvious that that’s what it does: Add wall hooks for hanging coats, a bench for removing shoes and a console table for placing keys and purses.
  3. Make it pretty. A traditional foyer is as fancy as its name sounds. Add in some ravishing decor like mirrors and wall art to give the space an extra bit of formality.

Even More Foyer Décor Ideas

One of the keys to making a foyer feel large and grand is color.

Paint the wall adjacent to the door something light and fresh like cream or beige.

Hang up wall art to contrast with the paint – white, blue or purple canvas. Heighten the stakes – literally – with decor above; A sparkly chandelier will catch light and reflect an elegant feel. Down below, leave your floors bare (for the most part).

As mentioned above, you’ll want a rug to define the space, but don’t go overboard; a slim runner or smaller round rug will give the space the perfect touch of coziness – while letting it breathe and your floors a chance to shine.

If you’re working with a smaller space, you’ll want to draw the eye to the limits of the room (making the space in between feel more expansive). In plain language: Call attention to the walls. Do this through wall art – and decor like mirrors and tapestriesBenches and console tables are also perfect for this purpose: They’re slim and can push up right against a wall, taking up little space.

For bigger spaces, an accent chair or table makes a beautiful statement – and sort of “teases” the rest of your home. If your style is mid-century modern, for example, a mid-century modern accent chair placed in a foyer will “whet the appetite” of sorts for what is to follow.

No matter the size of your foyer or entryway, remember: This should be a space that’s reflective of your personality. If you’re not sure where to start or if the idea of a “guest reception area” feels intimidating, try imagining a space you yourself would love to walk into – and then go create it!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.