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I’m back with another installment of Design Chat. This time I’m answering a question from Katie regarding her foyer.
“Shelly, I am struggling with how to decorate my foyer. The space is rather small and once inside the door, the dining room opens up on the right and there is a wall on the left which is about 8 feet long. I’ve tried different furniture pieces and nothing seems right or is balanced against the dining room opening and furniture. Can you give me some tips and ideas on how to decorate a foyer.” –Katie
I asked Katie a couple of questions to get a better understanding of her space and the image above represents the general layout of Katie’s foyer.
The Design Tips:
Foyers come in all shapes and sizes and can be challenging find the right combination of furniture, wall decor, accessories and lighting to fit the space. Although challenging, there are a few design guidelines I can share to help Katie and anyone else decorating their foyer:
♦ Foyers often serve as a decorative spaces while at the same time needing to have some functional aspects (drop zone for keys, mail etc.) to the design so keep that in mind when selecting furniture, accessories and lighting.
♦ Select furniture that fits the scale of the space. Since there is a long wall that you want to place furniture on, select a piece that fills at least 50 to 75% of the wall space. Small scale furniture on a long wall will look wimpy.
♦ Lighting is always a great addition to any foyer space even if it will be used just for ambient light. Wall sconces are a nice alternative to tabletop lamps and don’t forget to put your lighting on a dimmer to control the light intensity within the space.
♦ Rugs will help ground your foyer and create a landing spot for guest as they enter and exit your home.
♦ Mirrors are a smart wall decor choice especially if your foyer doesn’t get a lot of natural light. Mirrors will magnify any light coming into the foyer giving it a brighter appearance.
♦ If the foyer is a main entrance and exit point for the home and there is room for seating, a chair or two flanking a console table or cabinet is a nice addition. Chairs ccreate an additional layer of design, color and pattern.
♦ If the overall foyer space lacks architectural details (chair rail, wainscoting) consider wallpaper, a paint treatment or decorative molding to add interest to the wall and serve as a backdrop to your furniture and decor.
Furniture with artistic details like this cabinet will add a lot of drama to a foyer. And notice the accessories–although they are not symmetrical, the groupings on each side of the cabinet balance each other.
Open console tables keep a small foyer from feeling over-crowded and the space under the table is ideal for a bench or ottomans which can also be used for additional seating in other parts of the home. The size of the artwork is proportionate to the size of the table and the lamps are in scale with the overall arrangement.
Baskets under a console table provide the perfect spot to drop gloves, shoes or even a handbag. And the texture it provides is an added bonus.
Another alternative to a table or cabinet in the foyer is a bench. A bench creates a cozy feel and can function as a spot to place bags upon entering the house.
So for Katie, here’s the recommendation for her foyer:
♦ fill the narrow wall space near the door with a grouping of three art pieces
♦ create a furniture and decor vignette on the long wall
♦ add an area rug for color, pattern and softness
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If you are challenged with decorating your foyer, I hope these tips help.
If you have a design challenge, leave a question/comment and I’ll answer your challenge in a future edition of Design Chat.