You must have often heard that the first impression is the last impression. And true to this adage, the first thing guests notice when they walk into your home is the entrance or foyer of the house. Thus it is important to design this space in a way, which creates an impact. The foyer design should also be representative of the design style followed in the rest of the house. Sometimes, houses are built without foyers and the front door leads you directly to the living room. In such cases, you could install a screen to visually block the entryway from the rest of the abode, and create the illusion of a small foyer. The ideal entryway is well lit, aesthetically defined, and speaks volumes about the people living in the house. So here are some cool ideas which can help you impress your visitors and start a conversation, even before you take them to your living room!
Whether your foyer is big or small, potted plants can instantly lend a charming makeover effect. Plants not only look good but also smell good, if they bear fragrant flowers. Entering a house that smells nice will create a favourable impression on all your guests. Depending on the space available, you could choose between tall potted palms or smaller ferns and peace lilies. Bonsais and terrariums are also perfect for entranceway designs, and will help bring a little of the outdoors inside your house.
Before your guests can even walk into your house, they get to see your front door. Hence, invest in a visually appealing yet robust door, as this is your first chance of making an impression without compromising security needs. Also, since the front door is exposed to natural elements, it should be constructed from durable materials that can withstand wind, rain and bright sunshine. There are many types of front doors, ranging from solid wood doors to arched doors with stained glass detailing, or metal doors. Picking a door in a bright colour can make a bold statement, and set your house apart from the neighbouring houses. Accessorize this with a pretty foot mat and a decorative knocker. Potted plants on the sides and light sconces can also help enhance the beauty of your entranceway. Lastly, if you’re painting your front door, remember to paint both sides.
A mirror is ideal for the foyer design. Unlike the large mirrors in living rooms, entranceway mirrors can also be small or medium in size if you wish. Depending on your interior style, you could frame the mirror in wood or gilding. Alternatively, choose a bevelled mirror that does not need to be framed. One of the biggest advantages of having a mirror at the entrance to your house is the quick look you get of your reflection as you head out. Since foyers and entryways are typically narrow and compact, a mirror also serves to make the space look bigger and brighter. The sophisticated entryway shown above was designed by Xul Architecture, from London. Note how the mirrors and chest of drawers with stone tabletops lend a whole new aura to the space. The lighted staircase and the eye-catching sculpture are the supporting stars of the show!
Just because the foyer is a small space, does not mean it should not be furnished. Pick small pieces of furniture for your entranceway that do not obstruct the walking area. Wall mounted shelves are ideal for a foyer design, and can be used to house keys, sunglasses and other knick knacks that you do not want to leave home without. You could also dress your foyer up with a wall mounted console table. Since it is mounted on the wall, it does not take up any floor space. Along with this, you could also place a pair of slim chairs or poufs. An attractive chest of drawers can also be placed in the entranceway, for catering to both storage and decor. This can also give you a platform to display framed family photographs, candles or a vase of fresh flowers.
The foyer is also ideally suited for displaying wall art. Showcase a large painting or frame your favourite quotes, which express your philosophy or personality the best. Moulding is also a good tool to define foyer walls. If you feel that your art work is not big enough for the foyer, consider installing a moulding frame a few inches around it. This will give the illusion of a bigger art piece. However, this usually works best with unframed canvases. Woven silk carpets are also perfect for foyer wall art. If you have a large entryway, you could also devote a wall to picture collages. But for a small foyer, a lot of frames on a single wall may look chaotic. Alternatively, if your wall has a mirror on it, you could display art in the form of a tall statue in one corner. For a very small foyer, you could also go for decals to dress your walls.
Lighting is an essential part of any foyer or entranceway design, for both aesthetic and security reasons. A chandelier is an exciting way to decorate the entranceway. If your ceiling is too low for a chandelier, consider wall sconces or pendant lights. Domed flush light fixtures on the ceiling are another viable alternative for foyers with low ceilings. You may also want to consider recessed lighting, directional lights or track lighting above your wall art to accent it. This can be complemented by a table lamp or slim floor lamp. Select fixtures for your foyer that make a statement and define the area.
Don’t forget the floor when you are decorating an entranceway. A carpet or rug will instantly make the space feel warm and cosy. If the fear of people walking over your carpet with muddy shoes prevents you from placing a carpet in the foyer, consider using vibrant or decorative tiles to create a carpet-like effect. Mosaic stones are also ideal to achieve this finish. When choosing a carpet for the foyer, the first thing to be kept in mind is size of the carpet in relation to the size of the room. You must also ensure that the carpet does not hamper opening and closing of the front door. Patterned carpets are extra forgiving when it comes to hiding stains, and hence are well suited for entranceways.
Lastly, while designing a foyer, be careful not to clutter the space. Keep the space organized and neat to produce the maximum impact. Here’s another ideabook that may pique your interest - Ingenious stairs: this is the way to add life to them.