When you meet someone for the first time, initial reactions are very important. The same is true with houses, and the feelings visitors experience upon entering your entryway or foyer are usually the impressions they carry with them when they later think about your home. Whether grandiose or casual, make sure the space is welcoming and that it reflects the style found in other areas of your home.
For example, if you live in a stately Victorian mansion, you might consider covering the walls and even the ceiling of your entry with an old-fashioned paper, or even putting together a collage of ornate papers in the Victorian tradition. For a slightly updated look, paint the walls instead, but use a classic shade that will reflect the style of the architecture. In a contemporary house, use a fun, modern printed paper, or paint the walls and use a wallpaper or stenciled border. For homes with kids, find a washable paint so spatters from muddy boots and messy hands can easily be wiped away. Consider the colors found in adjoining rooms-the walls of the foyer don’t have to match by any means, but they should complement on another in some way to make the transition from room to room easier on the eyes.
When deciding on entryway flooring, remember that this is a high-traffic area that you also want to keep looking nice and clean for visitors. Tile floors are ideal for the foyer-they’re easy to clean and wear-resistant, meaning that even after years of use, they look like new. Linoleum or vinyl can be used in a casual setting. If you have wood floors, consider placing a large, easy-to-clean area rug near the door to save the floor from scuffs and water damage. You could also install a tile inset that complements the color of the wood near the door where people can leave their shoes. If you have carpeting in the foyer, be sure to treat it with a stain-repellant, or install carpet that is pre-treated with a stain and soil solution.
While appearance is very important in the entry, practicality is a necessary priority as well. Simple things like hooks, benches, shelves and coat racks can add valuable convenience to the area. A small doorside table can be the perfect place to drop keys and mail upon entering, meaning you’ll rarely have to spend a morning searching the entire house for a misplaced key ring. A coat rack is an easy place to leave jackets and is faster than having to hang coats in a closet. Nearby seating, like a bench or even a small chair or stool, can offer a place to put on boots so you don’t have to walk with dirty footwear through other areas of the house.
It’s also nice to add a personal touch to the foyer. Perhaps you have a favorite painting or print to hang on the wall. In the entryway, you can enjoy it each time you enter and leave your home. Consider displaying a part of a treasured collection on shelves or on the wall. The objects will tell a bit about you and what you value, while also providing an interesting focal point and conversation starter for visitors.
Decorate the foyer to provide a welcoming invitation for guests, while also creating a space that speaks about your lifestyle. With a bit of planning and few convenient touches, the entrance to your house can make coming home a pleasure.