Friday, July 30, 2010

Creating A Foyer (When There Isn't One)

Falling in love with a room is not the same as falling into a room. Sadly, the latter is the case in many homes that lack an entryway or a foyer; you open the front door and you fall right into the living room. 
Call it a 'mini-lobby.' An entryway or foyer is a vestibule or entrance hall that acts as a barrier or transition space between the front door and the rest of the home. Aesthetically, it's supposed to be a physical pause for the entering guest, a few square feet to stand and be properly welcomed in. Functionally, it can be a place to stash keys, umbrellas, coats and bags. Without a proper foyer, shoes tend to gather unattractively on the floor by the door, and coats get dumped and draped on the backs of sofas. A small apartment or home looks even smaller because there is no visual transition from the entry and the rest of the house. There are no surprises and everything is immediately in view. Not good, unless you live in a loft.

How to create a foyer when there isn't one?

The main thing to remember when creating a foyer is that you need a physical or visual barrier between the front door and the living room or the rest of the house. The lack of space and the floor plan can be a great issue here, but there are several tools and methods that can be used. The goal is to visually stop the view from migrating further into the interiors of the home. A physical block literally obstructs the view, while a visual block, gives the viewer something to look at right upon entry, instead of looking immediately into the rest of the home.

A open shelving unit, an attractive screen or even a low bookshelf, can be used to divide the space behind the door and the rest of the room. An open shelving unit or a low bookshelf placed vertically by the entrance, hides the living room from immediate view. It can also be a great place to drop keys and mail. 

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If the entrance has a wall running perpendicular to the front door, use this wall as an accent that differs from the rest of the home. Use large scale artwork, a great mirror, dramatic wallpaper or paint that sets it apart from the rest of the house.

Use entryway furniture such as a console table, a bench, chairs or a coat rack to infuse the space with function and clearly marks the space.

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Mark a small square of foyer space by flanking the door with wall sconces, placing an appropriate size rug on the floor and or hanging a great (properly-scaled) chandelier above.

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