The foyer is usually the first part of your living space that your guests experience, so it can make a lasting impression. “This is the moment someone walks in your home and you can either set the tone to be museum-like or ‘hey, this is my house and you're welcome to kick off your shoes and relax,'” explains Danny Seo, sustainable living expert and Editor-in-Chief of Naturally, Danny Seo.
Meet the Expert
Danny Seo is a sustainable living expert, and Editor-in-Chief of Naturally, Danny Seo, Seo's namesake magazine. Christiane Lemieux is co-founder and CEO of The Inside, a direct-to-consumer home furnishings company.
Regardless of aesthetic, budget, or even the size of your space, creating an impressionable foyer is easier than you think. Here are 20 items and ideas to consider to create a gorgeous foyer, straight from the experts themselves.
Add a Rug or Runner
Every gorgeous foyer has something in common: a statement-making floor covering. Because your foyer is a high-traffic area, make sure it is resilient and can be cleaned easily.
Shy away from bright whites or extremely dark rug colors, which will both show stains and dirt more easily.
Consider an Art Gallery
Create an eye-catching display on the first wall you see when you walk into your space, even if your space is an open cottage like this example. Even if you don't have a traditional foyer, first impressions are still possible.
Choose a Great Plant
If we have learned anything in the last decade, it's that adding live greenery to any space is a no-brainer. You can’t go wrong with a snake plant or fiddle leaf fig.
Incorporate a Bold Color
As the first place in the home people experience, don't be afraid to utilize bold or unexpected colors and patterns in the foyer. The chocolate walls of this foyer are eye-catching yet inviting, and the patterned throw pillow is a playful touch.
Go for Something Unexpected
Sure, there are lots of common things we often come across in a stylish foyer, but it is the unexpected that really make a lasting impression. "I think it's important to have something ‘weird’ in your foyer,” Seo says. “But you don't want to have bean bag chairs and clutter in the foyer, so I think an eclectic mix of formal and fun is nice.”
Seo's home, for example, features a midcentury modern statement light fixture from Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams that's hung above a glass foyer table. “On the tabletop, I have three weird things: A giant hornet's nest, a giant sea sponge (which the nest is laying on), and a humungous crystal I bought at a flea market. It gives a vibe of Anthropologie but without the frills."
Add a Sculptural Element
A sculptural element serves as an anchor to the foyer, especially if the rest of its décor is minimalistic. We loved the polished look of this oval, wood-framed mirror and rounded hooks.
Play With Graphics
"Create instant intrigue with a bold, graphic wallpaper that stops people in their tracks,” suggests Christiane Lemieux, co-founder and CEO of The Inside, a direct-to-consumer home furnishings company. Instead of making a long-term investment, Lemieux suggests the peel and stick version that can be easily swapped in and out without leaving a sticky residue. Or, take those prints elsewhere, like a runner for the staircase.
Create instant intrigue with a bold, graphic wallpaper that stops people in their tracks.
Create a Vignette
Another option to create a visually striking impression of your home in the foyer is to curate vignettes. They can be expressions of your unique tastes and background when combined with personal mementos and heirlooms.
Select a Beautiful Bench
If you have a large foyer, offering some sort of decorative seating can serve a multi-functional purpose. In addition to looking great, it can be a place for someone to place their belongings or sit while they remove their shoes.
Showcase the Staircase
If your home features a staircase in or near the foyer, make it the centerpiece of your entryway. Utilize fun color combinations, add a plant or accent chairs in natural materials to add personality without overshadowing the staircase.
Add a Marvelous Mirror
Whether your aesthetic is modern, contemporary, farmhouse, traditional, or midcentury, finding a foyer mirror that fits your style will make a huge impact when your guests walk through the door.
Opt for a Center Table
Define the space and place a table at the center of the foyer. Add decorative options, and leave enough room for practical catch-all trays for keys, mail, and other loose items.
Style a Console
Almost every foyer has a console, which serves a functional as well as design-based purpose. Give guests the space to set down any personal items they may have, and set the tone for the rest of your home.
Get Creative in Smaller Spaces
For spaces without a traditional mudroom (such as those with smaller living arrangements), create a receiving area with a proportional bench, big round mirror, and welcoming plant. Store shoes beneath the bench, and opt for a hardy runner to prevent dirt and debris from tracking throughout the rest of your home.
Similarly, for smaller spaces and/or open floor plans, turn your receiving room into the entertaining room with lots of seating, and use area rugs to define the space. Add a vase of fresh flowers to accent the room.
Play With Patterned Floors
The floor of your foyer or entryway can be a décor element in itself. Play with patterned tile, matte or glossy finishes, or a stunning runner.
Express Your Personality
Prime everyone who walks through your door with a definitive statement of your personal style by expressing your personality through the foyer. For example, we think this casual yet brightly colored foyer belongs to fun and free-spirited inhabitants.
A layered vignette and contrasting yet complementary patterns add texture to this console. This look could be easily recreated in the foyer for a stimulating first impression.
Sometimes less is more, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. Here, a modern sculptural light fixture and framed art piece in a similar color palette greet you on arrival. Décor is sparse, yet welcoming.
Seek Natural Light
Natural light looks great in any room, and the foyer is no exception. Use the sun to your advantage to stream bright rays in and around the space and create a welcoming environment.