Foyer, Entryway & Vestibule Style Guide

Tara Dickinson
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Taking a page out of professional designer and real-estate stagers playbook, ‘wowing’ your guests (and yourself) as soon as you walk in the front door of your home is, without question, the place to set the stage for things to come. First impressions DO matter. Is your foyer a chaotic mess? No doubt this theme will continue throughout the home. Is your entry warm, cosy, and welcoming? Guests and friends will immediately feel comfortable and part of the family. Or is your entrance hall a presentation place, filled with art and making a stylish statement? This sets the tone for what others can expect as they venture further into the house.

Foyer

FOYER

In America, foyer is pro​​unced FOY-er,  the more common pronunciation, but you may have also heard the more standard British pronunciation of FOY-yay. Both are in use and both are correct. The definition of foyer comes from a French word that referred to the room where actors waited when they were not on stage. The modern definition has come to mean, “... an area at the front of the home, entered after passing through the front door.” Some foyers have the feel of a room, while other entry areas resemble hallways, whereas they may be called “entryways” rather than “foyers”.The bigger and fancier a mansion, office, or apartment building is, the bigger and more ornate the foyer will likely be.

ENTRYWAY OR ENTRANCE HALL

No fancy definition for an entryway, or entrance hall. This transitory spot is the ideal to immediately present the theme of your home with some decor pieces, small furnishings, accents, and other functional furniture elements that work with your current design style.

LOBBY

A lobby is a room in a building used for entry from the outside. Sometimes referred to as a foyer, reception area, or an entrance hall. The term ‘lobby’ is more often used when speaking about large spaces: auditoriums, theaters, hotels, and such. The lobby definition can also include one room or a complex of rooms adjacent to the main building.

VESTIBULE

A vestibule can be defined as a chamber or channel opening into another. It also has the more common meaning just like the other words listed above. In residences and businesses, it is defined as:​​"Vestibule is an antechamber, hall, or lobby next to the outer door of a building." The area surrounding the exterior door. A small room next to the outer door and connecting it with the interior of the building. A passage, hall, or antechamber between the outer door and the interior parts of a house or building.”

It’s time to shake up the foyer and elevate the state of your home!

Walls

Wallpaper seems to still have a bit of a negative ‘70’s connotation surrounding it when brought up in regards to home decorating. But today’s advancements and styles have taken this wall decor method to a level of high art. You can create an amazing effect with a few sheets of contact or self adhesive wallpaper. From natural woods, to climbing vines of all colors. There is a wall treatment to meet every decor style. Since your foyer is probably not too large of a space, this is a great room to experiment in and get a little more creative with your wall coverings. Enhance the mood, go for whatever vibe you want to welcome your guests with, or set the stage for your family. There is no limit. From futuristic and geometric designs, to African prints, and Asian inspired bamboo forests. Adding an accent wall of strong paint color is also an option to consider.

Art Gallery

Greet your guests with an entrance hallway lined with portraits, prints, landscapes, or any combination of art that brings you joy. There is a way to keep some level of order... if you have several different types of images and categories but use the same size and style photo frames throughout, the look will remain consistent. Or, select all different sizes and colors of frames then fill them with all black and white images or abstract art. You can choose art to go with your intended furnishings, or play with the color and shape of your favorite art pieces and find complementing or contrasting furniture.

Mirrors

From tips shared in the Mirror Guide, there is no argument that mirrors are magical. They work miracles in small spaces, creating more room, more light. A round mirror hung from a stylish rope will add height to the room. A set of square mirrors placed horizontally can elongate the space. Everyone wants to look their best on the way into the party, or on their way out the door to embrace the world; so placing a mirror in the entryway will be doing everyone a favor as well as creating a gorgeous style in your foyer.

Lighting

Lighting is everything, thus how you present the first room of your home should have lighting that is dynamic, noticeable, and makes the room shine. Making a ‘grand’ entranceway? It’s time to hang a chandelier that fits your decor style. Mid-Century modern all the way to Contemporary design styles will offer lighting options that highlight the rooms architectural elements, the art you've chosen, or will create subtle warm and relaxing welcoming vibes. Don’t forget to use the array of lighting options available to you:

  • Overhead
  • Hanging
  • Pendants
  • Wall Sconces
  • Floor lamps
  • Table lamps

Floors

Is your entry flooring the same as the rest of your house? Can it use a little upgrade? If simple enough to replace, some ideas include using wood flooring in unexpected pattern shapes, such as chic chevron bands. Or go geometric with large and small tiles. Don’t want to replace anything? Then it’s time to look at what can easily be placed on top of existing floors to make them pop.

Rug & Runners

Since this is going to be a high traffic area no matter what, remember to consider durability when selecting any rug or runner to place in the foyer. Runners are long in length, can give the appearance of more space, and subconsciously ‘lead’ people into the next room, into the house. Area rugs, whether round, square, or rectangle, are again wonderful accent pieces to set the theme of your decor style right at the main entrance. Use texture, or use comfy soft throws. The choices are grand!

FURNITURE

When adding furniture pieces to your entryway, one tip from the pros: function! Or even multifunctional. Think coat racks, umbrella stands, hooks and hanging strips, benches with storage… you get the idea. The entrance (and exit) is a busy place and with lots of household members there is always a need for furniture items that help organize and use the most of the space.

Welcome Table

Seating

Storage

Architectural Elements

Have any notable architectural elements in your foyer? If it is cohesive with your decor style, enhance them! Play up natural materials, moulding, built-in shelving or such.

Accents

Accents are always the fun part, the icing on the cake. While choosing your ornamentation for this space, you may be able to include multipurpose accents as well if needed. For example, a console table to display books and pics, plus built-in storage for keys and misc. items. Use your accents to evoke a mood, create little vignettes, possibly even inspire those who pass through your doors.

 

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