Updated: Sep 8
You’ve heard the saying all your life, “You have one chance to make a great first impression“. And it is very true. You have just about 3 seconds to make a great first impression when you are meeting some one for the first time. That is how you will be remembered in that person’s mind.
Same goes for your home. The minute someone walks into your home, they get a feel for what the rest of the space is like, how you live, your lifestyle, what you like to surround yourself with. Even though it is such an important part of our homes, most people struggle with what to do with their foyers.
Here in Houston, foyers are very grand. In most homes, they are two stories. Builders sell it as a great design feature, and people want it, but then they get stuck on how to decorate it.
My client did too. For years she tried to create the look and feel that she wanted her foyer to have to welcome her guests into her home. It is a pretty large space and it was a bit overwhelming for her. She knew she wanted a seating area, and to display her art, but she was unsure of what else it would take to really finish the space to suit her style.
This was the foyer when I met my client for the first time. You can see that she included the seating area that she always wanted, and made the curved wall the focal point. But the pieces were way too small in scale for this grand foyer, and it jut wasn’t working overall. She wasn’t happy with it
So I shared a few things I would do to create the look and feel she was after. I more than shared. I created the space she could only dream of.
Hopefully you will learn a thing or two as well about how to give your foyer a grand first impression.
Here are 5 ways:
Lighting is important in every space, but even more so in a foyer. Imagine your guests walking into a dark cave-like room. If there is not much natural light coming in, consider changing out the fixture and bulbs overhead, and add lamps. I would even recommend changing the front door to one that has a piece of glass to let natural light in. The fixture style needs to be attractive as well. Make sure it is hanging low enough where it can provide great lighting. The height to hang a foyer chandelier varies depending on whether you have transom windows in the foyer (in which case you would want to center the fixture with the window). It is best to eye ball it onsite with the installer for the best height.The beaded fixture we chose, casts some very interesting shadows on the ceiling
2. Add Seating
I think a foyer should always have seating. Unless it is impossible to squeeze one in. This is a functional space; usually one of the main thoroughfares for entering and leaving your home. A seating area is great for sitting to put shoes on as you leave. It is no fun standing to put your shoes on
Here we did a custom built-in bench wrapped in a beautiful navy velvet.
Here’s what it took to get the bench made to fit the space like a glove. We created two templates: one for the base and the second for the back. Here we are testing to make sure it fits before we add the upholstery
3. Include A Table
A console table, or round hall table is a must in a foyer. A part of the function is to have a place for you and your guests to drop your keys as you arrive. It is also a great opportunity to add some decorative items. I usually include a mirror or art above the table
In our case, we used art as we already had a lot of mirrors going on on our feature wall. We had room enough for two tables!
This is very important to take your foyer from functional to beautiful and grand. Decor is what tells your guests a bit about you, your style and your lifestyle. Add color to really showoff your fun and energetic personality. Add whimsical touches in pillows or the artwork to show your quirky side. Add books to showcase what you like to read, or what’s important to you. Add baskets for collecting keys. Add a rug to control the amount of dirt being tracked inside. Add some classic touches to ground the space. Add flowers (faux or real) to soften the lines in the space.
We added the paneling to the wall behind the bench, and used classic details on the bench skirt. Classic elements help to keep the space from getting too fun and whimsical
My client loves color, so we infused some bold colors coupled with more classic colors like the navy on the built-in bench. She requested the wall of mirrors that we did on the curved wall.
5. Pay Attention To The Overall Space
When decorating your foyer for a grand feel, you have to begin by looking at the space critically. Know what you are working with, know what your needs are and address those needs, but throw a few wants in the mix. The scale of the space should be considered. Bringing in small pieces of furniture into a vast space will look more like clutter.
We were working with very tall ceilings and a large foot print. My job was to bring the space into human scale, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Here’s what I did:
I added the horizontal stripes as a subtle but strong background. It almost acts as a way to stop your eye from wandering, and keep it focused in the space. The stripes act as a pair of giant arms that hug the room, therefore creating warmth and coziness
I brought in large pieces of art to visually fill the space between the floor and ceilings. Smaller art pieces would get lost on these walls
The banquet in the navy helps to ground the room. Because the ceiling is so high, we need something that is visually heavy to ground the space.
The two tables also help to ground the space. But they also create symmetry which helps to balance the space
The paneling behind the banquet is a great feature that adds architectural interest and a classic touch, but also makes a great backdrop for the bench
The mirror collage creates a strong focal point as well as a unique and unexpected touch
The light fixture adds great lighting, but it also helps to bring the ceiling down a bit
The decor was added to really complement the key pieces in the room
Consider that having a beautifully completed foyer, will be a welcoming space for your guests. It says come in, we are hospitable. It also says that we gave some thought to the experience we want you to have in our home
My client was very pleased with her new grand foyer. She left me this amazing review on my website:
I feel so lucky to have found Veronica and Casa Vilora Interiors. I have struggled for years with what to do with our generic builder designed two-story foyer and two-story living room. I attempted to decorate it myself but was never happy. I could not be more pleased with the final outcome for our now very grand foyer, luxurious but family-friendly living room, and stylish efficient mini-mudroom. She had unique ideas and an excellent team to pull off the ambitious design. She also tolerated me being very involved in the selection process and helped me stick to our budget. The final outcome fits with my personality and style, but is beyond anything I could have done on my won. She even helped me to decide on the perfect gray color to paint our entire house, and styled everything so perfectly. Veronica in my opinion is Katy and Houston’s best kept secret, and was professional and pleasant to work with from day one. Book her now before she gets too busy is my advice! I already am looking forward to doing a few more rooms with her in the near future
Want your own grand foyer? Book a consultation!
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Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!