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What Is a Foyer? 31 Stunning Design Ideas

The first area you see when you enter your home makes a big impression! Call it an entryway, call it a foyer, this space can range from tiny to expansive. Today we bring you loads of design inspiration while answering a key question: What is a foyer? Learn about the characteristic features of this space, as well as how to decorate it…

Foyer Basics

A foyer is an area at the front of the home, entered after passing through the front door. The foyer connects a home’s entrance with the rest of the interior. Some foyers have the feel of a room, while other entry areas resemble hallways (in some cases, these may be called “entryways” rather than “foyers”).

Foyer with a chandelier via Lonny

The term “foyer” is often used interchangeably with “entry” or “entryway“. Some entries are tiny, consisting of little more than a simple console table next to the front door. Others are quite big, spanning two levels and including a view of the staircase. You are likely to hear the term “foyer” used when describing an entry with the feel of a room.

RELATED: 25 Gorgeous Entryways Clad in Wallpaper

Foyer table with floral arrangements via Lonny

A foyer may include a closet for coats, umbrellas and other essentials. Also note that some homes have a mudroom, which can be separate from the foyer and include a place to remove and store coats, dirty shoes and other items before entering the main part of the house. In other homes, the mudroom and the foyer may be combined, as an organized stashing area beautifully keeps coats and supplies in check:

Mudroom style via Herbert Design Build

Because the foyer is the first interior space of the home that you see, flooring is rarely carpet. In fact, tile is a popular choice, as it can easily be cleaned if residents and guests track in outside dirt and leaves:

Tiled foyer featured at HGTV.com

While it is not common for the foyer to feature the setup of a lounge or living space, tables are popular decorating choices for this entry area of the home.

Foyer with a staircase via Lonny

Seating may even be possible, especially if it can neatly fit against the wall or an area near the staircase. Foyer seating can help set a stylish tone and reflect the look of the entire home:

Foyer seating via Lonny
Foyer with a sofa via A Perfect Placement

A sleek console table may be the only furniture present in the foyer, while special accents such as floral arrangements, plants and pendant lighting can add drama and sophistication:

Foyer with a console table via Quality Construction Services

In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at the art of decorating a foyer…

Decorating Your Foyer

We’ve already learned that furnishings such as small tables, console tables and benches are popular choices for decorating the foyer. A rug or runner may also be added to the space, especially since many foyers are not carpeted:

RELATED: Saving Space In Your Foyer With a Creative Coat Rack

Sculptural arrangement on a foyer table via Hollester Interiors

Prominent lighting can also make a big impact, and pendant lighting is an increasingly popular choice:

Foyer with a pendant light via Structures Building Company

Another fun option: painting an accent wall! Add color without having to paint the entire space. Plus, an accent wall can beautifully offset artwork, as well as a console table topped with a thoughtfully arranged vignette.

Entry with an accent wall via Lonny

If you have room for extras such as a statement lamp, don’t hesitate to embellish your foyer in style:

Elegant foyer by Meyer & Meyer

If you mainly have room for a console table, you can surround it with interesting pieces. Top it with artistic candle holders, and hang a mirror to reflect the light. You can also stash extra seating under the table in the form of compact ottomans/stools. Bonus points if the tops lift to reveal storage space!

Foyer with a console table via 2 Design Group

If you want to add seating but don’t have much wall space, try an elegant small chair or two. You’ll have a place to sit while you tie your shoes on the way out, and your interior will thank you for the extra dose of style:

Foyer with red chairs by Sroka Design

If you’re lucky enough to have a grand foyer, you can always go grand with the decor! Bring on the sculptural artwork and lush plants:

Sculptural features in a modern foyer via Lonny

A Dramatic Entrance

Speaking of going grand, we end today’s post with a trio of stunning photos that dial up the elegant factor. Because your foyer can be a place to make a unique statement and set the tone for your entire home. Don’t be afraid of dramatic lighting, stately plants, specialty tile and center tables where you can display standout pieces. Check out the breathtaking foyers that follow:

RELATED: 10 Small Entryway Designs With Larger-than-Life Appeal

Glamorous foyer by Cindy Ray Interiors
Modern-meets-classic foyer from dSPACE Studio
Foyer with a checkered floor from Morgante Wilson Architects (photo credit: Tony Soluri)

Consider the size of your foyer: The size of your foyer will help determine what kind of furniture and decor you can incorporate. A small foyer may only be able to accommodate a console table and a few decorative objects, while a larger foyer may allow for a seating area or even a grand staircase.

Photo Credit: Tamara Magel – A styled round black table sits in the center of a foyer featuring a wood bench with leather straps placed against a staircase wall.

Choose the right furniture: The furniture in your foyer should be both functional and stylish. A console table is a popular choice, as it provides a surface for displaying decor and can also serve as a place to drop keys and mail. A bench or chair can provide a spot to sit and put on shoes. Make sure the scale of the furniture fits the size of your foyer.

Photo Credit: Amy Storm and Company – Spacious foyer features a magenta velvet bench, a gray rug, a black frame glass front door and a vaulted plank ceiling.

Add storage: Foyers can quickly become cluttered with shoes, coats, and bags. Incorporating storage solutions like a coat rack, hooks, or a hall tree can help keep your foyer organized and tidy.

Photo Credit: Liz Caan Interiors – Beautifully styled two story foyer is lit by a French wrought iron chandelier hung over a dark stained wood floor contrasted with white breadboard walls fixed beneath board and batten upper walls.

Illuminate the space: Lighting is important in any room, but especially in the foyer where guests first enter your home. A statement light fixture or chandelier can add drama and elegance, while wall sconces can provide additional ambient lighting.

Photo Credit: Marie Flanigan – Foyer features a picture light over gray abstract art and a purple velvet skirted stool at a round gray table.

Incorporate decorative elements: The foyer is a great place to showcase your personal style. Consider incorporating artwork, mirrors, or a statement rug to add visual interest and personality.

Photo Credit: Lucy and Company – A rotunda foyer features black and white trellis floor tiles and an off white and wooden chair lit by a brass floor lamp.

To create a cohesive design, the entryway should mirror the style and finishes present throughout the home. Additionally, adding visual interest can give a personal touch to your space. Consider creating a gallery wall featuring your favorite art pieces, such as abstract or landscape works. You can also elevate the space with eye-catching lighting fixtures like pendants or chandeliers.

Photo Credit: Jenn Feldman Design – A tan wood bar cabinet accented with a crystal lamp is placed to the side of a staircase and beneath an arch bamboo mirror.

To create an inviting foyer, incorporate textural elements such as chairs, ottomans, benches, or stools. Use durable fabrics or vinyl to protect highly used pieces. Consider adding an area rug or grasscloth wallcovering for added tactile appeal. Check the thickness of the rug to ensure proper door function.

Photo Credit: Kira David Design – Spacious foyer features a Suzanne Kasler Soleil small semi-flush, white and gray block print wallpaper and a white door.
Photo Credit – Tim Barber – Foyer with a vintage tan and brown rug layered on hardwood floors furnished with an antique foyer table against a wall with stunning millwork.
Photo Credit: Tara Fingold – Thick blond wood ceiling connect to matching wall beams accenting a white brick wall. The sloped ceiling holds oil rubbed bronze lanterns over slate floor tiles.
Photo Credit: Abode Home Design – Rotunda foyer is illuminated by a white and gold sphere lantern.
Photo Credit: McCann Design Group – Gorgeous blue foyer features round back rattan chairs placed on either side of a white console table positioned on a white marble tiled floor beneath a flamingo art piece hung from a blue wall. The foyer is lit by a white lantern.
Photo Credit: Marie Flanigan – An arched brown wooden door opens to mosaic floor tiles accenting a foyer boasting a built-in credenza placed under a window and topped with a silver leaf beaded mirror.
Photo Credit: JLV Creative – A light gray abstract art piece hangs in an elegant foyer beneath a gray plank ceiling and over a light brown credenza topped with white spindle lamps.
Photo Credit: Bria Hammel Interiors – Brass sconces are mounted to a white and blue wallpapered wall lined with white wainscoting and flank a white scalloped mirror hung over a farmhouse console table.
Photo Credit: Cortney Bishop – A black row of hooks is mounted in a foyer against a white shiplap wall and over a long reclaimed wood sawhorse bench.
Photo Credit: Beth Webb – A French foyer boasts a vintage black lantern illuminating a small arched vestibule with Double doors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a foyer?

A foyer is an entryway into a house, building, or room. It is a transitional space between the outside and inside of a building.

How should I design a foyer?

Designing a foyer depends on your style and needs. Some popular design ideas include adding a console table, a mirror, a rug, and seating. You can also add some personal touches like artwork, family photos or plants.

What color should I paint my foyer?

Choosing a color for your foyer depends on the style and mood you want to create. Neutral and light colors are popular choices as they create a welcoming and airy atmosphere. You can also use bold colors to add a pop of personality.

How can I make my foyer look bigger?

To make your foyer look bigger, consider adding mirrors or reflective surfaces. Decluttering the space and using multi-functional furniture can also help maximize the space.

What type of lighting should I use in my foyer?

It’s important to use a combination of lighting in your foyer. A ceiling fixture or chandelier can provide general lighting, while table lamps or sconces can add task lighting. Dimmer switches can also help create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

How can I make my foyer more functional?

Adding storage solutions like a coat rack or shoe bench can help keep your foyer organized and functional. You can also add a charging station or a key holder to keep everything in one place.

We hope today’s post has been helpful in defining what makes a foyer special. Happy decorating!

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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