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An Entryway that Welcomes

Photography: Eric Piasecki

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2007


Foyers are all about first impressions. When done right, these entry spaces sum up a home's style in a few square feet, visually preparing visitors for the rooms that lie beyond. Foyers have a practical aspect as well -- a bench to rest on, a mirror for touch-ups that owners and guests alike look to when coming and going. The examples that follow strike a balance between the two roles, and some of their ingenious solutions might just make your entry the perfect first step into your home.

Country Comfort

This high-traffic foyer serves an active household and stores outdoor gear.

1. Surface Treatment

Wallpaper runs horizontally to accentuate the direction and color of the paneling, providing visual richness without overwhelming the space.

2. Displays on High

In a foyer with no room for a console, a shelf holds decorative items, including a clock for time checks.

3. Useful Hang-Ups

Pegs hold coats and accessories, including a shoehorn beside the bench. Horizontally mounted umbrellas evoke rifle racks, adding a rustic touch.

4. Hideaway Tray

A galvanized metal tray on the shelf beneath the seat holds footwear, keeping dirt and water off the floor.

5. Bucket of Options

To encourage a no-shoes policy, slippers in assorted sizes are stowed next to the shoe tray.

City Planning

An entry's small size doesn't preclude it from making a strong statement.

1. Expanded View

Leaning a full-length mirror against the wall rather than hanging it gives it sculptural presence and makes the area seem larger.

2. Vertical Storage

Streamlined, wall-mounted nightstands are even more versatile in a foyer, keeping keys, leashes, and other small items at hand, as well as providing surfaces for decorative displays.

3. Bold Statement

The graphic carpet might be dizzying in a large room, but a few square yards add energy and provide a vivid contrast to the solid-colored walls.

4. Artful Hanging

Foliage-themed lithographs reiterate the carpet's lively pattern. Their placement leads the eye forward into the main living area.

5. Separate Seating

A low-slung bench set against the far wall serves as a perch for visitors and a place to set bags, scarves, and other personal items temporarily.

Formal Lessons

A stately home offers an intimate spot for a respite when entering or leaving.

1. Play Up the Architecture

A trio of framed mirrors echoes the geometry and the glossy-white finish of the door and the surrounding windows. The mirror in the middle is wider than those that flank it, matching the proportion of the table and chairs.

2. Defining with Color

Soft, pale caramel hues on the console table, chairs, and rug give the foyer a distinct identity amid the house's blue-and-white color scheme.

3. Visual Repetition

The area rug's pattern accentuates the room's crown molding, the fluted table legs mimic the door casing, and the mirror frames resemble the chair rail, adding to the foyer's harmony.

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