Decorating Your Foyer

There’s nothing like a foyer to set the tone for the rest of the house.   First and foremost, you need a table.  A nice narrow table like this one doesn’t get in the way but provides a place to drop your keys.

A foyer or entry is the place to make a grand statement, like was done here with dramatic wallpaper.  A lamp or a pair of lamps will warm the space and welcome in your visitors.

Don’t think you have a table that’s suitable?  You can always use a dresser, like they did here.

Or here.  I think it’s nearly essential to have a mirror above your table so you can check your ‘do before leaving the house.  And an interesting side chair is always nice, if you have the space for it.

In this dramatic foyer, a hot pink sofa and the art above it create the entry focal point.  The foyer includes a mirror and a table (albeit, a small one).  Most people make the mistake of hanging their entry lighting too high.  Hang it lower, people!

Talk about drama!  Maybe this is the space you choose to paint a VERY bold color.

If you have a curved wall in your entry foyer, a round table works best.  The curve of the table follows the curve of the wall.

If you have a large entry, a round table in the center is the perfect focal point.  Create a vignette with decorative items, plants, and/or stacks of books.

This homeowner put two demilune tables back-to-back to create an entry table in this foyer.

In my foyer, the entry table is an antique dining table.  A lower-than-expected hanging light  makes the space feel warm and intimate.   My painted hutch holds my vintage pottery collection behind glass, and table linens behind doors. 

Does your foyer welcome people into your home, or does it give them the cold shoulder?  Try walking through your front door and looking objectively at what greets you and the feeling that the space gives you.   If your foyer needs improvement, don’t forget these ideas:  an entry table, a mirror, interesting lighting, a side chair, a decorative vignette, and possibly seating.

Photo Credits:  House Beautiful, StoneBrook Staging.


  1. Jamie

    Is that an owl-inspired umbrella holder in the first picture? Cause it’s amazing.

  2. Cindi

    OK. where do i find that beautiful dresser/cabinet…in the 4th picture down. Where you mention the mirror and checking your “do.” That is a beautiful piece!!!!

  3. kristiebarnett

    I dunno. Your best bet would be to scour flea markets and antique malls for something similar!

  4. Jen C.

    do you have tips for those of us who do not have a foyer? our front door (as you know) opens right into our front room/study. i’ve never been comfortable in it, but i get stuck on how to change it!

  5. ehalvey

    Jen C., I have the same problem. My front door opens into my living room. I though about getting a love seat and having the back serve at a divider, but that would make the living room look cramped.

  6. kristiebarnett

    I will probably do a post soon for those who don’t have a real foyer, which we didn’t have either until I kind of created one. You, actually, DO have a foyer – you just aren’t using it that way. I’ve always thought that your breakfast room would be the ideal office/study. As your family is growing (and growing), it would make more since to use your dining table in your large living/dining area for all your meals rather than gathering around the smaller breakfast table in the breakfast room. I can’t remember the size of that round table, but could it maybe act as an entry table in the foyer? It would be very cool, with the bookcases to the left when you enter and the piano where it is, to place a round entry table (or breakfast table!) on the left side of the room – kind of floating close to the entry into your living area. You could then stack some interesting books on it, maybe some interesting sculpture or pottery in the middle? Do you have an outlet on the wall to the left of the entry into your living area? Because you could even put a nice fat, sculptural lamp on the table.

  7. kristiebarnett

    stay tuned for a non-foyer foyer post soon!

  8. Natalie A.

    I had a cold shoulder foyer, but I LOVE my foyer after Kristie got hold of it! Lots of others do too! Thanks!!!

  9. Andrea

    Jen, your foyer is HUGE — which is probably why you have purposed it as an actually useful room. I like that. But KB also has some great ideas for you here! If I had a foyer as large as yours I would def make it “work” hard and actually use it, rather than just a greeting space (which really never gets “used” for living — kinda sad.

    My foyer is so tiny, KB, that I almost wish it wasn’t there — wish I could use that tiny square footage somewhere else. Plus, it’s dark — I need a glass door. NEED.

    Do you know I have the pic with the chocolate walls/pink sofa/starburst mirror in my folder of crazy mag clippings?! I am serious. This is why we are friends. Okay, among other reasons. 😉

  10. kristiebarnett

    Don’t give up on your foyer! Nobody wants to fall right into their living room – even a small foyer is a good thing. Can you up the lighting in there? Maybe a more significant light fixture or a lamp? A partial glass door would be GOOD.

    OOPS, just noticed I incorrectly said Jen’s bookcases were to the left, and I meant right. I love that that room is utilized as well as it is, but foyer/library/music room/office may be one too many functions, especially given the gracious amount of space in the rest of the house.

  11. Andrea

    Yes, I could up the lighting. I changed the ceiling fixture to an original sputnik flush-mount fixture. It looks great at night. But it feels really weird to have that on and then some lamps — during a sunny day. Sometimes I just want some natural light! Does that even make sense??? I think a new door would do the trick.

  12. Jen C.

    see, this is why i am friends with people who know stuff i don’t! 🙂 KB, those were some great ideas. in our conversations about moving everything around for the baby, we have been planning to re-purpose most of our rooms. (we will definitely need the help of kristie barnett!!!) the office *is* moving into the breakfast area and we were actually already planning to move that breakfast table to the spot you suggested! it’s something i’ve wanted to do for a long time, but never had the guts. we’re outgrowing that table, anyway, so i would rather it be used somewhere else. i didn’t even realize that i would be making my own little foyer! 🙂 thanks, as always, for all of the wonderful ideas and inspiration!

  13. lora

    i can’t wait to see jen’s newly repurposed rooms!

    i’ve always had to create a foyer of sorts…because i’ve never had a true entry. well, the condo kind of did but it literally was the space to open the door and the stairs were at the end of the space. however, i’m the sort of person who HAS to have a consistent place for her keys…so i made use of one of my grandma’s teeny side tables (yay for family heirlooms) and a small wooden chair, also from her estate. i had a very small mirror above the table for makeup/hair checking. it was lajuana approved, and apparently would meet your approval too! 🙂

    here…well, i’m doing good not to trip over myself but i still have that little table in use as a quasi-foyer. i’m getting more creative the longer i’m here…but i’m SO looking forward to an IKEA visit here in a month or so to get some storage solutions. maybe then i can think about creating a foyer…

  14. christmas tablecloths

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  15. Lee Meyer

    Wondering what paint color brown did you use for the 5th picture …??

  16. Carissa

    Where did the chair come from in the 2nd picture? Love it!


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