Foyers can be really tough to design.  They are one of those areas that you want to look beautiful since it’s the first thing you see when you walk through the door, but at the same time, they need to be very functional.  And it can be challenging to meet both goals at the same time!  Below are my tips on how to decorate a foyer.  To keep things simple, I’ve divided this post into two sections: Function & Fluff.

How to Decorate a Foyer. Fall foyer with French bench and mirror



First, let’s start with the functional considerations.  When designing your foyer, consider the following questions:

1.  Will my guests be asked to remove their shoes?

    • If so, they’ll need a place for the shoes, as well as a place to sit.

2.  Do I need coat/purse storage near the door?

    • How much?  Will a freestanding coat rack suffice or will I need a larger piece of furniture?

3.  Is the space dark and does it need more lighting?

    • If so, consider adding lamps to the space.

4.  Do I want a mirror in the foyer so I can give myself a quick look before I head out the door?

5.  Do I need a place to put my keys and/or mail?

6.  Are there any other storage needs?



My foyer is small….as in you walk straight into a wall!  I choose a mirror to help brighten the space and give the illusion that it’s bigger than it really is.  {You can get more tips on how to make a small space feel bigger HERE.}  We don’t tend to take our shoes off, but some of our guests prefer to since it’s their custom, so I’ve included a basket for shoes and a bench.  All of these elements are the Function portion of my foyer.  And then there’s the Fluff.  A bucket with my cane collection shows off my personal style, along with some vintage suitcases and some greenery!

French Farmhouse foyer decorated for Fall



Without proper thought as to how you use your foyer, the area can easily become the dumping ground for everything from kids’ backpacks to junk mail and that’s probably not the impression you want to give visitors to your home!  So your design direction should first and foremost be driven by the number of functional considerations that you need to take into account.  Once you have those figured out, you can determine what “fluff” you want to include.  And that’s where the fun begins!



As you think about your layout and décor, keep the following in mind:


1.  Your entry is your first impression, so as you design it, make sure that the items reflect your style and that you love each and every piece (I’m a big believer that if you don’t LOVE it, you shouldn’t buy it!).


2.  Decide what the focal point is when you walk through the door.  Is your direct view of a beautiful staircase or some other architectural feature in the room?  If so, your foyer décor just needs to be there as “support” to keep the space from feeling empty.  Or perhaps your front door opens facing a wall.  In this case, you’ll need to use your entry décor to create a focal point in your home.


3.  Make sure your furniture and accessories are properly scaled to your home.  They should be big enough to visually fill the space, but not so big that they overpower it.  And remember, the foyer is your home’s first statement and furniture that is too small for the space will not make a statement (that would be like whispering “surprise!” at a party!).


4.  Continually evaluate the space to ensure that it isn’t too cluttered so that guests feel that they can easily maneuver through the space.  Make sure that no furniture is blocking the flow of traffic.  And if your kids are like mine, they always race to see who’s at the door, so there’s always at least three of us at the door whenever we greet someone!


5.  Try to create an inviting space so that guests feel comfortable and welcome.  Flowers, plants, varied textures and finishes, seating and ambient lighting are all great ways to create an inviting space.



6.  Don’t limit yourself as to what type of furniture can work in an foyer.  Again, it’s all about scale, so use whatever furniture best fits in the space regardless of what its intended purpose is.  Sideboards, console tables, Bombay chests, tables, dressers and benches can all work wonderfully in an foyer so long as they fit the space.


Ready to redesign your foyer?  Here are some more inspiring foyers to get you started.

by Alice Lane Home Collection
by Joy Tribout Interior Design
via Traditional Home
via Atlanta Homes
by Fuller Interiors


by Meyer & Meyer Inc.


by Molly Quinn Design




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  1. Marlene Stephenson says:

    You have covered a lot of information about a foyer and it was needed. I think it is the hardest place to decorate cause i tend to start out okay and end up with too much, thanks.

  2. It is so good to have you back. I’ve missed your emails in my inbox.

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