We have a really small foyer in our townhouse. The last two houses that we lived in had grand two story foyers with lots of room for furniture and people, but that’s not the case with this one. It is tiny and somewhat dark. Since it’s the first space that guests see when they visit our home, I make the most of the limited square footage it has to offer. I want our guests to feel welcome and to get a feel for our home once they enter the front door. In the six years that we have lived here, our foyer has had many looks. Through trial and error, I feel as if I have finally found what works for our space, and I have come up with seven tips for decorating a small foyer to share with you. How many of these suggestions you can do depends on the size of your foyer, how much wall space you have, and how many doorways there are.
1. Mirror – Mirrors are great accessories to have in any room, but they are especially good in a foyer. They reflect light and movement and can make a small space look and feel bigger. If a mirror can reflect an exterior window, that’s even better. Plus, having a mirror gives you and your guests a chance to check hair and make-up on the sly when no one is looking.
2. Rug – A rug in the foyer is practically mandatory. If you choose a rug with the same colors that you use in your home, then it will help the transition from foyer to the main living space. Choosing an indoor rug or an indoor/outdoor rug is a decision to make based on how much foot traffic your foyer gets. We have an antique kilim rug in our foyer that we purchased in Turkey. When we traveled to Istanbul for a long week-end a few years ago, I took the measurements of our foyer with me. I wanted a rug that would fill the space, and I found exactly what I was looking for. Because it is an old rug, it already has spots that show some wear, so I don’t feel as if I need to be too careful with it. When it gets soiled, I just take it to the professional rug cleaners in our area. If you want to be more practical, then go with an indoor/outdoor rug that can handle a lot of wear and tear. I like the rug to fill the space, but if you would rather have a smaller rug, then go for it. The important thing here is to have some type of rug in your small foyer.
3. Dresser, console, or table – Since living here, we have had a drop leaf table, an old dresser, and a bench on the main wall in our foyer at different times. Right now we are using a marble-topped dresser, and it seems to be the best option. It has drawers for storage and has room for lamps on the top. There’s also space for a dish to hold keys, etc. I change out the accessories to fit the season. I am getting ready to dress it in red, white, and blue so it will be decked out for Memorial Day. That look will take me through July 4th, and then I will freshen it up to finish out summer.
4. Lamps – Although most foyers have an overhead light, I like to have one or two lamps in our small foyer. I mentioned above that it is dark, and we turn our lamps on in the morning and keep them on all day. They seem to make the space a little bit cozier. I switch up the lamps to fit the season also.
5. Bench – Until just a few months ago, there was no space in our foyer for both a dresser and a bench, but we took out a grandfather clock that was using up a wall. Now we have room for a narrow bench. Having a bench in our foyer feels almost like a luxury. There’s a spot to sit if we want to put on or remove shoes, and its soft surface adds some additional color to the space. If you google entryway bench, lots of options come up. Some have hooks, some have storage on the bottom, and some have storage under the seat.
6. Wallpaper – Having a focal point in a small foyer is a way to define the space. Adding a bold wallpaper is a way for a nondescript foyer to show who’s boss. Jordan had a teeny foyer in her Syracuse house, and we stenciled it. If you don’t want to deal with the mess of wallpapering, then a small area can be stenciled in just a few hours. Your space will take on a whole new personality.
7. Paint – For about four years, the interior side of our front door was white. Then one day I decided to paint it navy blue because we have that color in every room in our house. Wow! What a different it made to our small foyer. You can see it there in the mirror’s reflection. It was an easy and inexpensive step that made a huge impact. Talk about bang for the buck! If you have thought about painting the inside of your front door, I encourage you to do it. After all, if you don’t like it, it will be so easy to paint it white again.
There you go. You can do one or all of these tips, and make your foyer work better for you and your home.