Tips for Decorating a Small Foyer

We had a really small foyer in our last townhouse.   It was tiny and somewhat dark.  Since it was the first space that guests saw when they visited our home, I made the most of the limited square footage it had to offer.  I wanted our guests to feel welcome and to get a feel for our home once they entered the front door.  In the eight years that we lived there, our foyer  had many looks.   I came 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.

Screen shot from Thrifty Decor Chick



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.


Foyer kilim rug - The 2 Seasons


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 had 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 had spots that show some wear, so I didn’t feel as if I needed to be too careful with it.  When it got soiled, I just took 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.


March in the foyer - The 2 Seasons


3.  Dresser, console, or table

While living there, we had a drop leaf table, an old dresser, and a bench on the main wall in our foyer at different times.  My favorite was a marble-topped dresser, and it seemed to be the best option.  It had drawers for storage and had room for lamps on the top.  There was also space for a dish to hold keys, etc.  I changed out the accessories to fit the season.


March in the foyer - The 2 Seasons


4.  Lamps

Although most foyers have an overhead light, I liked to have one or two lamps in our small foyer.  I mentioned above that it was dark, and we turned our lamps on in the morning and kept them on all day.  That seemed to make the space a little bit cozier.  I switched up the lamps to fit the season.

Foyer bench - The 2 Seasons


5.  Bench

Small foyers don’t always have room for a bench.  Having one there can almost feel like a luxury.  If you do have space for one, double its effectiveness by putting baskets under it that can hold hats and gloves and hooks above it that can hold coats, purses, etc.


Screen shot from lonny


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.


Foyer - The 2 Seasons


7.  Paint

For about four years, the interior side of that front door was white.  Then one day I decided to paint it navy blue because we had that color in every room in that house, too.  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.


7 Tips for Decorating a Small Foyer - The 2 Seasons


There you go.  You can do one or all of these tips, and make your foyer work better for you and your home.


Take care.

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