A console table provides a space to set personal belongings in the foyer.

How to Make a Foyer Useful

by Mary Cockrill

The foyer makes a first impression for the rest of your home. Entryways are built in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles to complement a home's architectural features and available floor space. Decorate your foyer to provide a warm welcome for guests, while making it more useful for your family. Set a decorating budget you feel comfortable with to help you narrow the options. Next, determine how you can best use the available foyer space to meet the lifestyle needs of your family members.

1. Sitting Area

Create a sitting area for your foyer based on its available floor space. In a small foyer, place a petite, streamlined bench or single chair against an entryway wall to supply a convenient spot for tying shoelaces or removing shoes upon entering. Design a comfortable space for engaging in casual conversation or reading by flanking an accent table with a pair of comfortable armchairs in a moderate-sized foyer. Large foyers with ample floor space are well suited for larger furniture pieces, such as a standard-sized sofa situated against a wall with a coffee table placed in front of it.

2. Temporary Storage

Wall hooks help to keep a small foyer organized and clutter-free by providing a convenient spot to hang jackets, sweaters, backpacks and hats upon entering the home. Hang lower hooks for small children to hang outdoor clothing and higher hooks for adults. A coat tree's slender, open design supplies another temporary storage option that makes a small foyer more useful. Coat trees often contain a designated space for storing umbrellas as well. Spacious, open entryways are well suited for a hall tree, which typically incorporates a bench seat, shoe shelf and coatrack into a single furniture piece. Situate a console table near your foyer entrance for placing books, purses, papers and other personal items upon entering your home. Place a small bowl atop the table for collecting your keys, coins and wallet.

3. Permanent Storage

Repurpose a chest of drawers or dresser as a one-of-a-kind entryway piece in larger foyers for stashing seasonal items, such as mittens, gloves, scarves and stocking hats. Line one foyer wall with a built-in shelving unit to supply a permanent storage spot for books and magazines. Arrange your children's books on lower shelves for easy accessibility and place magazines in woven baskets. Build several cabinets with hinged doors at the base of your shelving unit to use as extra storage space for children's toys, seasonal bedding or other household items.

4. Other Ideas

Hang a large mirror over a foyer console table for checking your appearance upon exiting or entering your home. Create a music room in a large, open entryway by placing a piano diagonally across a bare corner. Furnish the space with a sofa, loveseat or chairs to provide comfortable seats while listening to a pianist. Brighten a light-filled foyer with a variety of natural greenery and flowering plants to create your own mini nursery. You can also use your foyer space for displaying your annual Christmas tree, complete with festive decorations and wrapped presents.

Photo Credits

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