Consistency in decor is fundamental when a foyer opens into a living room.

How to Stage a Living Room That Is Right Off of the Foyer

by Jann Seal

First impressions count, and when guests enter your home for the first time, the entryway, or foyer, is their initial introduction into your personal world. The foyer is a statement that reflects your taste, your sense of organization and the regard you have for your home. Moms with families large or small should maintain order in the foyer, especially when it opens to the living room, by selectively choosing the foyer fundamentals and blending them with the living room decor.

1. Continuity

When a foyer leads directly into your living room or opens to an adjoining living room, blend the themes of both rooms when decorating them. They don't have to look identical, but colors, flooring and furnishings should coordinate. If your foyer has an oak hardwood floor topped with a hook rug, an upholstered parson's bench and oak-framed mirror, for example, your visitors will expect to see Early American decor in the living room as well. Maintaining continuity melds both spaces.

2. Color

Since the living room is the focus of your decor, select a color theme for the larger space and use a lighter hue of the main wall color for the foyer, preferably a neutral with a hint of the underlying living room color. Using the Early American example, a sage living room blends with a foyer color that's white tinged with sage. Paint the ceilings of both rooms in the same light sage, and apply the same glossy white to the trim and moldings in both areas.

3. Flooring

Laying the same flooring on all living spaces that you can see from a specific point opens up the house and helps it flow. If you’re using hardwood, create a herringbone pattern in the foyer and continue the darker wood into the living room. A tile floor, set with a thin grout line and laid on the horizontal, is impressive when you have a medallion inset on the foyer floor, which maintains continuity but gives the space its own personality. An area rug in the living room should blend with a rug placed in the foyer. If you’re using an Oriental carpet, keep the colors consistent, although the patterns will vary.

4. Wall Art

Select the wall art for the living room first. Decide on the framing and use a similar color format for the foyer art. Gold-framed pictures highlighting your accent color in the living room complement a gold framed mirror in the foyer. Place a vase of silk flowers in your accent color in the foyer. Hang wallpaper on a feature wall of the living room and use a variation of the pattern in the foyer for a subtle joining of the spaces. For foyers without closets, hang colorful wall hooks horizontally across the wall and coordinate outerwear to coincide with your interior colors.

5. Decor

If your living room is decorated in Mid-Century Modern, with sleek lines and leather and wood combinations, don’t place a Primitive piece in the foyer. Instead, add an X-framed leather ottoman, a trim parson's table laminated in a glossy color that matches your color scheme, and either laminated cubbies or a modern coat rack. Keep the decor consistent if the two spaces are visually integrated. Use the foyer as an introduction to the larger picture that the living room provides.

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