White walls, light-colored floors and natural light brighten a foyer.

How to Brighten Up a Foyer

by Mary Cockrill

Give your guests a sneak peek into the rest of your home by making a good first impression in the foyer. The right colors, textures, lighting and furniture can brighten up a foyer with increased illumination and perky visual interest. Select foyer furnishings to suit your needs, accommodate the available floor space and cater to your personal preferences. Set a decorating budget to establish your spending limits.


Apply a light paint color to foyer walls to brighten the space. Opt for a soft pastel or pale neutral to instantly brighten your foyer with an open, airy feel. Light colors also reflect more natural and artificial light to create a sense of spaciousness. For more brightening power, select a satin or semigloss paint finish to supply a more reflective surface that bounces and reflects light. If you want to cheer up a bland foyer, apply a vibrant paint hue – pumpkin orange, lime green, turquoise blue or lemon yellow -- to create eye-popping visual appeal.

Windows and Light

Light is a foyer’s best friend for creating a brighter space. Avoid heavy draperies that block incoming natural light that can make your foyer seem dark and depressing. Translucent, lightweight sheers offer limited privacy while allowing natural light to filter through them. Choose pristine white sheers to brighten your foyer with a fresh, airy feel. Skylights and solar tubes afford additional natural lighting options. Hang a sparkling chandelier or pendant light in your foyer to brighten it with elegant artificial illumination as well.

Ceiling and Floor

Lighten your foyer by applying bright white paint to the ceiling. If you prefer a hint of color, select a paint hue for your ceiling that is two to three shades lighter than your existing wall color. The lighter ceiling color creates the visual illusion of a larger, brighter space. Dark-colored flooring has a propensity to make a foyer feel gloomy. Replace dark-colored floors with light-colored carpet, tile or hardwood to make your foyer appear bright and open.

Furniture and Accessories

Add foyer seating to fit your lifestyle, as well as the available floor space. Upholstered chairs, benches or loveseats in lively stripes, plaids or floral fabrics offer feel-good seating to foster a bright, cheery ambiance for your guests. Solid accent tables in dark wood tones are predisposed toward making a foyer feel crowded and gloomy. Exchange dark wooden tables for lightweight replacements, such as tables topped with glass or shiny metal supported by open, metal legs. Hang an oversized mirror in your foyer to expand the visual space by supplying a reflective surface. Brighten the visual appeal in a dark foyer with a vase of colorful, fresh flowers placed on top of an accent table and brightly colored toss pillows set atop seating.

About the Author

Mary Cockrill's education and certifications in interior design and home staging have allowed her to author numerous home-related articles. Cockrill has been a top design consultant for a renowned home store and is the owner of Starwood Home & Gifts, LLC, an interior design, decorating and home staging business. She holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a comprehensive major in office administration.

Photo Credits

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