Create a foyer within your existing floor space.

How to Create a Foyer

by Cynthia T. Toney

Without a foyer in your apartment or small home, visitors and household members sometimes find themselves face-to-face when they would prefer a buffer zone between them. The addition of a foyer provides a degree of privacy as well as a transition into your main living space. With inexpensive and movable items, you can create a foyer that subtracts little square footage and functions as if it you planned it for the space from the beginning.

Dividing the Space

Form a division next to the entry door by creating the illusion of a wall. A tall folding screen or étagère on the floor immediately designates a foyer space. Screens may have painted scenery or embellishments of mirror tiles or other materials. For a softer or lighter divider, hang simple pocket-rod draperies from a rod mounted to the ceiling. Choose draperies in a fabric weight and thickness for the privacy you desire, or sew your own. Home improvement and department stores have experts in window treatments who can help you select the right rod and hardware for your decor. Decorative art panels made for hanging on the wall also make attractive room dividers. They often have iron frames with openwork wooden bead, rattan or other natural materials in their design. Hang one tall panel from chains attached to ceiling-mounted hooks, or vertically attach two smaller panels to each other and hang. Hardware stores sell chains that can be cut to the length you need.

Anchor Pieces

Even if the floor in front of your entry door if different from the rest of the floor, anchor the foyer space with a small area rug. A rug approximately 4-by-6 feet works well may be all you need. Select a rug constructed from synthetic fibers if you wish to save money. You will find a large variety of designs and colors to suit any decor. Further define the space with that staple of the foyer -- the console. A console can be a table or a chest as long as it is 30 to 36 inches high. Sometimes a narrow end table or side table make a good console table, particularly in a tight space. Place the console along a side wall. If there is no wall, place it against the faux wall you created with a screen or draperies, or position it under a hanging art panel.


Like any foyer, yours should function for the convenience of your household. If this is your home's main entrance and exit, place a tall ceramic or metal container on the floor to hold umbrellas. A standing coatrack will be appreciated by family and guests alike, especially if there is no closet in the area. If there is a sold wall, hang an attractively framed mirror for last-minute checks of hair and makeup. Include a decorative box or tray to hold mail or car keys.


Your small, new foyer should make a good first impression on visitors and work cohesively with the rest of the space. But rather than exhibit a formality that is not present elsewhere, have the foyer reflect your or your family's taste and personality. If you love color, paint the console, door or an adjoining wall in a bright hue. Choose a pair of console lamps or a floor lamp in keeping with your idea of style. If your divider is an étagère, fill it with art or accessories that showcase your family's talents or interests.


About the Author

Cynthia T. Toney, a former newspaper designer, began writing in 1999 for a newsletter devoted to decorating with salvage. As advertising and marketing director for an educational publisher, she wrote copy for its website, catalogs and mailings. Toney also has been an interior decorator and is the author of a teen novel, "Bird Face." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art education.

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