Set the tone of your home with an inviting foyer
Your home’s entranceway or foyer often provides the key to whether or not the tone of the home has the right feel, so it’s important to make sure your entranceway is experienced in the best light by making this area feel warm and inviting. The entranceway is the introduction of what is yet to come and to be experienced. So make this first impression count.
“Entranceways are a great way to introduce your design sensibilities,” says Oakville builder/designer Ramsin Khachi of Khachi Interiors. “But that doesn’t mean defining the area with small tiles. Even though the space may be small, people think you need to fill that small area with a row of tiles. By doing this, subconsciously you’re confined to that little space because you feel like you can’t step off that tiled area onto the hardwood.”
Instead, Khachi suggests you take that hardwood flooring right to the front door.
“Unless you have a substantial area that is big enough that people feel like they can walk into a foyer area from the entranceway and then into another area of the house, an entranceway which has been defined is not necessary,” he says. “If anything, it breaks the flow of the house and can make the entrances seem a lot smaller than they are.”
It’s also a good idea to review furniture placement. It’s great to walk in and put your purse or bag down, or to even put your keys onto a credenza or sideboard. But consider something that doesn’t take away from your primary entrance. Select furniture that fits the scale of the entranceway and, most importantly, doesn’t seem confining or blocks the flow of traffic.
“Remember, when you walk in, you want the focal point to be ahead of you so that you’re drawn into the space. You don’t want to create an entranceway where you feel that you have to be contained to that area, like you’re boxed in,” Khachi says. “You want to be pulled into the next room. This can be done by creating an interesting focal point which catches your eye — like a piece of artwork or furniture 10 to 15 feet ahead of them.”
After all, you don’t want them to linger in the foyer. You want them to experience the house.
Lighting is also very important, but since every entranceway or foyer is different — from cathedral ceiling to a low ceiling — Khachi recommends keeping in mind that lighting is a simple way to create atmosphere.
“You want good lighting around you and especially ahead of you, so you’re drawn into the space. Look at creating different moods and effects by washing a wall with a pot light, using table lamps in a room, wall sconces and even a chandelier. And don’t forget to install dimmer switches. This gives you the option of changing the overall lighting intensity and mood as needed.”
Another thing not to overlook is to include the entranceway in your overall paint plan. Khachi suggests using transitional colours in the foyer and the main hallways. The entranceway may be a shade darker or lighter than the opposing hall — but when in doubt, tone-on-tone is always a safe bet.
Keep in mind the importance of those finishing touches also.
“These are the elements which will make any entranceway feel complete,” reminds Khachi. “People often struggle with the idea that their home doesn’t look finished. Well, it’s not finished because people have a really hard time accessorizing. So, add a small rug, a vase of freshly cut flowers or a grouping of three to four pictures on one side of the hallway and one picture on the other. It’s about balance, texture and about creating a warm, inviting feeling.”