I remember my first visit to a clients home in Sydney. I came down the steps, through the front door and then walked into the foyer space (which was actually a landing). The first thing I saw was a life size brass dog taking up a good portion of the space. Let’s just say it was memorable.
Now you might not have a dog statue in your entry but you probably have too many knickknacks, ugly coat/hat racks, lots of shoes and a scented candle. Or something along those lines.
So today we’re going to discuss cheap, quick and not too scary ways to spruce up your entry/foyer. Lets make it somewhere you want to come home to, and somewhere your guests will enjoy visiting. But lets also have a little bit of fun with it! because its only a small room, that you don’t ‘live’ in all day long. So go a little crazy and invest in making this your happy place. An inspiration to all who come and go.
First things first you need to get your canvas right. That’s your walls, floors and built in structures. Then you can add lighting, accessories, furniture and art.
One of the cheapest ways you can make impact is through paint. Try a moody charcoal feature wall, paint the door in a colour, or paint the walls in half strength or double strength to the rest of the house. And if you’re really daring paint the ceiling in a colour! This would look amazing.
Pick a fabulously patterned wallpaper and do the entire room. If you’re trying to keep the cost down just do a feature wall or add a chair rail and do the lower portion of the walls. You can source these from your local paint shop or online.
3. Built in storage
It’s great to incorporate some storage into your entry space to give a ‘home’ to items before they get scattered throughout the house. Consider a bench seat with shoe storage or a coat closet. But the main rule here is to use doors on your cabinetry and don’t have open shelving. Because lets be honest bags, shoes and keys are hard to keep tidy. You can either talk to a local cabinet maker or get something from ikea and retrofit it into your home.
5. Area Rug / Runner
Why not add a pop of colour and personality through an interesting runner that guides your guests into the home. Rugs really help an interior feel lived in. They are particularly good for hiding bad floors and drawing the eye away from other imperfections in that zone. Freedom have a huge range of affordable rugs, or you could try Zanui and West Elm.
6. Decorative Hooks
Dress up your walls with some fun coat hooks that will look great when nothing is hanging on them. Your local hardware shop will have plenty of options. You could also get creative and spray paint them in a bright or contrasting colour or use an unexpected material like turned wood, umbrella handles or bent silverware.
7. Console Table
There is a reason you see console tables in most homes – they just work! I prefer to get ones with drawers so you can use one for keys, one for mail and one for grab-and-go knickknacks like sunscreen, tissues etc. Then on top of the console you can display decorative pieces. Domayne has a great range and I also love the ones from Regency Distribution.
Baskets suit more relaxed entry foyers, particularly when you don’t have the option to build in any storage. They can be positioned in an empty corner for shoes or umbrellas, perfectly placed into a built in bench, or decoratively sitting under or next to the console table.
A mirror is a great addition to your foyer/entry because other than being a thing of beauty it is also incredibly functional. It’s a little known rule that mirrors near the front door are very useful. You can quickly check yourself before you leave, eliminating lipstick on tooth dilemmas. A mirror will also make the space fill larger and brighter by reflecting space and light. Try mirrorz online or By Dezign or your local supplier.
Entry spaces are an excellent location to feature strong pieces of art. This is because there is less competition for the eye compared to other parts of the home. However if you go for a bold statement artwork, make sure you complement it with the other colours and accessories. Your entry is the first thing guests see so it indicates your personality and preferences and what better way to do this then showing your taste in art.
As funny as it sounds I like a clock near the entry. I’m always racing from point A to point B and its nice to not have to go out of my way to see the time. And there are some seriously gorgeous clocks available! Metallic, glass, timber, antique, geometric, there is something for every taste. I’ve found Oz Design have a good selection, but also keep an eye out in the boutique shops for these.
12. A CHAIR
If you have room for an armchair or even a chair then this is a great way to fill your entry. Its useful for taking shoes on and off, and is also a good way to vary the height/shape of the objects filling that space. For instance a console is often quite ‘square’ and a chair is often ‘round’ so the two complement eachother nicely. I would go for something really special here, either a vintage find or a beautifully upholstered newbie.
13. A PAIR OF OTTOMANS
When space is tight a pair of compact ottomans tucked under the console can be a lifesaver. It not only looks great but provides seating when needed. There is no rule here, absolutely anything is allowed – fabric, metal, wood, patterned, plain, textured…go nuts!
14. Beautiful Large bowl or dish
This will form part of your console styling but is also where your guests will inevitably throw their keys, wallet and sunglasses. Any homeware or furniture shop will have these so make sure you’re picky on finding one that suits the mood and colour scheme of that room.
15. Decorative Tray
A stylish console display starts with eye-catching vignettes on a gorgeous tray. You can choose any colour or material. The rule of thumb here is to have it as a contrasting colour to the console table so it stands out. I personally like shiny metallic, hand crafted timber or bright coloured ones. Just make sure you have fun with it!
16. Table Lamp
If it’s difficult to replace your ceiling light then a table lamp on your console is a great alternative. The fabric provides texture and the glow of the light provides warmth. Using a custom fabric will add personality and cohesion to your scheme.
17. Fresh flowers
I love fresh flowers in a home. They literally add ‘life’ to the space. It gives a texture and fragrance that no other decoration can. It reminds you that there is life beyond these 4 walls, which stops us going crazy! Plus you don’t have to commit to colours and you can change it seasonally. Remember that the type of flowers you use will either make it feel relaxed or formal. Botanicals, sunflowers and gerberas might look more casual wheras roses and calla lilies look more formal.
18. Natural elements - Branches, vines, leaves, pine cones or succulents
These are a great addition to your entry or console styling because they are free! It’s nice to consider the current season when decorating. So perhaps try dried leaves, cones or branches for autumn/winter, and succulents and flowers for spring/summer. The quantity you use will make it either subtle or dramatic. I love this option because you don’t have to commit to anything, you can change it over when you get bored and constantly try new things. So have fun with nature!
Who doesn’t love a beautiful book? Books are great filler items on a console when trying to create a vignette of objects. I like using neutral colours so that they don’t draw too much attention away from your feature pieces.
20. Unique ornaments
Styling unique ornaments on your console is a great opportunity to feature those items you often have hidden in the back of your cupboards and never use. Things like special wedding presents, artifacts from travels or just something you splurged on from a homeware shop. Just make sure not to clutter the surface with knickknacks, Start with 5-6 options and then add and subtract items until the whole thing looks cohesive.
Now I know I joked about it at the beginning, but candles do have their place in an entry. But consider it part of the whole picture not a stand-alone item. And don’t just get a good-looking one, get a beautifully fragrant one to set the mood when guests are coming over.
What's your favourite item to use in an entry?
Is there something you can't live without in your entry/foyer? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.