The foyer introduces your home

February 14, 1993|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Contributing Writer

Q: Although the foyer in my home is fairly large, it has lots of windows and openings to other rooms. Consequently, there's very little uninterrupted wall space. How can I furnish this area that is too big to be left bare? And do you have any other suggestions for how to design such a difficult space?

A: I'd begin by choosing a piece of furniture that can be placed at an angle to some part of the wall. It can even straddle a window if the foyer's configuration doesn't allow any other placement.

The success of this arrangement will depend, of course, on the type of piece you select. It has to be something that looks good from all sides. Some of the possibilities would include a small love seat with a rounded back, an interestingly designed bench, a round table, an unusual chair, or a pedestal to support a fern or a piece of sculpture.

Keep in mind that a foyer doesn't have to be furnished in exactly the same style as the rest of the house. It does, however, need to be consistent with the home's overall look. For example, a starkly contemporary entrance hall simply won't work in a traditionally furnished home. But creativity and personal expression are certainly appropriate in a room that serves as the introduction to a well-designed interior.

Ideally, the foyer should function much like a musical overture, presenting in a concise and vivid way the theme that will follow.

In the photo, for example, an elegant atmosphere has been created as the introduction to a sophisticated apartment. This large entrance hall is similar to your own, in that the wall spaces are punctuated with openings to other rooms. The solution: a Grecian-style couch, often called a recamier, has been angled across a corner, and behind it has been placed a pedestal supporting a decorative metal planter.

As you probably suspected, this graceful piece of furniture is intended more for looking than for actual lounging. The classical rTC lines of the recamier are emphasized by the white-on-white small damask stripe that was chosen as the covering. No, this isn't a utilitarian object, but how much more beautiful it is than a straight bench!

Further enhancing the neo-classical look, the foyer's wooden floor has been stenciled in a large diamond-like pattern. This is meant to echo the floor designs of antiquity, which often featured such geometric shapes. In neo-classical adaptations, they were sometimes formed with ebony wood inserts.

While appearance is paramount in an entrance hall, I don't mean to imply that functional considerations are unimportant. I'm sure your own foyer must have a section of wall against which can be placed a small table as well as a mirror. Those additions are really essential, for without them, where do you put the keys and packages and how are you supposed to adjust your clothing as you hurry out the door?

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