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How to Choose Foyer Furniture

Create an entry space that's uncluttered, attractive, and welcoming with wise furniture choices.

By Jan Soults Walker

Any foyer can easily become a catchall for footwear, book bags, sporting goods, mail, keys, cell phones, and anything else that comes through the front door. Take control of the clutter and make a fabulous first impression with some thoughtful planning and strategic (and stylish) furniture selections.

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Jessica Lagrange

Mindful measures

Create a clear picture of the available space in your foyer. Draw a floor plan with accurate measurements—use graph paper, a free online tool, or computer software to create a to-scale layout. Note the locations of doors, windows, closets, and staircases. Watch out for register covers and cold air returns as well—you don't want to block these, if possible.

Use furniture templates to experiment with placement of various pieces on your floor plan. As you investigate furniture options, notice whether doors can open freely or if any piece would interrupt traffic flow. Don't over-furnish the area or you defeat the purpose of creating an inviting look.

If visualizing a floor plan doesn't work for you, cut out life-size furniture "footprints" from craft paper (or outline furniture footprints with masking tape) and test fit the pieces in your foyer to see what shapes and sizes work in the available space.

Stylish options

Think about your foyer's overriding issues and consider a variety of solutions.

Garrison Hullinger

Shoes and boots everywhere. A bench with a lid that lifts to reveal storage is ideal for stowing footwear or bulky items such as sporting goods. A cushioned lid doubles as a handy spot where one can sit and put on shoes.

Coats and book bags on the floor. When closet space is absent or at a premium, add furniture that boosts hanging space and closed storage. To preserve floor space, consider a rack with pegs or a small hall tree. For a more spacious foyer, an armoire can add style and elegance as well as lots of space inside the cabinet for organizing.

Mountains of paper. Gain control of a foyer that's also the family drop zone by adding an attractive console table with drawers, a chest of drawers, or a sideboard. Assign drawers to everyone for tidying papers, mail, and children's artwork, for example.

Gloomy atmosphere. Brighten your foyer with an attractive table lamp or two and add an attractively framed mirror to reflect light and create the illusion of more space. A mirror in the foyer also makes it easy to check hair and makeup before heading out the door.

All of the above. Some furnishings combine all these options, offering a mirror underscored with pegs for hanging book bags and coats, with a storage bench below. Lockers or cabinets flank the bench for enclosed storage. Some combination models feature a bench with baskets below the seat. Choose one with enough baskets for every household member or label baskets for shoes, mail, and more.

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