Foyer Makeovers Decorating Tips Foyer Makeovers Decorating Tips

In Parts I and II we discussed the basic foyer and suggestions for decorating them.  In this third part of the series, we will look at the larger foyer that is prevalent in higher end homes.   The larger foyer can often be harder to accessorize and decorate than the smaller ones.  We offer suggestions here.

The Larger Foyer

Experts agree – the best place to get the most mileage out of high ticket items is in the foyer.  Here is a good place to hang a valued painting, or display a sculpture you are especially proud of.  To the budget conscious that still wish to make a good first impression, the foyer is an ideal place to use expensive wall papers, decorative moldings and wainscoting.  On the market today is a type of trim called medallion, which is super simple to install, yet has a lot of class.  The premise is simple – there are no miter joints to cut.  The medallions are placed at the corners, and then the edge trim butts into it at right angles, making a very decorative and easy to install highlight.  This type of molding is often seen in older homes with original woodwork. An elegant console or half round table with a mirror above should be proportionate in size to the foyer.  Be sure it does not impede traffic flow.

Use The Senses

Design experts advise using the five senses when outfitting your foyer. 

  • The discreet use of potpourri, fresh cut flowers and candles go a long way in adding touches that are both inexpensive and work well.  Large floral arrangements that reflect the theme of your home are in good taste. Match the height of cut flowers with the height of the room – in high ceilinged foyers, use gladiolas or calla lilies for accents.
  • Experts recommend using a vanilla scent in the foyer, because it is agreeable to both men and women alike.
  • Visual cues are important, also.  Recommended is to showcase family pictures and other items that tell the world who you are.  Use an oil painting of a family member here if you have one.  Depending on your motif, frames for this feature can make or break the setting. 
  • Make good use of mirrors in this space.  A large foyer can be overwhelming, and mirrors direct the eye in the way you wish it to go.  They also help define space. In foyers which are 2 stories tall, a large chandelier is often utilized.  Experts agree, though, that the use of color and contrast are especially important to offset the sparkle of a chandelier and to make the walls themselves a focal point. 
  • Utilize a subtle but rich shade of paint to contrast the wall color and add drama.  Consider a very tall painting in the 2 story foyer to help fill space.
  • A foyer is a space that requires special planning when doing a makeover. 

Remember, first impressions are often the best.  Make your foyer a space you will be glad to have your guests enter.

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.

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