Laurie Gorelick Interiors


Making a Grand Entrance

Because the entry foyer is the space that every invited . . . and uninvited . . . guest will see in your home, it's the space where you want to make a grand design gesture.  It may set the stage for, or be the only glimpse that some will see of, what lies beyond. 

For function, an entry foyer needs some sort of table to toss mail and keys, a place for coats, a mirror to check for lipstick smudges as you're walking out the door, and if space allows a chair or bench.  Where I live in New England, that's a must!  Who wants to track snow and slush into the home!

With such a small footprint, there's ample opportunity to be dramatic.  Take your walls, for instance.  I loved the paint treatment Jamie Drake used in the foyer he did for the 2015 Kips Bay Decorator's Show House.  Onto a specially treated painted surface, his painters sprinkled mica dust.  The effect was sparkling!

For form, Jamie added this sculptural console table.


Notice how the metallic accents -- the wall sconces, ceramic stools, gilded mirror and brass fireplace screen -- also add sparkle and illumination to the room.

Equally dramatic is the treillage, or latticework, that designer Amanda Lindroth installed in this home in the Bahamas.


                                                                    Photo courtesy of House Beautiful

In addition to the wall planes, don't forget the ceiling, oft cited as the forgotten plane in design.  I know I've said that I'm not a fan of a lot of pattern on the ceiling.  In large spaces where the design is focused at eye level or below, I think a patterned ceiling draws the eye away from the room's focus and distorts the composition.  But in a small space like a foyer, where you have to pack a lot of punch in a small footprint, adding pattern to the ceiling may be just what the design needs. 

I love adding metallics to the ceiling to augment illumination.  (I did this in my space for the 2012 Junior League of Boston Designer Showhouse.)  The foyer below by Lilly Bunn Interiors is one of my most pinned pictures from my Pinterest boards.


                                                           Photo courtesy of Lilly Bunn Interiors

Topping off those amazing teal lacquered walls is the gilded ceiling beautifully illuminated by cove lighting and a stunning pendant.  The small scale of the X-benches is perfect under the grand mirror.

As Lilly's foyer illustrates, another way to add drama to the ceiling is with a sculptural light fixture.  Jamie Drake installed a magnificent cloud-like flush-mount fixture to his foyer in the Kips Bay Show House.


Something that adds color while addling light is another great design element for the foyer.  This traditional chandelier, done in red, is the perfect example.


                  Interior by Kim E. Courtney Interiors & Design, photo courtesy of New York Cottages & Gardens

Lastly, don't forget accessories.  A mirror is essential, but if space allows, a dramatic piece of art or sculpture.  Or even a potted plant in a sculptural planter adds volume and form to an otherwise boxy space.


                                                  Interior by Candace Barnes, photo by Patricia Chang