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How to Decorate Your Foyer

An entryway is not a place for clutter.

Yves Hang lamp
Yves Hang lamp, $4,010, urbanelectric.com
Photo: Urban Electric Co.
Andrea Goldman
Photo: Eric Hausman

Andrea Goldman

Principal of Andrea Goldman Design in Glencoe

The foyer announces what you’re all about, so you don’t want to ignore it. Start with lights: Decorative hanging pieces will stand out. The Urban Electric Co. makes some good ones. Bring warmth to the space with textured wallpaper made of a flannel, grass cloth, or even silk. (If you have kids who bump against the walls a lot, try one of Phillip Jeffries’s durable vinyl papers in a fun pattern.) Paint the ceiling to give it a lacquered finish, which adds an unexpected luxury to the room. Have a tight space? A mirror makes it feel larger, and you can stop to look at yourself before you leave. Otherwise, hang up your best piece of art. If you lack storage, Anthropologie has excellent hardware for coats that runs the gamut from vintage to modern to suit your taste.

Hand-carved, spinach jade foo dogs
Hand-carved, spinach jade foo dogs, $299 a pair, chairish.com
Photo: Courtesy of Chairish
K. Tyler
Photo: Morgante-Wilson

K. Tyler

Principal of Morgante-Wilson Architects in Evanston

An entryway is not a place for clutter; people are circulating in and out. Keep it clean and simple, with just a few touches to make it inviting. A statement light can improve the mood of such a small space, like Catellani & Smith’s clam-shaped lamp that doubles as a sculpture. If you have a boring coir mat outside, you could splurge on a decorative wool rug inside to add drama. I’ve used a luxurious patterned one from Oscar Isberian to hide dirt and add sophistication. Get a fun console or bench to offer guests a place to fuss with their coats or shoes. I have a pair of jade foo dogs — traditional Chinese sculptures that ward off evil spirits — on mine to provide a little eye candy. Tchotchkes make great conversation starters and give your guests a first impression of your unique home.

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