The Foyer


Foyer: An entrance Hall in a house or apartment. Pronounced “foy er”  or “foy yeah”. Either pronunciation is correct but the snoots in design school insisted on “ foy yeah”.   Whatever.  In everyday English, it’s also the “entry” or the “front porch”. Just depends on the house.  But whatever the pronunciation, it is still a room. 


I was asked what furniture should be purchased for an entry and it occurred to me that most of us forget that the entry is a  separate room and requires the same consideration as any other room in the house. The decor of the entry will set the tone for the home and it is not, typically,  the room to throw caution to the wind and experiment with faux paint techniques.  Well, not for most of us, anyway. 


Start with a usage list. Write down the activities that happen in the entry and what furniture and lighting is required for each activity. This is key.


Draw a to-scale floor plan of the entry. Use graph paper and a 1 square to 6 inches scale. Mark the doors, the direction in which they open, radiators and windows. 


Print the  scale templates of furniture outlines from “Simpler Pleasures” at  Cut out the ones you need – refer to your usage list and arrange these pieces on your floor-plan.  Adjust your furniture sizes as needed. 


A door needs 36 inches of swing space. Drawers need 24 inches to open. Chairs should have a minimum of 24 inches of clearance on the two sides and front. 


When you have the furniture in place, decide how to supply the necessary lighting —  table lamp or overhead pot lamp for the mail desk, for example–  and draw some circles on the floor-plan to indicate these light sources.  


Measure the area you will need covered by the rug. Make sure it is big enough to fit under furniture and not be a potential tripping hazard. 


Now, look at what you have. You can list, definitively, the type and size of each piece of furniture you need, the type of lighting required and the size of the area rug you will need.  If you go shopping with a list this specific, and stick to it, you will save yourself an immense amount of time, frustration and, potentially, dollars. 


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