Friday, May 18, 2012

Welcoming Foyer

Over the years, my friends Franky and Meridith have asked me for help in decorating their foyer.

Foyers can be difficult spaces.  They usually seem too big or too small and, no matter what the size, must accommodate multiple traffic patterns and serve many functions.  Franky and Meridith’s foyer falls into the slightly too big category.  Even with two windows, a large front door, staircase, radiator, double-width opening to the living room and a small passage to the kitchen, their foyer is a substantial space… but one with almost no regular wall surfaces!

Foyers can also be exciting.  They greet visitors, transition us from outdoors to in, (and sometimes downstairs to up), and set the mood for the rest of our homes’ décor.  Franky and Meridith use their front door almost exclusively, so their foyer is literally where they start and end each work and school day.  And I wanted to help them create a room they love in every way.
We started by painting the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Castleton Mist.  Castleton Mist is the softest linden green with lots of yellow ochre and a little brown mixed in… kind of the color of new maple “helicopters” or Tuscan plaster.  It is cheerful without being trendy.
We then added Roman shades in a bold floral fabric.  These are big windows that need sunlight control and can handle a little funk.  The cotton sateen keeps everything looking crisp and fresh.  We dressed another window on the upper landing in a panel of the same fabric and draped it aside with a porcelain lily.

Angela Adams’ tufted wool rug visually grounds the rather open space and introduces more greens and browns.

The pretty 19th-century burlwood desk provides enough cubbies and drawers for household business.  And the spinet front means everything can be hidden away quickly.
A traditional chair would have obscured the desk.  So instead, we paired it with a rolling ottoman that offers extra storage for magazines or mittens.  The polka dot velvet lends a bit of luxury and is surprisingly sturdy.
Finishing touches include a turquoise egg lamp from Haeger Potteries, who have been producing affordable and lovely glazed ceramics since the 1870s; a spun aluminum Francisco Mirror by Babette Holland; and a chalky, French-inspired pendant light.  We wanted something friendly and a little unexpected with the room’s Craftsman elements … something that brightens the space at night but doesn’t grandstand.  The photograph above the desk is by Jeremy Kohm.
We are still looking for an upholstered chair or two that would extend the livability of the foyer and provide seating for visitors who just happen to stop by.  But in truth, foyers do not need a lot of furniture or accessories.  I think Franky and Meridith’s choices are practical and beautiful, so everyday use and viewing is a pleasure.  And who wouldn’t want that for every space in their home?


  1. Beautiful the fabric you choose and the way they look so special.

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  2. AnonymousMay 20, 2012

    You have the eye of an artist. Franky and Meridith's foyer is lovely and inviting. Most of all it is interesting to the eye no matter where you look. Good Work, Carla.


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