Inviting Spaces | The Foyer

The foyer or entry is the first room of your house that guests will see.  It's basically the first-impression space.  For this reason, it's important to do it right.  A foyer should be inviting--it should say, welcome to my home without words!  It should also be an appropriate representation of your style--it should flow with the rest of the house and act as a goo pre-cursor to the style of the other rooms.  It's important because it will basically set the mood of the house, like most first impressions do for relationships.  So even though the foyer is small and seemingly insignificant, it matters!  Today we're going to go over some ways that you can create the most appropriate foyer for your home--one that will leave a lasting good impression.

For starters, make sure you understand the tone of your home before you tackle the foyer.  Is your home's style French Country?  Industrial?  Modern?  Farmhouse? Coastal? Transitional? Electic?  You have to nail this down before you really start in on the foyer.

Once you've figured out your style, start considering all the elements that a foyer requires.  Foyers need layers.  Like any well-designed space, it's important for them to have some depth and of course visual interest.  Lighting, for example, is key in a foyer.  Most entryway's have some sort or chandelier or hanging light.  While this light isn't always super fancy, it needs to offer an appropriate transition from the outside to the inside of the house.  Consider ambient lighting too.  An overhead light can sometimes be too harsh, or maybe even too little light.  Consider adding a lamp or some other sort of lighting that can balance out the over-head glow.

Functionality of a foyer is key.  Is there a space for guests to set stuff down.  If they have a bag or coat, is there a place to quickly set them down?  Or even for you, the homeowner.  Is there storage where you can drop your keys and phone?  Some homeowners prefer that guests don't where shoes in the house--is there ample storage for guests to remove their shoes and leave them in the foyer without creating an eyesore?  We like to think of the foyer as a landing space--a space where guests stop briefly to make the transition from outside to inside.  Make sure your foyer has the essentials to make this transition easy for them.

What's underfoot?  There can sometimes be controversy on whether or not it's approrpiate to have a nice rug in a foyer.  Some would prefer more of mat that can functional well for wiping feet off.  We say, go for the pretty rug.  It doesn't have to be an expensive rug, but it should be something that beautifies the space while also functioning well to catch any dirt.  This layer of softgoods also adds a cozy touch to the entry, warming up the overall feel of the space.

Don't forget the walls!  The walls in a foyer matter!  Just like our recent post about placing art in the kitchen, we absolutely feel that art in a foyer is appropriate.  What guest wouldn't want to walk into your home and immediately view a lovely piece of artwork or some great photography.  Not only does it enhance the space but these pieces can easily be a fun conversation starter that [once again] helps make the transition into your home more comfortable for your guests.

If you don't have a large foyer or don't have a good area to hang art, wallpaper is always another option.  Just like small powder bathrooms, foyers have the ability to pack a big punch with a bold wallpaper.

Does that help!?  We hope so!  Homes should be comfortable and inviting and we believe the foyer is the very first thing that determines that.  Now go make a beautiful foyer and invite us over to see it! :)

Tuesday Tips | Keeping the Stress out of Entertaining

For some, hosting any sort of event at their home requires weeks of planning and a lot of heartburn!  But it doesn't have to be like this!  Sometimes the stress of hosting a party is due to simply not knowing how to prepare while other times the stress comes from feeling as though there's too much to worry about.  So today, we're going to try to streamline and simplify the process for you by listing things you can do as you prepare for your next event that will not only help you determine exactly WHAT needs to be done, but the best time and way to do it.

For starters, you don't want to spend your entire party in the kitchen cooking--so PREpare the food in advance....or, at least as much of it as you can.  Think about this as you're selecting your menu as well--what food items can easily be prepared in advance?  Try not to pick dishes that must be served immediately.   That kind of dish will immediately create a down for your dinner party.  Guests want to see the host and you should be able to enjoy your company--so try to stay out of the kitchen!

Every hostess wants her party to be the best--with most delicious food, beautiful decor, and interesting conversation.  However, these can be lofty goals, especially since you can't be sure what other dinner parties your guests have attended.  But, you can do things to make sure you put your own unique spin on things and this starts with getting creative with decor.  You don't have to spend a ton of money on decor in order for it to be eye-catching...just sort of, step things up a little.  You'll already be serving food, so make that the focal point of the table.  Pull out your pretty platters (pick up a few that are interesting) and use the food to create a table scape.  Simple clear glass or plain white vases make great vessels for flowers or greenery.  Check your yard or a park for something that could be used as filler before you run to the florist.  And finally, make the table cloth something fun that guests will talk about later--kraft paper that they can write on, or newspaper that gives the table an interesting twist.  And remember, you can always borrow decorative items from a friend without having to spend a lot of money on your own!

Do a quick run through the house to make sure there aren't small pieces of furniture that could get in the way.  Make sure things you don't want left out are neatly tucked away.  Is there hand soap, guest napkins, and extra toilet paper in the bathroom.  Will ladies know where to store their purses and coats?  Where should everyone park?  Thinking about these things in advance will help prevent any day-of stress.

Provide a fun drink.  Since most guests like to mingle a little at dinner parties before and after the meal, it's nice for them to have something to sip on.  An easy cocktail or even coffee in the winter.  A small appetizer is nice too--but it doesn't have to be over the top.  Food and drink always keep the party going and conversation flowing.

Decide on the ambiance and implement it!  Do you want a relaxing, jazzy night with low lighting and chill music, or loud games and laughter?  Once you decide, make sure your space can accommodate the feel you're trying to provide.

If you use this list as a guide, you'll definitely have a successful dinner party!