By: Jamie Gold, CKD CAPS
Your entry foyer is your home’s welcome hug to guests. These sensible style suggestions are intended to help you make this important space warm, friendly, low-maintenance and accessible during this busy entertaining season.
Doorknobs are such a common element in our lives that we seldom think much about them. Yet, they create one of your home’s first impressions — and can be a barrier to entry for some. A traditional round doorknob is hard for someone with arthritis or Parkinson’s to operate. It’s also harder for someone with an armful of holiday gifts to operate. A lever-style door handle — both at your entry and from a powder room off that entry — will treat your holiday guests much more kindly.
Coat hooks are always helpful, but they become foyer MVPs when you lack a coat closet or need overflow space for a large crowd.
If your foyer doesn’t have a mirror, holiday time is an ideal time to add one. It will reflect your holiday décor and add light to the space. It will also give your guests a discreet opportunity to touch up their hair or makeup while you’re hanging up their coats.
A bench for removing and storing shoes during the soggy, busy holiday season will make your entry foyer better organized and protect your floors against the elements.
A foyer table is always helpful, but it’s especially welcoming to holiday guests juggling gifts, food carriers, wine bottles and flowers. Your well-coordinated table adds style to your entry and convenience for your company.
Art work sets the tone for your foyer. While it may only be seen in passing most of the year as you rush through your home, it’s likelier to be lingered over more as hellos and goodbyes are exchanged. You might consider rotating pieces in and out of your foyer — even collecting holiday-themed art work — for a cheerful gallery experience at home.
Let your foyer reflect the holiday season, too. Fragrant decorations in keeping with your home’s style will warmly welcome your guests. Be sure, though, that there’s still space on the table for them to set down bags while removing their coats or putting them back on.
GET HOOKED ON SOCIAL MEDIA
When you’re out of ideas, a must-try tactic is to follow your favorite interior designers, magazines and retail stores on Facebook, where your news feed will routinely fill with stupendous ideas for styling your entryway. Payne, for that matter, is quickly becoming an addict of Pinterest, the site that’s created a craze of creative new folks. “With Pinterest, everybody has the opportunity to be creative. There’s a wealth of information and images that had not been at our fingertips before,” she says. The designer’s been seeing a ton of fabulous tricks for door decorating from the friends and media outlets she follows there, from oversize monograms, to contemporary square wreaths, to a hodge podge of picture frames painted in the prevailing color palette. For fall, use a few yard sale frames painted yellow, orange and brown. Come Christmas, shake up the spray cans and lacquer them again shades of green, gold and crimson. It’s a clever way for, say, college students in apartment building or homeowners in subdivisions to make their homes stand apart from lookalike neighbors.
TRY SOME RETAIL THERAPY
You can source a surplus of ready-made wreaths, faux leaves and pliable ribbons at craft and decor stores. Even some retailers’ garden sections offer an array of seasonal items to quickly spruce up your door. Need a little more design inspiration? Try Pottery Barn, suggests Payne. “From the moment you walk in the store, you’ll see new ways to put things together. It’s classy, it’s classic and the seasonal decorating classes to teach you how to create those looks at home. It’s definitely worth checking out the class calendar.”
KEEP IT UNIQUE WITH MASONITE
For a Masonite wood entry door, all you need is a nail and wire or a door hanger. But many Masonite doors are made of high-quality fiberglass or steel, so you’d never deign to drill a permanent hole in them. Yet this shouldn’t stop you from festooning the front with festive trinkets. “One of the things I like to do with Masonite doors is use fasteners or hooks. They leave no marks and they have a clean look,” Payne says. And in lieu of the typical hangers that hang on a door, there are magnet hangers that can be purchased at big-box retailers. If you do opt for the old-school door hanger, take measures to make it chic. “When I use a normal door hanger, I always paint it to match my door,” explains Payne. “Some people use fabric to cover them, but I don’t love that look. Use a little spray paint, and it doesn’t stand out. People pay more attention to what you’ve got hanging instead.”