11 Best Tips for Staging the Foyer
(The First Impression Room)
For a faster, more profitable home sale
This small, but charming foyer provides storage and seating.
Before you place your house on the real estate market you should think about staging the foyer first.
Your great curb appeal got buyers this far; don't let them down now!
This all important "first impression" room should WOW buyers as they walk through the door, so they'll want to proceed through the rest of your home.
If they find themselves stepping over a flotsam and jetsam of shoes, backpacks and coats, they'll likely assume that the rest of the house is just as disorganized and lacking in storage.
Your foyer doesn’t have to be grand to impress buyers. A modest front entry can be welcoming too, as long as it is organized, warm and inviting.
According to the principles of feng shui, you should create a positive landing place just inside the front door, that welcomes and directs the flow of energy into the house, rather than pushing it away or weakening it.
Keep reading for home staging tips and tricks that will have buyers excited to enter your house!
1. Declutter your entryway first
Home buyers will not progress past this point. They will not want to!
Yup, you just can't avoid this step, as much as we'd like to. It's a necessary evil.
Decluttering the foyer first will instantly make the space more functional and inviting for your family, guests, or home buyers, if you are selling your home.
Start decluttering by removing everything from the foyer
After everything is cleared out, stand back and assess the status of your entryway.
- Try to look at it with “buyer’s eyes.” Ask yourself what kind of feeling home buyers might get as they enter. Ask a friend for their opinion.
- What is the condition of the walls and flooring? Does it feel dark and gloomy as you enter, or is it brightly lit with natural lighting? Does it feel welcoming?
- Is the foyer light fixture(s) outdated, dusty, maybe full of dead bugs? What kind of message does that send to buyers?
2. What condition is the flooring in?
Flooring can really take a beating in this high-traffic area. This is a good time to replace or re-furbish worn out flooring in your entryway. Doing so will bring added value to your home.
If you need to replace the entryway flooring, tile is an obvious choice, because of its durability, wide range of choices and beauty.
Slate tile works especially well in a foyer because the color and texture of this natural stone makes it great at hiding dirt.
Wood flooring also looks beautiful in a foyer, but will get scratched and worn from traffic going in and out of the house. Be sure to re-finish your hardwood flooring if it needs it.
A good cleaning followed by a polish with Murphy Oil Soap or Orange Glo will bring back that sheen.
If you do have wood flooring in your entry, be sure to protect it with a door mat, a runner, or a beautiful area rug. An area rug will add color, style and warmth to your entry, as well.
3. Organize the entry closet
This closet sends a clear message to home buyers...no storage!
When I was a Realtor, I observed that most buyers DO open closet doors to check out the storage.
Start organizing your closet by removing every item that doesn't belong there.
- Pack up out-of-season clothing, boots, hats and gloves for your new home, or move to another location in your home.
- Get the family onboard with carrying their items to another room while your home is on the real estate market.
- Sort items into various boxes; pack, keep or donate. This is an opportune time to prepare for a garage sale.
- If the closet is showing signs of wear, this is a good time to repaint the interior and door.
- Install a shelf or closet organizing system.
- Assess the closet lighting. Is it too dark? Install some needed puck lights or swap out incandescent lighting for an LED light bulb.
- LED lights are brighter than other types of lighting of the same wattage.
4. Repaint the foyer in a light, neutral color
Soft, neutral colors make this foyer feel light and airy. Find this console at Wayfair.com.
Why do interior decorators always insist on light, neutral colors for home staging?
Because neutral colors appeal to most people, whereas a bold, bright or dark paint color is more taste specific, meaning less people will like it.
If you're trying to sell your house, you want it to appeal to a greater number of people.
You'll also want to select a paint color that relates to and flows easily into the next room.
- A light, neutral color will do wonders for a small, dark foyer. It will brighten and create the sense of a larger space.
- White is always a great choice for a small room. Select a white paint color with warm undertones to keep your foyer from feeling cold.
Only the essentials in this small entry. Light, neutral colors, warm area rug, small table and accessories.
- Use a single color palette in a tiny entry. Uniting walls and flooring in the same color will make the space feel even larger, because the eye can flow freely without a color break interruption.
- If you have a closet, painting the door in the same neutral color as the walls will add to this feeling of spaciousness.
- Painting window trim and ceiling and floor trim the same color will have the same effect.
- A low ceiling painted white will seemingly "raise" the ceiling, as well.
- What about a large foyer? If your foyer is so large that it feels cold and unwelcoming, using a darker tone on the walls and ceiling can make the space feel cozier. Select a warm shade, as they are "advancing" colors that will draw a space in.
Foyer baseboards really take a beating when people kick off their shoes and send them flying.
Take this opportunity to repair and repaint scuffed or scratched trim work, window sills and baseboards.
5. Look for the focal point in the foyer
The staircase is the obvious focal point in this cold, drab entryway.
If you're lucky, your front entry will already have a focal point, like a stunning chandelier, an interesting architectural detail, a stained glass window or a sweeping staircase.
In the photo above, the elegant staircase is easily recognized as the focal point in the room. The foyer itself feels a bit stark, though, with the white walls and tile.
How to make your own focal point in the foyer
A mirror makes a great focal point and will visually expand a small space.
- Replace outdated or boring lighting with a stunning new light fixture, like a pendent or chandelier;
- Place a console table, an antique dresser or chest in the entry-- it can double as storage;
- Hang a large, colorful painting, fabric art, ornamental mirror, or clock over a console, or let the art piece stand alone if there's no room for furniture;
- Place a tall leafy floor plant in a corner;
- Place a warm contemporary area rug in the entry;
- If there isn't room for furniture, install a small wall shelf instead. Hang or lean a large mirror above to expand the space.
6. Update the lighting in the foyer
If you have a window(s) in your entryway, be sure to keep it clean, so as to allow the maximum amount of natural light to filter in.
- Wash foyer windows until they sparkle! If you hate washing windows as much as I do, try this product; E-Cloth. No chemical sprays necessary, only water! It cleans windows better than anything I've every tried, so I'm happy to recommend it even though I don't get paid to. Find it here on Amazon.
- If the light fixture(s) in your entry is old, dim or outdated, this would be a great time to swap it out for a new one.
7. Place seating in your entry if you have the room
This multi-functional seating and storage unit is available at Home Depot.
Few things are as welcoming as a place to sit down while taking shoes on and off in a foyer!
If you have the room, by all means place a bench or cushioned seat just inside your door. If it has storage--that's a bonus. Buyers will love it!
8. How to create storage in a narrow entryway
Look for this charming Farmhouse style storage shelving unit at Wayfair.com.
- If your foyer is a narrow passageway with absolutely no room for furniture, mount a shallow shelf on the wall.
- Hang a shelving unit that has hooks for hanging keys, hats, jackets, etc.
- Be sure that the shelf is not deeper than 5-6” so that people won’t bang their shoulders against it as they walk by.
- Place a mirror above a shelf to bring light into the narrow space. A large mirror will visually widen the passageway, as well.
- If you have the room, place a hall tree on the floor for hanging hats, coats and scarves. A corner usually works.
9. Create a separate entry with a room divider
Find this room divider screen, and others at Wayfair.com.
No separate entry? Most people feel uncomfortable walking directly into a room like this. There's always the question of what to do with your shoes and coat.
If you don't have a foyer, that is, if you walk through the front door straight into a living room or kitchen, there are a few things you can do to remedy this.
You'll want to create a separation between the room and the front door to create an impression of a foyer.
A room divider doesn't necessarily have to block out the spaces. It simply needs to create the impression of two separate spaces.
Here are some more room divider ideas to try:
- a folding screen
- large shutters
- two tall leafy potted plants
- add a pony wall (half wall)
- add a column or vertical rustic wood beam
- fill a rectangular planter with foam blocks and stick bamboo poles or tall grasses, like pampas grass, into the foam.
- build a see-through shelving unit
- use a narrow console table with two tall lamps or potted plants on top
- use a padded bench with storage for separation
- even the tall back of a sofa can serve as a room divider
10. How to stage your foyer
Everything looks good in a basket! A storage bench and shelf is the answer for an entry without a closet.
- For a large empty wall that is begging to be accessorized, hang a tapestry, mirror, large colorful painting, or turn the wall into a small gallery of your favorite pictures;
- An elegant arrangement of flowers or a potted plant on top of a table will liven up the space;
- A large area rug or runner can add color, warmth and texture to your entry. A patterned rug will hide tracked-in dirt.
- Don’t use an assortment of small rugs in the foyer-- it will look fussy.
- Group an assortment of potted plants of varying heights on a table, (no more than three) or a tall leafy plant on the floor.
- Place a drop spot near the door: with key hooks, a wood tray for mail or an umbrella holder. Use a basket or pretty bowl on a console table;
- If your foyer has a nearby powder room, be sure to keep the door closed during home viewings. Buyers will open the door to peak, so be sure to keep the toilet seat down, as well.
11. Be sure to keep the foyer clean
- Polish doorknobs, door kickplates and light fixtures.
- Take down dusty light fixture shades and run them through the dishwasher.
- Remove dim lightbulbs and replace with the highest wattage allowable.
- Keep ceilings and walls free of dust and cobwebs.
- Wash and replace broken or cracked outlet covers and switch plates. Be sure they all match.
- Electrical outlets and switch plates are a distraction to the eye if they contrast too much with the wall color. If possible, match them closely to the paint color on the wall.
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