Staging the Foyer
(The First Impression Room)

How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale

Small, but charming foyer with storage and seating.This charming foyer provides storage and seating.

Before you put your house on the real estate market you need to think about staging the foyer first. Your curb appeal got buyers this far, so don't let them down now!

This all important "first impression room" needs to WOW buyers as they walk through the door, so that they'll be excited to see the rest of your house.

If they find themselves stepping over a flotsam and jetsam of shoes and coats in the front entry, they'll 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 about your house!



Declutter your foyer first

A very cluttered foyer.If buyers can even get in the door, they won't want to see the rest of this house.

Obviously, any clutter needs to be dealt with before staging your foyer. Check out my tips for decluttering the foyer before you proceed with any staging.

Paint color ideas for the foyer

A farmhouse style foyer table in neutral colors.Neutral colors and rustic decor work perfectly in this farmhouse style entry. Find the console at Wayfair.com.

Changing paint colors is one of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to update your foyer.

The trick is to select paint colors that relate and flow from one room to next. 

Bold, bright or dark paint colors may likely turn some buyers away, because they'll be thinking about all the repainting they'll have to do.

But there is something even worse then having the wrong color, which can be easily fixed.

It's the presence of outdated wallpaper as buyers first walk in the door. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the house.

When I was a Realtor, I actually had a buyer ask me if he should expect more wallpaper on the house tour. If so, he was ready to leave!

Limit your interior colors for home staging to neutrals.

Soft neutral colors and a warm rug make this a welcoming foyer.Soft, neutral colors open up this foyer. Find this pretty white console at Wayfair.com.
  • The best interior colors for home staging are neutral colors like white, gray, beige and earth tones. 
  • Light neutrals and earth tones have the widest appeal among home buyers and will complement most people’s furniture.
  • Neutral wall tones provide an excellent backdrop for accent colors or artwork that you may add later during the final staging. Any added color will stand out against a neutral canvas.
  • Use a single color palette in a tiny entry. Uniting the walls and flooring in the same color will make the space feel larger, because the eye can flow freely without a color break interruption.
  • It is commonly known that using light colors can make a small room feel more spacious. But what about a large space? 
  • If your foyer is so large that it feels cold and unwelcoming, using a darker tone on the walls can make the space feel cozier. Select a warm shade, as they are "advancing" colors that appear to draw a space in. 

Look for the focal point in the foyer

Foyer with staircaseThe staircase is the obvious focal point in this cold, drab foyer.

If you're lucky, your front entry will already have a focal point, like a stunning chandelier, an interesting architectural detail, or a staircase that'll draw buyers in. 

In the photo above, the sweeping staircase is instantly recognized as the focal point in this room. The foyer itself feels a bit stark, though, with the white walls and tile.

Although the cold tile floor has been warmed with an area rug, it's the wrong color and style for the space. I would choose a Persian style area rug in colors that complement the gray tone of the staircase carpeting. 

The console fills an empty space along the back wall. Fresh flowers liven the space, but I would jazz it up with a larger floral arrangement or some greenery.

It's hard to see what's going on in the far corner to the left, but I would place a tall plant or small tree there to fill and brighten the space.

Architectural focal points you may find in a foyer

  • a staircase
  • ceilings with tray or cove details
  • a dramatic two story foyer entry with a stunning chandelier
  • rustic wood box beams
  • a stained glass window

If you don't have a focal point, you can make your own. 

How to make your own focal point in the foyer

Create a focal point in the foyer with a table. lamp and mirror.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, or 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.


Staging the foyer

This multi-functional seating and storage unit is available at Home Depot.
  • Nothing is more welcoming than seating in a foyer! If you have the room, by all means place a bench or cushioned seat just inside your door. And if it has storage--that's a bonus. Buyers will love it.
Use a dresser for foyer storage.This attractive storage unit for narrow spaces can be found at Ikea.com.
  • Hang a mirror in a small foyer to visually expand the space and bounce light around;
  • If your foyer is a narrow passageway with absolutely no room for furniture, mount a shelf on the wall (not deeper than 5-6” so people don’t bang their shoulders against it). Place a mirror above it to visually widen the passageway.
  • For a large empty wall that is begging to be accessorized, hang a tapestry, mirror, large piece of art, or turn the wall into a small gallery of your favorite pictures;
  • Set an elegant arrangement of flowers or a potted plant on a table to 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-- the result will look cluttered.
  • 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 basket or bowl on a console table for holding keys and mail; 
  • If your foyer has a nearby powder room, be sure to keep the door closed during home viewings!

How to create a separate space in the foyer

A wall screen can function as a room divider.Find this room divider screen, and others at Wayfair.com.

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.

Most people are uncomfortable walking directly into a room without a separate entry. There's always the question of where to put your shoes and coat. 

You will want to create some kind of separation between the rooms to give the impression of a foyer. 

A divider, or screen doesn't necessarily have to completely block out each room. It just needs to give 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

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