Design & Remodeling

Making a Grand Entrance

Design pro Jaclyn Joslin offers tips for transforming your foyer into a stylish first impression.

Story by Kimberly Stern  |  Design by Jaclyn Joslin of Coveted Home  |  Photo by Sarah Sweeney

Often the foyer is an overlooked space, receiving minimal design attention. But its first impression on guests is a definitive prelude to the rest of your home and, according to Coveted Home founder and designer Jaclyn Joslin, should make a statement that reflects you and your style.

“The foyer is where guests are received into your home,” Joslin says, “and it’s important to know what kind of an impression you want to make.”

In other words, avoid the hodge-podge effect.

Beyond welcoming guests, Joslin recommends defining your wow factor. Are you going for a well-traveled look? Sophisticated? Glamorous? Organic?

Jaclyn Joslin helped a client take an entryway from ho-hum to an opening act that makes a definitive style statement using Hague Blue No. 30 by Farrow & Ball, Shade Grown SW6188 by Sherwin Williams, and Stone Brown 2112-30 by Benjamin Moore. “It’s airy and dramatic at the same time, but I chose a subtle color palette for maximum effect,” she says.

Here Joslin shares some tips for creating the perfect first impression using decorative elements, paint and your own personal panache.

Do something unexpected. Wallpaper the ceiling or paint the ceiling a contrasting color to the walls.

Don’t underestimate the power of a good entryway light fixture. Ditch the builder’s grade chandelier and find something that collaborates with your vision. There is a plethora of stunning lighting options out there—whether you’re buying vintage or online from sources such as Lamps Plus to Circa Lighting.

Mirrors—or art—serve as a foyer focal point. Unique mirrors can be hard to come by (and the entry is no place for a boring mirror) so don’t rule out the option of using art instead. Art is great for creating a sophisticated or well-traveled vibe in an entry. Avoid stock art purchased at large chain stores. Kansas City is overflowing with world-class artistic talent and obtaining an original piece of work is not as expensive as you may think. And if you do have a fantastic mirror, hang it at eye level so people can check themselves coming and going.

Don’t clutter the space. Remember, you don’t want to tell your whole story in the foyer—resist the urge to make this small space do a big job. Edit what you display with well-chosen pieces of furniture or accessories.

Painting your entry walls can be tricky. Does your foyer have its own space or does it flow into other rooms of the house? If the latter is the case, keep the walls the same color for continuity. However, if you truly have a separate foyer, painting the walls a deep, saturated color can make a big impact. How about a dark chocolate, dark navy or deep forest green? Have the walls lacquered or use high-gloss paint, add some gold or brass accents and voilà!—you’ve created an entry masterpiece your guests won’t soon forget.