Transcending the outside world, into the comforts of living indoors – The idea of “transition” is essential to spaces in architecture. The elements forming a certain space is quite determined by the activities it needs to cater to, and also the way the space “reacts” with the adjacent spaces. This is where the foyer comes into play. A foyer can be defined as a space that the entrance of a house opens into. The foyer design could be as simple as three walls encompassing a transitional space as the entry is digressed into the living spaces of the house, or it could be in accordance with various activities that could call for impromptu access into the house but not as further as the living room.
Foyer Design Ideas
In today’s times the idea of an entryway is lost to doors opening directly into the main living area. So to revive the transitional essence in contemporary homes, a foyer becomes inevitable, it being utilitarian as well as designed to be ‘the first public space within the privacy of the house’.
Typically, a foyer is a small room next to the entry, with the living spaces attached to it. A well designed foyer restricts both visual and physical access to the living areas of the house thereby ensuring the privacy of the living spaces of the house. In double or multistoreyed homes, the foyer can be utilized to house the main stairway. The foyer stairway can not only act as a design element in the foyer decor but also lower interference between different floors.
The foyer should be designed in such a way that it does not lose its individual ‘sense of space’. Though the foyer can have a subtle entry to the powder room or the maid’s room completely segregating these spaces from the living spaces. Ideally, an entry space could be completely separate from the rest of the house and not be caught in the circulation about the house. Hence, its location should be sensible with regard to the parking space and the pedestrian access from the roads. The placement of doors should be such that they don’t swing into one another, the furniture or any of the lighting fixtures. Any ambiguity in terms of the visibility of changing levels or presence of steps should be avoided to prevent tripping hazards.
Foyer Design – Furniture
In spite of a foyer being an aesthetically flamboyant space, its functional aspects as an entryway remain ready to be harnessed. Provide a shoe cabinet with a couple of pouffes to allow occupants to conveniently use this space while leaving or entering the house. A shoe bench is another compact alternative which can be used in the foyer design. A foyer table with drawers can help one keep keys and petty cash handy. A foyer also needs to house other items such as umbrellas, raincoats, key stand – to name a few.
A foyer is often regarded as a waiting area, a concept borrowed from the hotel lobbies and reception. The idea of receiving and sending off guests makes ‘seating’ unavoidable. It could be as simple as a couple of wooden chairs about a table. Or a cushioned bench against the wall. A sophisticated leather couch would add that much needed elegance to the foyer design in a contemporary house.
Foyer creates lingering impressions in the minds of guests to leave the house, and family to come home, and having that ‘perfect’ foyer would just render one’s hospitality warmer and memorable.
Natural Lighting in Foyer – The way a transitional zone functions has a lot to do with the way it alters the lighting conditions from outdoors to indoors. Bringing in enough daylight to keep the foyer illuminated during daytime seems appropriate, which can be achieved by the proper placement of windows, clerestory windows or even skylights.
In the absence of daylight, artificial lighting could tend to the lighting requirements of the foyer. A lavish or a rustic chandelier in pace with the volume of the space and the style of the house would be a dynamic way to enlighten the foyer design. Wall Sconces or spotlights on the other hand provide more of a focused light to highlight any architectural or aesthetic qualities present. A table lamp harmonizing these elements in entirety and providing that warm, vital glow would culminate the essence of foyer lighting.
A foyer, is more of a prologue in the event of visiting a house, engaging the visitor in an aesthetic dialogue before the living spaces unfold. A space designed and decorated to set the psyche of the house, and to make the entry an exciting event in the process of circulation.
Arresting the visitors’ attention by placing an eclectic piece of art, or having a face of the wall painted in a flamboyant scheme could do the trick. Placing ornamental mirrors, especially on a dark wall would create the drama, drawing the person into the atmosphere of the house. A foyer with a sculpture or a singular artwork with focused light accentuating their exquisiteness would enthrall the entry into house designed in both vernacular and relatable contemporary styles. The foyer can also be accessorized with a few planters. These can add a dash of green and make the space more lively.
Author: Aishwarya Narayana