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Open up to open-concept homes

Overview

Published: 06/18/2012

by CATHERINE FANTAUZZI

First impressions are more powerful than people realize. The main entrance and foyer of a home sets the tone for the
remainder of the house, so decorative schemes should be visually pleasing and comfortable. At the same time, the area
should reflect your individual taste.

In new open-concept homes, the designs lack any division of an entrance or foyer space from the rest of the first floor
design. As a result, the first room that comes into view is likely to be the living room. Occasionally, new home designs
feature a low knee-wall topped with architectural columns to separate the two spaces, but most often the space is open.
This space requires a decorating touch that both defines the area and welcomes guests.


HOME DECOR
The basic decorating elements that can be used for an entrance are: a closet (for coats and footwear); a table surface (for
mail, keys, shopping bags, briefcase, purse); some form of seating (for putting on and removing footwear); mirrors (to
enhance the perception of light and space) and some form of wall treatment.

How you decorate the entrance depends on the size and shape of the space, but the goal is to create a decorating
scheme that harmonizes with the adjoining rooms while defining the entrance. This can be accomplished by adopting particular
elements from the different rooms and combining them in the entrance decor.

The entry area can be defined and separated from other rooms in a few different ways. One is to choose a wall treatment
that is different from the rest of the main floor. When selecting paint or wallpaper, choose a colour that coordinates with and
is complementary to the colours found in the nearest visible room. This will create colour continuity.

Lighting is another way to redefine an open space. Every entry needs adequate lighting, yet most lack natural light. Avoid
the common error of relying on only one source of entrance lighting, such as a chandelier. Accent lighting should be part
of the design. Adding wall sconces may help adequately illuminate the space. Spotlights can highlight a dramatic painting
or sculpture to create an interesting effect. Illuminated stairways in an entrance also make the area seem larger.

If there is no wall separation between the entrance and the adjoining room,

another way to define space is to use a room divider. A screen facing the door, a glass wall or wood latticework are all interesting details that both define and dramatize an entrance. A series of plants can be used effectively and economically for the same purpose.

Since most entrances today are tiled in ceramic or a natural stone such as granite, area rugs can be used to soften and warm
the space. An Oriental or Aubusson style rug in a tapestry design is a good choice.

Furnishing the space with a chest of drawers is a more dramatic approach than using the common console table and provides
additional storage. If your entrance is small, you may be able to give the appearance of a larger space by using mirrors or
glass. Make sure the frame and style is in keeping with the scheme you have in mind. Place the mirror above the chest of
drawers or console table. If the chest or table is too high, then place the mirror on the opposite wall.

Framed pictures on an entrance wall will dramatize the space even further, especially when they are illuminated at night.

Comfortable seating – a chair or bench – should be added if space permits. The addition of a shelf to showcase
an interesting collection will help personalize the area. Scented candles, a glass vase, or a bowl filled with potpourri
or fresh flowers helps to make the entrance welcoming.

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