What Is a Foyer? Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Apr. 12, 2024

Wondering about your home entryway? We'll answer the question "What is a foyer?" and show you how to furnish it to make your home look stunning.

What is a foyer? If you’ve just bought a house or moved out on your own, you might find yourself wondering if your home has one and how to furnish it in style. Fortunately, it isn’t nearly as intimidating as it might sound.

What is a Foyer?

Merriam-Webster defines a foyer as “an anteroom or lobby … or entrance hallway.” In simpler terms, a foyer is the space where your guests enter your home. Foyers generally have some kind of coat closet. And they’re a great place for a shoe bench if yours is a “shoes off” household.

Looking for ideas to decorate your hallway? Here are our tips for decorating a hallway.

Foyer vs. Entryway

So what’s the difference between a foyer and an entryway? In short, formality.

On a grand scale, a foyer might be the entrance to a museum or a theater. It gives you a sense of what to expect in the building, as well as an area to drop your coat. In a home, it’s still a dedicated space for your guests to transition from outside to inside, only on a much smaller scale.

Must-Have Items in a Foyer

There are a few “must-haves” in a foyer. It’s important to have a place for coats, hats, scarves, and bags. Many homes have a closet in the foyer, but if yours doesn’t you can get a coat rack to keep the area organized.

A shoe rack is also a great idea, especially if you live in an area with severe winters. It can be as simple as a shelf, or it can include extra storage and seating to make taking off and putting on shoes a little easier.

One last item is a table with a dedicated “drop spot” for the mail and your keys. When your guests come over, it can be the place to put phones or hostess gifts.

How to Decorate a Foyer

Your foyer also gives your guests a sense of who you are. The decor you pick can set the tone for the rest of your home. Some common decor items include vases, houseplants and mirrors.

Decorating your foyer table with vases or houseplants can liven up the space and make it feel fresh. If you opt for a vase, change out the flowers regularly; the blooms and colors will always feel in tune with the season.

If you’re more of a houseplant person, hardy varieties will ensure your home always looks pulled together. If you like the idea of houseplants but don’t want to care for a live one, choose leafy fake plants. That gives you all the benefits with none of the hassle.

Mirrors make the space look bigger and brighter. They’re also handy for checking your appearance one last time before heading out. Be sure to pick a size and frame that fit the rest of your space.