Decorating & Design

June 5, 2011

Ask A Designer: Foyer Storage

Q. Our foyer needs some work. We have a wardrobe that’s doing the trick for storage, but I’d love some ideas to pull the space together. I’ve been looking for a ceiling light fixture that isn’t too fancy or modern. Also, I’ve read your suggestion to paint the interior of a front door black and I’d be willing to try this if it’ll work.

— B.B., Nepean, Ont. (To submit your own question, see our Ask A Designer™ page.)

A. I like your armoire a lot. If it’s offering you enough storage, you could simply move it into the left-hand corner and fill the freed-up space with items that will give you a nice finished look. A bench like Pottery Barn’s Seagrass (shown) will work well with the country style of your armoire and add some wonderful texture. Every entranceway needs a large mirror, so hang the Linea floor mirror (shown) from Crate & Barrel above the bench. It measures in at 35-1?4″ x 78-1?2″, so even hung off the ground, it will serve as a full-length mirror. And its rustic teak frame ties in with your armoire.

If you need more storage, consider having a custom built-in bench with open shelving installed. The one in our inspiration shot also has closed storage and hooks, which are practical for a front hall. Paint the entire system a soft green-grey similar to your wall colour — Farrow & Ball’s Hardwick White (5) (shown) is a good option.

Of course I think you should paint your door black! Railings (31) (shown) from Farrow & Ball is one of my favourite off-blacks right now.

As for a ceiling fixture, I’d go for an oversized coach-style lantern, like the one from Lamp Cage (shown); there are no glass panels, which helps keep it open and airy, and it means less dusting! (Lamp Cage will also custom-make any size for you.)

Add pattern with a pair of the Maize Spade throw pillows (shown) from Serena & Lily. The golden tone adds richness to either the painted built-in or the woven bench. And the Shag Skinny Stripe rug (shown) from Chilewich will work with the lantern and new door colour. Made from looped vinyl, it’s very resilient — perfect to keep on the floor year-round.

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1. Lantern, Lamp Cage. 2. Linea floor mirror, Crate & Barrel. 3. Paint, from left: Railings (31), Hardwick White (5), Farrow & Ball. 4. Maize Spade throw pillow, Serena & Lily. 5. Seagrass bench, Pottery Barn. 6. Shag Skinny Stripe in Steel rug, Chilewich.