From the April/May 2007 Issue:

Furnishing a Foyer

What furnishings do you like to include in a foyer and why?

Article Photo
enlarge | Venetian table (#1136) is by Charles Pollock Reproductions through William Switzer Associates in New York City.
Kathryn Tafaro-Platt, KP Interiors in New Vernon; 973-993-8220

“The foyer is a guest’s first impression of your residence. It should be welcoming and convey your style and personality. These days with the large-scale foyers of newer homes, it’s a designer’s challenge to create an intimate space for greeting others, no matter how grand. An area rug, decorative table or chest, chandelier, specialty wall treatments, and window treatments are excellent tools to break down a large space and make it a comfortable entrance.”

Article Photo
enlarge | Ushak gray/sage rug (#C151E), Michaelian & Kohlberg

Catherine Engelmeyer, Belle Maison in Maplewood; 973-378-9239,

“Assuming the foyer is of moderate size, an impressive round table provides a stage for accessories and artwork and a first glimpse of the style and character of the rest of the home. I’d put an elegant rug under the table and a large chandelier above so the room has its own identity, rather than being merely a passageway to the rest of the house.”

Vanessa De Leon, allied ASID, Vanessa De Leon Associates in Ridgewood; 201-447-1424,,

“This inviting foyer evokes an immediate comfort level with a melding of chic accents and natural characteristics. Neutral tones and a touch of greenery give a smooth transition from the outside in.”

Article Photo
enlarge | Visitors get their first taste of this home’s style in the foyer, furnished with pieces from Greenbaum Interiors.

Jack Ruthazer, FASID, Greenbaum Interiors in Paterson; 973-279-3000,

“The foyer is an introduction, so I try to bring in the feeling of the rest of the home. When you first meet people, you can tell whether they are formal or casual, and then you know how to relate to them. With a foyer you get that same reaction. I do like to use grandfather clocks, consoles with paintings or mirrors above them, small settees, great wallpaper, and wonderful chandeliers.”

Article Photo
enlarge | This rug is part of the Houshiarnejad Collection Inc. in Haddonfield

Michael Spain, Design Avenues in Moorestown;

“I like to incorporate one-of-a-kind furnishings to differentiate a foyer from all others. A magnificent light fixture — chandelier or sconces — is the warmth that draws you into a home. A beautiful rug, such as a wool and silk hand-knotted Persian, sends the message “while you are here, my home is your home.” Seating, such as the 1960s shellback chair with orange silk, is a focal point and says “come in and sit down.” An entry ledge or center hall table provides a convenient place to drop your keys, and an elegant mirror allows you one last glance before heading out. A beautiful floor, exquisite wall covering, and ceiling details are finishing touches that communicate individuality.” - DNJ