Monday, March 16, 2009

Decorating Gallery: Foyers/Hallways

In this grand home, the entry's staircase is self-supporting from the floor to the balcony above. The continuous stringer was hand-formed on site, a process that took months. The entry is part of an open layout that encourages guests to move freely around the house.

Treating the entry as a wide passageway across the front of the house gives it beautiful purpose. In this light-filled entry, a painted staircase is Cape Cod understatement at its finest. Using the same fir flooring and millwork as in adjoining rooms creates continuity.

The neutral entry in this home indicates a neutral color palette seen in every adjoining room. The choices of charcoal for the front door, dark banisters, and black metal sconces interrelate to give the space a classically formal style.

The small space of this cozy entry was opened up by using a partial wall into the living room. This provides a sense of separation without cutting off views into the seating area and fireplace.

Terra-cotta walls accent the staircase and wood paneling of this foyer. A crystal chandelier, oak-leaf stair runner, and gilded accents are classic choices for the traditional space, while an orange armchair adds a touch of the unexpected.

Think orange is a bold choice? It can be, yet pass-through spaces like a hallway or entry may be a perfect place to add a punch of color. With less time spent these areas, striking colors can enliven and refresh and relate to accents used in adjoining rooms.

Drawing inspiration from the artwork, this artistic homeowner revitalized a front hall with vivid color. "With a $10 can of paint," she notes, "you can have lots of fun."

Though dressed sedately in a creamy neutral, it is this entrance hall's beautifully patterned ceiling that is cast in a starring role. A treatment like this could be done with wallpaper, stencils, decorative painting, or rubber stamps.

Jewel-tone walls and a bold black-and-white checkerboard pattern on the floor make this entry a dazzling introduction to the home. On-the-diagonal tile sweeps down the hall and into the connected kitchen to make the spaces visually grow.

Classic design elements make this new home and its voluminous entryway feel as if they've been around for centuries. A finely articulated iron balustrade on a curvaceous floating staircase adds to the home's classically romantic Eurpoean sensibility.

This light-filled entry mixes old and new to stunning effect. Mahogany furnishings, detailed paneling, and inlaid floors are decidedly traditional touches, while the staircase's polished-nickle spiral railing is a cool contemporary addition.

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