How to Create a Foyer and Keep it Organized

Learn what things you should have to create a foyer that is functional and beautiful with these easy decorating and organization tips.

We have had legit foyers in our last three homes. I immensely enjoyed the luxury of built-in shoe cabinets and bookcases when we were active-duty military living in Japan and now a separate entryway in our traditional one-store ranch style home in Texas.

But that hasn’t always been the case. In our first five homes, I had to create a foyer using furniture and strategically placed items. Today I’m sharing my favorite tips and organization tricks for creating and keeping a tidy foyer whether your abode comes with one or not.

How to Create a Foyer

You already know the way you use different spaces in different houses change if you have to move often as we have.  It is smart to take a few months to really see how to optimize each room for specific needs.  So if you are in a new home,  go ahead and put everything in its place but then give it a little time to see if you use everything and if there is a better way to store items.

bright foyer with asian decor and mint green front door in an eclectic home no shoes in the house sign
How to Create a Foyer

Foyers are especially tricky to stay tidy.  They tend to be a catch-all place for everything that comes into the house.  Make sure you have a spot for items that stay in the foyer and a plan of action for everything else.  It’s important to make sure everyone else in the house is on board too! 

how to create a foyer
Fans on the wall in a Japanese foyer.

Here are items that every foyer needs no matter how big or small your entryway is.

  • Hang a mirror to check your appearance before heading out.  Nobody wants to be caught with food in their teeth and lipstick is usually a last-minute application. A full-size mirror can bring in more light into a dark entryway but small decorative mirrors are just as handy.
small mirrors in the entryway.  How to create a foyer.
Small mirrors in the entryway.
foyer makevoer-no-shoes-in the house and stenciled walls
Stenciled Foyer Walls with a Modern Mirror
little foyer mirror
Small Mirror in a Traditional Japanese Home
  • Include seating for putting on shoes with ease.  A small-slender bench or chair as worked great in our smaller foyers but if you have space, a storage ottoman can do wonders for organization and seating. Anything that has multiple functions is a win-win in my book.
storage bench in the foyer- what to put in the entryway to create a foyer
Storage bench in the foyer.
Christmas Foyer Scarf Wood Bench
Small Foyer Bench

Wall hooks or a coat rack are necessary for seasonal clothing garments and accessories if you are lacking a hall closet. Decorative hooks are a great way to utilize vertical space and perfect for hat storage or pretty scarves in a small entryway.

renter friendly fall decor in the foyer
Coat Tree in a Small Foyer
eclectic summer home tour hat wall
Hats on the wall.

Place an umbrella stand with a couple of extra umbrellas for guests should the need arise.  Look for a beautiful ceramic container or holder to add even more style to your space.

An umbrella stand and garden seat in the foyer.
An umbrella stand and garden seat in the foyer.

Add a dish or container for keys and change and tray or basket for mail. Bowls, platters, and wood trinket boxes are practical solutions for this task.

close up of bright with asian decor foyer vignette. black, pink, and gold
Traditional foyer with asian cabinet.
eclectic summer home tour foyer
Gallery wall in the foyer.
 built in shoe cabinets in a Japanese foyer
Built in shoe cabinets in a Japanese home.

Include shoe storage by finding cabinets that fit in your foyer space or a shoe rack for the nearest closet. Bins under a bench are perfect for kids to toss their footwear in.

shoe cabinet
Shoe Cabinet
eclectic boho gallery wall in the foyer
Built-ins in our Iwakuni, Japan house.

Since we live in a Japanese home, we follow the Japanese custom of removing our shoes before stepping into the living space.   There are great benefits in doing this and I’m planning for shoe cabinets in our next home! 

  • Add at least one piece of art. Welcome your guest with a thoughtful piece like a photo, printable art, fine art, or wall hanging. Better yet, display a grouping of different pieces but with a similar subject or color scheme for a cohesive feel.
Fall Decor Blog Home Tour 3
Gallery wall in the entry hall.
eclectic summer home tour foyer
Art in the foyer.
fall foyer with large art
Washi paper framed in Japanese poster frames.

Extra tips:

  1. Add hooks at the kids’ level for their backpacks during the school year.
  2. Junk mail should go immediately into recycling.  Keeping an extra basket or pretty container near the foyer for junk mail will also keep paper clutter at bay.
  3. Have extra baskets and bins for pet items like leashes and toys, sunscreen and sunglasses, or other things that you tend to grab on your way out the door!
  4. Doing a quick pass through every night and put back away items into their homes.

It really isn’t hard to create a foyer when you include the necessary items and it can be stylish and functional! All of the examples I used came from our last three homes. You can find the resources for them in our Okinawa Home Tour, Iwakuni Home Tour, and One Year Later Fort Worth House.

Make sure to check out the best decorating ideas and DIYs for Spring and Easter! You’ll find loads of information with free checklists and cheatsheets.

kathy

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14 Comments

    1. I’ve been dreaming of having a real foyer for years. All it took was a move to Japan. lol

      I will have to check out your post! I would love for you share a link. Thanks for asking 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend.

  1. Love the idea for having a place to junk mail/recycle. Great tips… I’m gonna steal a couple.

  2. Great tips! I need to get our foyer ready for fall and winter when we will have coats and gloves and all those other goodies to stay warm. Also, I just love that blue recycle bin! It’s so much cuter than the typical silver trash bins!

    1. Yes! or just a chair or stool. Our last home had no foyer, you came in right into our dining room. I placed a dining chair right by the door and the buffet did double duty for holding keys in a basket. A larger basket was used for back packs and shoes. 🙂

    1. I found them at a resale store in VA but they were 80’s outdated walnut so I spray painted them gold! Just $2 each! I bet you could find some thrifted ones!

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