Foyers and Entryway Designs: First Things First

They say you never have an opportunity to make a second first impression. This is definitely true with relationships and with model homes. Foyers and entryways are quite literally the first step a prospective buyer will take into your model home. You want/need it to be memorable.

As interior designers/model merchandisers we are not actually building model homes. However, we should be very involved with the team in designing how they function and look to anyone coming through the front door. As professional merchandisers it is our responsibility to accentuate the good in the architecture and help plan the path for the tour of the home. We understand that foyers and entryway designs are critical in creating that first impression that is key to capturing the potential buyer’s interest and facilitating the sale of the home.

This Colorado model home’s foyer/entryway was designed to say, “come in, and explore this home!”

Merchandising a Foyer for Success

All builders want a potential homeowner to walk through the front door of their model and say “wow!” Or “ooh let’s see more.” (Really any phrase that demonstrates a buyer’s desire to see and learn more about your model home.) A good entryway/foyer is like the cover to a book. It’s the first point of one’s experience when coming into a home. It should emanate a warm welcoming feeling, and at the same time be as functional as possible.

To create a successful foyer/entryway there are several merchandising and design strategies we use to create the following:

A Place for Transitions

While it’s true that many homes built today have separate owner’s entries, most prospective home buyers will enter your model through the front door. As such, you will want to demonstrate via the foyer/entryway that your home provides a place for transitions. Prospective homeowners will want to see that if they live in your home, they will have a place where they “transition” from the outside world. That the home provides a safe, relaxing respite from life. Even if the foyer/entryway is not how they will ultimately enter or exit the home. They need to see it from their future guests and/or family’s eyes.

To help create that feeling that the foyer/entryway is a separate and transitional space, we often add an area rug or memorable piece of art to help establish a color or styling direction for the rest of the model. Additionally, including a small table where prospective homeowners can envision dropping their keys off is effective in evoking the idea of smooth transitions.

By including a mirror in the entry way you can sometimes reflect another selling point like a window or door to another space. A mirror can also act as a more practical opportunity where one can picture themselves doing a last minute outfit or hair check before heading out the door.

Including a bench to sit on, a colorful view of art and a mirror to inspect oneself provides an effective entryway for this model home.

A Meet & Greet Zone

While the foyer or entryway may not end up being the owner’s daily entry and exit point, it will certainly be a guest’s. Depending on the architecture of the home and corresponding buyer profile, the home may have a small foyer or entryway. Regardless of size, you want to create a welcoming greeting area for guests. The use of a small area rug, some interesting art, and perhaps a nice light fixture can all work together to create a friendly meet and greet zone for your guests.

Be sure to provide enough lighting so no matter what the size of the space it will always feel welcoming. If you open immediately to another room, take advantage of the light and draw the buyer to the next space with interest beyond. If the foyer/ entryway is tight, a dramatic light fixture can help create a bright and friendly meet and greet zone for your guests.

Bright and welcoming, this model home foyer/entryway provides views beyond and a wonderful area to greet your guests.

A Convenient Place for Storage

Providing an area for guests to hang their coat, take off their shoes, and/or leave a package is critical in creating an effective entry/foyer. Prospective buyers need to see that while the house may have a mudroom for the homeowner’s storage, their foyer provides for their guests as well.

To create this necessity, it can be as simple as including a coat rack near the front door, a small closet, or as elaborate as a built-in wardrobe with a bench and shoe rack. Again, the buyer profile will help determine the extent of your storage design. But, understanding that providing convenient guest storage is a critical component of the entry is key. Effective merchandising of this space, whether formal or casual, can send the message, “this home is welcoming to everyone.”

Remembering the First Step

You want your model home to be memorable from the first step. Fortunately, you have an opportunity to make the memorable first impression right away with an effectively designed and merchandised foyer/entryway. The earlier you gather your team to work on these issues the more successful your product design. Please contact us today to learn how we can help your model home give the best first impression.