Living Informally: The Entry
In an age of casual living in residential spaces, the foyer, or formal entryway, has become somewhat of a lost tradition. The formal entry once served as the primary room to receive guests and family into the home. As our lives have become more hectic, and modern conveniences such as mud rooms and garages often provide an additional entry, the glamour of the formal entry has often fallen by the wayside.
Decorating and lighting your entryway can not only bring back glamour to your home, but will also make your guests feel special they enter your well-cared for nest. In homes with a defined foyer, a fresh approach to lighting can modernize and update the space. In homes where this space is not as well designated by the architecture, lighting can define the space as a special and welcoming area in your home.
For the simplest of spaces, ceiling lights, centered over an entryway, illuminate the area for basic functionality. Ceiling cans, flush-mounted ceiling fixtures or directional lighting are all good options for basic, workhorse lighting at ceiling level. This can be used singularly to light an entry space, or in conjunction with table lamps or suspended lights for a layered effect. Basic cans are simple and functional, and when placed on a dimmer can become a softer, versatile form of lighting to welcome you and your guests.
A chandelier or pendant is a step up from the basics…these fixtures are suspended from the ceiling, bringing the lighting source downward and outward, with a multi-dimensional lighting effect. Which one is right for your foyer space? A pendant typically has one bulb, and is smaller than a chandelier. For smaller entry spaces, or those that are augmented with additional lighting sourceslike ceiling cans or table lamps, this would be a perfect, understated choice. For a larger space or spaces with very high ceilings, a chandelier is the way to go. Ranging from very traditional, to ornate, to modern or industrial, the chandelier not only provides a very complex lighting source with multiple bulbs, but also a very poignant statement about the design scheme of your home. It sets the stage for your décor beyond the entryway, and is a smashing way to introduce your personal style to guests entering the home.
Another option to light your entry, depending on the walls in this space, is sconces mounted on the vertical walls of an entry. A wonderful way to enhance the interior of a doorway, or perhaps a mirror hanging above an entry table, sconces offer another opportunity for decoration of your space. They provide illumination closer to face level, which adds a romantic, sophisticated source of lighting in an entry. Used in combination with celiing fixures, sconces provide a very dramatic layered look to your lighting and an elevated element to your entry.
For a classic touch, add a fabulous lamp to your entry. On a foyer table, a pair of modern, or traditional lamps not only adds dimmable, lower-level lighting to your entry, but also an opportunity to make a bold design statement. This is an opportunity to bring color, metallics or gorgeous glass to your entry as well as a lovely source of light for this space. For an even more complex dimension to your entry lighting scheme, place dimmers on your switches so as to customize the lighting and mood at different times of day.
For the exterior of your entry, the same rules apply: ceiling mounted lights, sconces flanking the doorway and even hanging pendants provide an initial glimpse at your personal style, as well as a functional, beautiful illumination of this first step into your home. Lighting is the key to creating a well-thought, warm and welcoming entry to your home.
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