Melissa Gulley: Entrez Vous

May 17, 2011

It’s said that the foyer gives the first impression of a house–in one glance it should speak volumes about what is to come. Really? OK, let’s go with that thought for the purpose of a blog post.

What does your foyer say about you? Formal, informal, dark and sexy, light and airy, humorous and zany, preppy and stoic? Who in the family does it speak about–the wife, the husband, the kids, the dog? Does it really represent you and the way you live? Is it a constant mess or is it as clean as a whistle (making you militant about keeping it that way)?

Who comes to the front door and is thus granted the “perfect view†of the homestead? Are you a front-door guest? Or are you more comfortable consistently being a side-door or a back-door guest? Because in my experience, most are! And if most people are more comfortable being a side- or a back-door kind of guy or gal, then what does the alternate and preferred entrance say about the abode? Is it “allowed†to be the actual mess we all know it is or naturally tends toward?

So then is the foyer a waste of space or is it important to have this “grown up†version of ourselves still there? If so, then we should dream big–be anyone we wish, like trying on Mom’s fabulous high heels when we were little.

Let’s look at some foyers that dreamt BIG!

Interior design by Kelly Wearstler


Interior design by Mary McDonald

Interior design by Ned Marshall, courtesy of


Photo courtesy of “House and Home†magazine

Interior design by Miles Redd, as seen in Veranda magazine

Interior design by Miles Redd

Interior design by Miles Redd; photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna, courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Maybe in this practical era it’s fun to think about what the perfect foyer would be, what part of you to put out there in your best clothes–a dress up moment (we have so few these days).

–Melissa Gulley
Melissa Gulley has been designing high-end homes in the greater Boston area for more than twelve years. She has been the interior designer for This Old House, and has been featured in numerous national and regional magazines, newspapers and Web sites. She blogs at Follow her on Twitter.

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