17 Inviting Foyers and Entryways

First impressions last a lifetime. Though this axiom is most frequently employed to describe people, we think it applies equally to interior design. Consider the foyer. After all, a foyer — alternately, the entryway, entrance, vestibule and lobby — serves as a kind of design ambassador, introducing and welcoming guests to a home. And just like a smile or a handshake, it hints at what comes next: spaces that will either be inviting or formal, casual or dramatic, warm or minimal. The ideal foyer should be dazzling, demonstrative and tell a story unique to its inhabitants. To help get you started on the right foot, we’ve assembled a gallery of 17 beautiful entry ways, ranging from a spare Dallas atrium to a neoclassical Norman castle. It would be a pleasure to make the acquaintance of every one of them.

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For the foyer of this Greenwich, Connecticut country home, interior designer Thom Filicia used round mirrors by Jonathan Burden and a Hickory Chair bench to balance the home’s neo-Georgian Colonial architecture.

Photo courtesy Elle Decor

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A parcel-gilt ebonized console in the style of Napoleon III and a Chippendale-style mirror welcomes guests to a Richard Mishaan–designed suite at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City.

Photo courtesy The Monacelli Press

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At Lethbridge House — a palatial residence on London’s Regent’s Park — interior designer Nicola Fontanella placed a colorful painting by Marc Quinn in the foyer.

Photo courtesy Argent

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Designer Frank Roop used an oversize tufted bench to add an “unexpected or dramatic” element to the entryway of this Boston-area colonial home.

Photo by Eric Roth

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The foyer of this prewar Manhattan home includes a bench and mirror by Karl Springer.

Photo by Eric Piasecki/OTTO

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To offset the dramatic concrete, steel and limestone architecture of this Dallas, Texas home, designer Emily Summers used a spare, geometric glass table .

Photo by Steve Wrubel

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The foyer of Lee Mindel’s Manhattan penthouse is furnished with an assortment of iconic pieces, including Frank Gehry‘s corrugated chairs, a Siamese bench by Antoni Gaudí and a custom floor lamp by Maarten Baas.

Photo by Michael Moran

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For a Palm Beach, Florida entryway, designer Ellie Cullman used a vibrantly colored Donald Sultan artwork to add contrast to an antique bench.

Photo by Eric Piasecki

Interior designer Steven Gambrel created this crisp, glossy foyer for a project in the Flatiron neighborhood of New York City.
Photo by Eric Piasecki/OTTO

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A view of the reception rooms at Cuthbert, a historic, Gothic Revival Georgia home owned by antiques dealer and interior designer Furlow Gatewood.

Photo by Paul Costello

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For the lobby of a Spanish winery, design duo Oitoemponto employed a 1940s French bas-relief depicting Noah and his son harvesting after the flood, and clad the walls with wood traditionally used for wine barrels.

Photo by Francisco Almeida Dias

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Famed product designer Philippe Starck created this dramatic entry hallway for a residential building in Pune, India.

Photo courtesy Philippe Stark

Architect Robert A.M. Stern created this carefully proportioned, perfectly lit entrance for a residence in East Quogue, New York.

Photo by Peter Aaron

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At his country home, interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot created an entry vignette comprised of a green18th-century Portuguese settee, early-18th-century wrought-iron plant stands from Spain and a mid-19th century French lantern overhead.

Photo by Xavier Bejot

For this Healdsburg, California residence, interior designer Alison Davin of Jute used an antique joiner’s workbench and a custom mirror in the main entry hall.
Photo by Lisa Romerein/OTTO

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The grand, antique-filled entry gallery of designer Howard Slatkin’s New York City apartment.

Photo by Tria Giovan

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An antique porphyry bowl sits in the center of the entrance hall at the Château de Champ de Bataille, a 17th-century estate in Normandy owned by interior designer Jacques Garcia.

Photo by Eric Sander
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