Suit Yourself™ International Magazine #71 How To Sell A House 6: Entryway Foyer



Suit Yourself™ International Magazine #71





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 I hope this is enjoyable and useful to you!

Debra Spencer



This issue continues the series of articles to help you sell your house for the best price in the least amount of time. 
Yes, I know, there are a lot of "sell your house" books and articles out there, but none quite like this. Really.

Many people feel overwhelmed when they first decide to sell a home. I introduce the basic selling concepts organized into a reasonable system,
so you can ready each part of your home without feeling overwhelmed by the task.

Remember: think like a buyer and have a critical eye.

Recall the the key points from the introduction to this series:
Minimize Clutter 
and then, Open House!

Thanks for reading and I hope this series is helpful to you!


The Entryway Foyer


Some parts of your home will be more challenging  than others; which parts are challenging will depend on the type of dwelling you have, and how you've used it. Homes with unusual configurations, or in challenging locations, or selling out of season, or substantially remodelled, may need extra attention to detail to compete.

Even if you can't get to every detail, the checklists will help you to keep the basics in mind and to stay organized. When you're ready to begin work, print out and use each of the checklists, adding your own "To Do" lists to each one.  

If you can remember only one "take-away" rule from this entire series, it's REDUCE CLUTTER.One person's "Pride And Joy" is just clutter to someone else. There is no accounting for taste. Clutter blocks people from visualizing themselves living in your home.

Think "hotel room" and "theatre", and pack and store away all non- essentials and anything personal. Your buyers are considering buying your home from the front row of an intimate theatre, not from the rear of the cinema or behind a Rock n'Roll concert crowd. Once your home is for sale, think of your home as a hotel where you're staying until the home sells; in your mind, you've already moved out. 

Remember, to compete successfully and sell, your house must stand out from the competition as memorable in some way other than price. No matter how fine the neighborhood, that cannot offset a dilapidated ill-kept dwelling in poor repair. 

At the same time, your home has to encourage buyers to picture themselves living within it.

Advertising and publicity can't do this for you; they just announce your house is for sale. 



Foyer is a French word for entry, or entry way, and it is pronounced "foy-YEAH" to rhyme with "hay". 

In a theatre, the foyer is the large area just inside the main doors where people gather prior to being seated inside the main theatre for a performance (in movie cinemas, this area is referred to as the "lobby").

Traditionally in homes, the foyer served the function of a momentary stopping off point before entering a house. The foyer was used primarily for people conveying information or dropping off something to the household, without having to enter the house to do it, and thus having to remove whatever street worn outerwear they were wearing at the time.  

The foyer in a home serves an entirely different social function from that of the parlor. The parlor functions halfway between a formal living room and that of the modern den or sitting room, and it was never a place where people removed outer layers of clothing.


In homes, the actual foyer location varies. It can be an interior covered area just before the front door, similar to an interior portico, or a small interior room,


or simply a space, immediately adjoining the door upon entering.

In New England houses, a smaller interior area at the front of the home is often referred to as the "mud room". The area is usually decorated with a container for wet umbrellas, a metal tray to house overboots, and a bench, above which are wall hooks for hanging muddy wet outerwear garments.  

In grand homes with grand entrances,

whose front doors open directly onto a main hall,

there is usually a separate entry entirely for this function,

often at the side of the house, frequently referred to as the "delivery entrance", "service entrance", or "servant's entry".  


The furniture in a foyer should reflect these necessary functions, and should be practical. 

At a minimum, there should be a surface on which to temporarily rest or store belongings, and a place to store one's outer garments. Depending on the country, either outside or inside the foyer, there should be a place to remove and store boots and shoes.

Foyers also usually provide a temporary sitting surface of some sort. Entry tables can be in the form of a half-moon console or chest of some sort, or as a shelf or other console affixed to a wall. Directly above this surface is usually a mirror, on, or parallel to, the wall, to check appearances before leaving. There is often a bowl or other open container displayed on the table or chest, along with some indication that this is where you should leave messages or small packages.

In larger areas, this temporary holding zone can be a bench or chair of some sort, where one briefly sets down one's belongings, and sits briefly to remove one's boots.

There is usually a place to hang coats, hats, and umbrellas, sometimes on the wall in the form of hooks, or freestanding as a wardrobe closet armoire or on tall decorative poles such as an umbrella or coat stand.    

A custom during Victorian times was to combine all these functions, and make them intrinsic to one large substantial piece of furniture that sat in an area just inside the front door.

This style is a cumbersome tall wood structure resembling a doorless clothes wardrobe, with a bench for sitting, hooks for hanging, shelves for hats, an intrinsic centered mirror, and a side location for dripping umbrellas. Add doors, drawers, and somewhat reduce the height, and you have the modern TV or audio console cabinet.


The foyer in a small apartment is another creature entirely. In small apartments, the function of the foyer, namely that of receiving while not quite receiving, is still needed but there's little or no space to accommodate it.  

Instead,  to serve the functions otherwise handled by a large entry area, usually only a mirror, table, and occasionally a chair, are used instead.  

Just visible opposite an open apartment front door will be a a mirror above a narrow commode or table placed against the wall. This serves as a "staging area" for placing carried objects, and received packages while turning around to sign for them, and serves as a barricade for exchanging information with those one is not inviting to enter. A side closet or wall hooks are used for outerwear. In these smaller apartments, when someone is to be invited in, it becomes necessary to invite them in explicitly, with such phrases as "Please, won't you come in?" and "Here, let me take your dripping umbrella; it must be pouring outside."

Thus it's rare to see a chair here, as anyone sitting might not understand they're just waiting, and presume they've been invited into the apartment.  


Regardless of the size of a home, the foyer is the first area anyone sees of the house, and thus it gives guests their first impression of the occupants.

In certain homes of the more pretentious sort, this fact is exploited and the foyer is used as a billboard to make the desired social status impression. Instead of an obvious place to hang one's coat, there are displays of carefully selected expensive objects totally irrelevant to the needs of a reception area, e.g. locked Louis Vuitton steamer trunks and large oval trays replete with recently received postcards from otherwise absent friends.

By contrast, older established homes usually have functional foyers whose only status indicators are the visitor's belongings hanging in the hall. 

Such homes have drip rugs lying on the floor right inside the entry, and the rugs are printed with the word WELCOME facing outwards, 

there are wall hooks for dog leashes, a bench to sit on while pulling off one's muddy boots and dirty sneakers,

an area to store such footwear, a wall mirror as an afterthought,

and a cat bed or pillow is usually in evidence scattered about somewhere. 


The foyer reveals the character of the occupants.

First impressions are obdurate, and this is why humans around the world have bothered over foyers for millennia.

Keep in mind the importance of first impressions,

keep in mind your visitor's needs

and be mindful of the real purpose of a foyer; most of all, have fun with this. My uncle's foyer contained an enormous bucolic display of colorfully painted wooden farm animals which mooed and barked and cawed every time someone rang his doorbell. 




Entryway Foyer


Minimize Clutter

Furniture: rearrange for openness, remove and store as needed.
Plants: remove extra, unruly, or unhealthy plants.
Coats, hats, shoes: Carefully arrange or pack and store.



Carpet: spot clean, and consider a professional service.
Furniture and woodwork: polish.
Lighting fixtures: clean and polish to a sparkle. Wipe surfaces.
Hardwood floors: wash and shine.



Wall and ceiling cracks: repair and paint.



Walls: use a neutral paint and wallpaper.



Use real flowers and fresh potpourri.
Consider renting appropriate furniture.



Thanks for reading and I hope this series is enjoyable and helpful to you!

Best Wishes,

Debra Spencer


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All Content is © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself™ International. Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part of in whole without express written consent. Thank you.



All Content is © Debra Spencer,Suit Yourself™ International.Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.



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