Is the lobby different from the entrance? Definition of a modern foyer

You only get one chance to make a first impression. This is true for relationships, and it is true for your home. Whether you live in a small city apartment, a townhouse, a Gilded Age mansion, or somewhere in between, you likely have a front door. The foyer inside is the first glimpse you and your guests get of your home, your style, and your personality, so you want to make it count. Or is it an entrance or a vestibule? The three terms are thrown around interchangeably, but we’re here with interior designers Brighan Jane and George Kypreos of Los Angeles design and architecture studio Sherwood Kypreos to set the record straight. Read on to learn what a foyer is, how it differs from an entry or vestibule, and what a functional and stylish foyer needs.

Small hallway with built-in bench

Werner Stroop

What is the foyer?

identification Lobby It is a “theatre’s waiting room or lobby.”“Entrance entrance”, according to Merriam-Webster. It is derived from the French a houseWhich translates to “hearth”, “home” or “home”.

It’s easy to get caught up in the word stage, but you don’t have to live in one of these places to have a foyer. In public spaces, the lobby is a gathering space often designed to welcome you, allow you to settle in, and give you an idea of ​​what to expect in the rest of the building. In a home, the foyer is a hallway where you drop keys, greet guests, keep essentials for walking out the door, and present your design style. “The foyer usually connects the entrance to the home with the rest of the space,” says Jane. “It serves as a walkway through the entryway that can define how a person will interact with your home. It often sets the tone for the design identity they are about to experience.”

In the past, foyers helped keep other areas of the house cool whenever someone came inside during the winter. Older, more ornate home styles, including Victorian, Tudor, and Colonial, typically have a foyer, while simpler, more modern styles such as cottages and farmhouses often do not.

Is the lobby different from the entrance?

Howard wrapped this two-story atrium with Japanese cranes by Ixcel Design to create an inviting entry point that evokes the marshes just outside.

The primary difference between the foyer and the entrance is the sense of formality. In our opinion, it’s a call-it-what-you-want situation. Many people refer to this space as they know it best. In larger, larger homes, the transitional space is often called the foyer, while in apartments, smaller homes, and open-plan homes it is often referred to as the entryway.

However, there is one difference related to blood circulation. The foyer is not quite a transitional space like the entrance. “It’s a more generously furnished space designed for living and just passing through,” says Kypreos. “And it doesn’t necessarily have to be formal. A large foyer is great for rambling countryside or vacation homes where lots of family and friends gather and come and go.”

For your information, Merriam-Webster says that both are common pronunciations of Lobby—FO-yer and fo-YAY — are correct.

Items that must be available in the lobby

Vestibule in Kansas City, Kansas, home renovated by architect Jeffrey Dungan

Closet or coat rack

There’s nothing worse than coming home on a rainy day and having to track water through your house to hang up your wet coat. Placing a coat rack or having a coat closet in your foyer is an essential part of keeping your home clean and dry and ensuring your jackets and seasonal gear stay organized. Plus, if you’re hosting, guests will have a designated area to put their coats instead of on your couch (which takes up valuable seating space) or, worse yet, on your bed.

Rug or doormat

A washable or easy-to-clean low-pile rug, doormat, or mat that requires everyone to wipe down or take off their shoes before they track debris into them. Add a shoe tray in the fall and winter months to give your snow boots a place to dry.


We are not all children who can bend over and tie our shoes easily. A bench in the foyer provides you and your guests with a comfortable place to sit to put on and take off shoes. The storage bench is great for shoeless households where shoes stay in the entryway.

Drop zone

A white vase with flowers on a table in a room with a chandelier and a red color

Foyer designed by Brigan Jane.

Ryan Garvin

Whether it’s a console table, a floating shelf, or a simple hook on the wall, having a place to keep bags, keys, and hats is great for everyone, especially those of us who are always late. Create a landing zone and you’ll always know where your keys are (no longer need to dig through yesterday’s pants pockets), plus you can put away today’s belongings as soon as you walk in the door.

Frequently asked questions about the lobby

A table with a lamp and a plant

Foyer designed by Sherwood Kypreos.

Sam Frost

What is the foyer in the house?

The foyer is the area at the front of the house, often just inside the main front door. The foyer connects the entrance to the house with the rest of the interior.

What is the difference between a foyer and a vestibule?

A vestibule is similar to a foyer, but the terms do not have exactly the same meaning. A vestibule is “a passage, hall, or room between the exterior and interior doors of a building,” according to Merriam-Webster. Picture a house with two front doors, one to the outside and one between that door and the inside. This dividing space is the vestibule. Although they can have the same purpose, the foyer in the design may often be located behind the vestibule or second set of doors.

Is the entrance a foyer?

sometimes! The foyer is the first room you enter when you walk through the front door. In a home, the foyer is usually a smaller space or hallway that leads to the rest of the rooms.

What design mistakes should I avoid in the foyer?

As for what to avoid, Jane thinks it’s pretty simple: Don’t overcrowd the space. “Although some foyers can be more spacious than others, you never want to risk making them feel cluttered,” she says. “I would also add that you should never be afraid to make them versatile.”

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