How to Create a Fake Entryway or Foyer
Do you have an entryway that opens RIGHT into your living room or dining room? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
The foyer is undoubtedly the room that builders pay the LEAST attention to when building a home. In fact, many builders think that creating an ‘open layout entryway and living room’ is a great idea (with open concept being on-trend) and I’m pretty sure these same builders don’t have kids, don’t wear shoes and have never tried to put on lace-up knee-high boots without sitting down on a bench.
BTW, I use 100% my OWN e-design client’s photos on my site, which is why for this particular category, I’m pretty limited. However, I’ve included ‘other’ entryway photos, just to get the creative juices flowing!
So what do you do when your entryway is lacking in definition and function? You read this (and drinking wine will also help).
There are 2 ways to make a fake entryway:
The budget-friendly way
Using pieces that are moveable and not built-in to the flooring, walls or ceiling, such as bookcases, sofa and console tables and the backs of sofas for definition between spaces.
The more expensive way
Creating built-in, non-removable pieces that are permanent fixtures.
Based on the ideas below, choose the option that works best for you, your budget and your skills (or lack thereof). However, the one BIG thing to consider before starting your project is…resale value.
People love built-ins. Whether they’re beside the fireplace or in an entryway, built-ins are super desirable in the home-buying world. If you have the skills to build, you’ll add visual value to your home, which usually relates to ‘actual’ value when it comes time to sell. Buyers won’t need to figure out where the heck to put their shoes and coats – you’ll show them where they go (not on the back of the couch or outside the front door).
Anyway, let’s talk about some more ideas and you can take it from there!
Make it or Fake it Entryway Idea #1 THE IKEA DIVIDER
One of my FAVOURITE pieces from Ikea (other than the Raskog trolley) is the Kallax bookshelf – formerly known as Expedit. Coming in a variety of sizes and finishes, this piece is not just affordable, it’s also HUGELY versatile. Add doors, drawers, baskets, wheels, wine keg – pretty much anything you need to make your entryway more functional.
Now, LEGALLY, I can’t use other people’s photos on my site, but I CAN send you to their site, so check out this link here: Ikea Divider via Apartment Therapy (here)
Make it or Fake it Entryway Idea #2 The Bookcase Divider
Taking the Ikea idea and tweaking things a bit, use a bookshelf to divide an open entryway from a living room. The key is to find a bookcase that’s either open on the back or has a nicely finished backside (kinda like myself…or so I’ve been told).
- If you need function in your entryway, have the shelves facing the front door for shoes and all that jazz
- Want a bookcase as a backdrop to your couch? Turn the bookcase around so the shelves facing inwards, this way the books and decor offer a decorative backdrop to your living room
OR…(drum roll please), butt two of the same shelving units together so you have shelves on BOTH sides. You can then get someone half handy to make you a waterfall style wood top and side (to cover the seam where the shelves meet each other). Either that or spend the big bucks and have some marble or quartz cut to cover the top and one exposed side of your bookcase.
Make it or Fake it Entryway Idea #3 Use What You Have
The most budget-friendly option of all! You can define your entryway simply by positioning your furniture in the right spot. Try placing a longer piece (couch/loveseat) so that it creates a ‘faux’ wall (faux being the super snob way of saying fake). This can help to DEFINE the area between your living room and entryway with a visible barrier. You can then do any of the above ideas BEHIND the couch to add some storage and function!
See what House Tweaking did to separate their entryway and living room here: House Tweaking.
Make it or Fake it Entryway Idea #4 Bench, Baskets and More…
This idea isn’t too hard on the money bags. And again, no photo, but a link to an EXCELLENT project to check out via Via Growing Sound Roots. Looks like you’ll need a half-decent pony wall and some paint-grade wood and you’ll have yourself some function and definition!
The above project works great for a few reasons…
- It clearly defines the entryway from the living room
- There is a bench for ye ole toosh
- The light can flow from the living room to the entryway without being 100% blocked
- There is storage underneath for baskets and shoes
To see more photos of this project, Alison takes us on a walk-thru of her living space in this blog post – Dream Living Room and Entry – Black and White Craftsman Style
Again, just a pretty, simple foyer!
Make it or Fake it Entryway Idea #5 A Built-in Bookcase
This is my FAVE idea of them all…built-in bookcase via Thrifty Decor Chick
I love this idea. And if you visit Thrifty Decor Chick, you’ll see how she did it from start to finish! Notice how it’s built-in so that it looks original to the home, rather than an after-thought. And while this project isn’t for the faint of heart, it also isn’t rocket science if you’re so inclined!
Ready to bust out the saw? Check out these instructions for how to make a Columned Room Divider.
So there you have it my friends – I hope you enjoyed and found some ideas to try in your own home!
Not sure what to do?
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Originally written in 2016, updated in 2019