Most people coming through the front door of a log home give the entry area only a fleeting glance as they hurry to see the rest. Entryways to homes grand or modest, even those that are just the front door, are transitional space. Beyond greeting, entryways are prelude to the home beyond. Exciting entries beckon and make people pause, not just pass through.
Getting guests to linger is a challenge of design and decor. The saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression is true indeed when it comes to designing and decorating a foyer for a log home. Foyers worth admiring take planning. Just the logs themselves offer a range of options. And because log homes are typically casual, even those that are primary residences, choices run a greater gamut.
Entryways start outside the home. Whether they are a simple front door and a porch or a full-blown porte-cochere, entryways invite folks inside. A porch entry allows some transition to occur outside. An indoor entry not only ushers folks into the home, but also sets the tone for the rest of the home. Whatever your home’s style and scale, the entryway should go with it.
Outside the entry is mostly design, very little furniture. The door announces the home, assisted by light fixtures, hardware and perhaps some plants or props for door dressing. Inside, however, opens up opportunities for expression.
Here are some points to consider when you’re designing your entryway:
- Determine whether you want an elaborate or subtle foyer.
- Changing flooring and adding walls build up entries. Flooring options include tile and stone, wood running opposite from floor beyond the foyer. Walls can be simple drywall partitions or full-log bump-ins.
- Go with the flow. Don’t funnel your company. Allow room for people to pass through unimpeded. If you insist on having a grand fountain in your foyer, don’t plunk it down in the middle. Move it to one side.
- The right size foyer is the key to foyer design. Determine how much room there is for people to stand and for how many people are likely to fill the space.
- Don’t make an entryway that’s out of proportion with the rest of the house.
- Corners cost extra when you build your log walls. Your budget will determine how much log you use to define your foyer.
- Stairs that begin in the foyer can make use of space below for a table, plants, even a desk and chair to create a setting distinct from an adjoining great room, providing a full transition space.
- Entries don’t have to be formal space but can function as mudrooms, especially in second homes whose theme is outdoor activities.
- Function is implicit. Concentrate on features that add character and charm.
- Start outside by combining structural design and landscaping. Preview the foyer with a canopy and truss that mimics an interior truss. Employ door sidelights, stone pilasters supporting log columns and porches. Don’t neglect the driveway and landscaping approaching the front door.
- A foyer that opens directly to the great room maximizes the full impact of the space. Seeing a view through windows beyond or the fireplace intensifies the entry experience.
One last point: Entryways work coming and going. That’s why “foyer” describes them better. They’re just as much exitways. Does your home leave a lasting last impression? Furnish your foyer to say so long in style with pieces that work from three directions—in the door, out the door and before the door, standing within the space that you define as your entryway. Wall hangings are particularly suited to these perspectives. Don’t overlook overhead space. Besides fixtures and furnishings, the layout itself can influence how it’s seen and how it works with adjoining space, inside and outside the log walls.
As you plan your log home, think of ideas for your entryway and gather examples of other entries you like. Then choose a design that lets your entry say exactly what you want it to say. Starting with, “Welcome!”