Making an Entrance
First impressions are important, which is why the entryway to a house needs to be more than just a pass-through on the way to the stairs.
The entryway needs to function practically as a place to drop keys, mail and an umbrella. But it also needs to hint at what to expect in the rest of the rooms. We asked some top local designers for tips on decorating this often overlooked area, along with examples of Bethesda-area foyers that work.
Rounding it Out
When a couple of empty nesters decided to sell their big, traditional house in Potomac and redo a high-rise unit in Chevy Chase, designer David Mitchell stepped in to help make the couple’s new home dramatic yet comfortable.
The sophisticated look starts in the 16-foot-diameter entry hall. Without a lot of wall space to work with, the D.C.-based designer used the floor and ceiling to make strong style statements.
“Condos have concrete ceilings, so lighting a space like this one is difficult,” he says. Instead of a typical light fixture, he designed an architectural, spokelike structure with an amber-stained maple veneer and dimmable LED lights.
On the floor, he designed a classic eight-point star with gray and brown marble on ivory limestone. “We had to do it in contrasting colors or you wouldn’t see the pattern,” he says.
Every entry hall needs a table, and Mitchell found one that echoes the shape of the light fixture above.
“This space has all of the earth elements you need,” he says. “Metal, glass, stone and wood.”