First Impressions

They say that in life you never get a second chance to make a first impression; but I am not convinced that the first impression is accurate. I think first impressions can be misleading and should be viewed as a part of the unravelling story of a person. Each time you meet there will be more to know and maybe you will discover that the first impression is indeed not the most accurate measure of a person. What about first impressions in the world of decorating? What part of the home represents the first impression? The foyer is the first thing people see when they enter your home. Conversely, the foyer is the last thing that people see when leaving your home so we want visitors to receive a great impression both coming and going. Let’s take a peek into the foyers of a St. Charles model, a Gardenia model, and an Iris model, to see the great first impression they make somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• St. Charles Model St. Charles model foyer - Villages of Florida - Interior Design - by Ruth Dyer
The St. Charles has a foyer that is open to the dining room leaving only one wall in the foyer. This wall is all that a foyer needs to make a great impression. The homeowner owned an entry table that was very attractive so we kept it in the foyer. An open piece like this is great but the open space at the bottom looks empty when put into place. This openness at the bottom is called “negative space” and to create balance we filled the negative space with two large baskets. The large baskets add visual weight and it hides the plug in the back. We installed a large arched mirror above the table that is 72” high and 48” inches wide. The mirror makes a stunning impression upon entering, and an even better impression when leaving. We accessorized the table with a unique palm tree lamp, a piece of coral stacked on a book, and one antique clock. Finally, we added a 5’x8’ rug into the space. Nothing beats a beautiful generous rug in the foyer. A well decorated foyer does not have to be full of things to look nice.

• The Gardenia foyer
The gardenia foyer is long and has one really big wall! This wall is the natural focal wall of the foyer because it is the largest wall. This wall is a great opportunity to place a large sideboard for extra storage. A sideboard is a flat topped piece of furniture with drawers or doors that conceal the storage space in the bottom. This piece can be six feet long in a Gardenia foyer and up to 44 inches high. The key is to keep the sideboard on the narrow side at 17 to 22 inches deep.

• Large mirror or art in Gardenia Foyer
Once the sideboard is in place it needs to be accessorized. In this picture you will see that the homeowner had a large colorful canvas that we hung over the sideboard. This piece makes a large impression and looks great on the focal wall. In this Gardenia foyer we hung a decorative mirror on the small wall. This wall is great for a family photo wall also!

• Rug
The rug pictured in the Gardenia foyer is a rug that the homeowners designed themselves. It is made from recycled rug squares that are placed together with special tape on the back. This allowed the homeowner to create a unique look and design. I like the black and white stair step effect and should a square get dirty or damaged it is easy to replace just the one square. Also, since this rug is just squares taped together the rug can be long as you like.

• The Iris foyer
The Iris foyer has a doorway between two small walls. Which one is the focal wall? The wall nearest the door! It always looks best with a thin table and a mirror above it. I like having a lamp on that table so at night people will see the light and it looks like someone is always home.

• The second small wall of Iris foyer
I do like to hang big art on this wall! Often, the table and lamp will not be noticed until someone entered the living room and turned to look back but the larger art will be seen on entry! We hung a stunning picture of a palm tree near turquoise green water. There is usually a pocket door on the wall so I like to keep the art light.

• The wall to your right upon entry
This small wall is great place to hang something small and meaningful. In this foyer we hung a beautiful wall pocket full of heather and we love it!

• The Iris foyer rug
The Iris foyer will take a 5’x8’ rug very easily. It makes the foyer look rich and the pop of color is amazing. The key to make it work is to angle the rug with the line of the foyer. The rug that is shown is a wool rug and a great choice for a front door rug since the color is so forgiving!

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

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