The Foyer and the First 15 Seconds

The foyer is the most important part of the home when it is on the market. Studies show that purchasers make up their mind in the first 15 seconds after entering a home. First impressions are so important when selling! General comments about staging a foyer are difficult because there are so many shapes and sizes in the Northern Virginia market. You might have an older home with a narrow hall lined with doors to the rest of the living spaces, or you may have more recent construction with a two story sweeping expanse, or your front door may open directly into a room.

Staging a foyer always requires individual creativity, but here are some of the basics:

  1. If your space is small, open it up. A narrow foyer can be opened by removing adjacent room doors, lightening the paint and keeping the ceiling at least two shades lighter than the walls. I do not advise painting the ceiling white in a narrow space – white will accentuate narrowness. A ceiling color that is in the same family as the wall, but lighter will keep the hall from feeling too closed in. If you want visitors to remove their shoes, direct them down the hall to the kitchen. Having visitors bump body parts while they take off or put on their shoes only reminds one of the cramped space. Light and bright art work on the wall is fine, but not too many pieces and no family portraits. Mirrors help add a sense of volume and create additional reflective light. Tapestries will close the space in. Coat closet doors must be freshly painted. Remove 2/3rds of the items from the closet – most are overstuffed.
  2. If your space is large, create a feeling of intimacy by providing a high table with a seasonal floral arrangement to make a smooth transition from the outside to the inside. If the second floor walls are visible from the first, the paint tones need to be similar – lighter if you want to make the space appear even bigger, darker is “OK” if you want to draw the eye upwards, but make sure the area is well lit. For a really large space, a bench can create a sense of warmth and a free standing circular table with a centerpiece can force foot traffic around it, accentuating the size, while adding a “grand hotel” feel. If your staircase is curved or angled, add a tall plant or a pair of wing-back chairs and table in the bend.
  3. If the foyer is surrounded by carpeting (especially stairs), make sure it is clean. Carpeting around an exterior door collects a lot of dirt.
  4. Add a runner to direct guests to the room you want them to visit first (typically the living room).
  5. Finally, walk right up to the front door, stop, and turn 90 degrees. What do you see? Turn another 90 degrees. What do you see? Turn another 90 degrees. What do you see? Except for the robotic movements, this is what home buyers do when they enter a home. They look 270 degrees. Look as far into your home as the view will allow – what will the first impression be? We will tackle those questions in future editions.

Burke VA home entry before Burke VA entry after

Before After

All the Best!

Monica, ASP


Preferred Staging

the art of home preparation

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One Response to “The Foyer and the First 15 Seconds”

  1. The Living Room - Get in Touch with Your Target Buyer « Home Staging in Northern Virginia Says:

    […] Your Target Buyer Continuing our virtual staging tour from last week when we stepped into the foyer…our next stop is typically the living room. For many homeowners, the living room has evolved […]

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