foyer size

snuffycuts99February 6, 2014

I'd love some input on the size of the foyer we are designing for our house. The house itself will be around 3500-3600 square feet. I would like a large spacious foyer. It will have a two story ceiling. And there will be a staircase to the left wall when entering the foyer. There will be french doors to the study on the left just before the staircase begins. On the right, it will be completely open to the dining room. A bridge above will separate the foyer and the great room. The foyer will enter directly into the great room.

So with that said, I am struggling to find the right size for the foyer. It's going to be long. I originally wanted a straight staircase, but with the french doors to the study before the staircase, we are looking at around 19'. I'm thinking I'd like the stairs to be from 42" to 48" wide. So maybe another 8' of open space to the right of the stairs, making the width 12'? Is 12x19 too large in your opinion? Should I make a 90' turn at the bottom of the staircase to make the foyer shorter in length? I don't really like the idea of the stairs sticking out at the bottom. But I'm also thinking that 19' might be way too long. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Sophie Wheeler

It's a transition space , not a guard tower. It's both too tall and too long. Put you money in a room that you spend more than 10 minutes a week in.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:30AM
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12 x 19 is a smallish great room . . . or a bedroom . . . or a kitchen. I personally would not devote so much space to the entryway.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:48AM
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I like generously sized foyers, but I think you should consider how you'll decorate the space, and whether it's going to make the rest of your house seem small.

I think what you have in mind might be very nice in a 6000 sq ft home, but in a 3500 sq ft. home, it will likely be out of scale.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:26AM
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thanks for the feedback. I generally feel that it's too large, as well. I'm just not sure how to cut back very much on the length and stick with french doors into the study on the same side as the stairwell. I can save some with a slight turn but I think it will still be long. At least it won't be AS long. I'm thinking maybe 10 or 11' in width. So maybe 10x17 or so. Here's a link to a pic that I like.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 11:53AM
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Are you planning on a 1.2M build? To do what you want requires a much larger house that can support it, with a correspondingly upscale finish level. Or else it's all hat and no cattle.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:36PM
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no, definitely not a 1.2M build...about half that. for those that have a staircase in their foyer, what are the dimensions of your foyer. I'm not counting separate floor space for the staircase, I'm including it in the foyer square footage.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:57PM
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We're doing about 3400sq, and our foyer is about 12 wide by 15 deep. Non-cathedral ceiling. Stairs go up to a landing and turn 90 degrees near the top. I think it's straight for 9 or 10 steps, turn, then another 3 steps.

I'll have a study to the right, single solid door with a transom above. If your study will really be used as a study, for work or quiet focused activities, you do not want french doors.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:13PM
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oicu, it sounds like your space is similar to ours, minus the cathedral ceiling. Thanks for the advice on the french doors. I am thinking that I might nix them and go with a single door like you. That will save me two feet. I could then go with an 11x17 foyer.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 5:20PM
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Our house is 3600 sq ft, and we also have the area over our foyer open to above (19', 10' down and 9' up.) We have our dining room on one side of foyer, and stairs on the other side (our study is on other side of stair wall and not visible from foyer.) What I consider the "foyer" is from the door to that corner past the dining room opening. It is 10.5' long and 11.5' from the dining room wall to the stairwall. The actual floor width is 8'. We do have a 4' gallery hall just beyond the "end" on the foyer that leads laterally from the butlers pantry on one end and the cased opening to the hall that goes to the study, powder room, and eventually the hall to the MBR. That 4' visually extends the length of the foyer and provides a transition the our living room.

I will post pictures so you can get an idea of how a 10.5' x 11.5' foyer would look. Our stairs run "backwards."

And here is the view from the end of foyer into living room.
(we had just moved in when taken, much more furnished now!)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 6:56PM
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Ours is 12 x 16 and it is perfect for our staircase, grandfather clock and a sitting area.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:09PM
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Thank you for the pics! That really helps out a lot, especially since ours will be about the same width. Your length is much shorter because of the stairs going back over the door. Isst, how large is your house, if you don't mind me asking?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:07PM
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The main living area is 3800 sq. feet. The foyer is in the center front of our house. It is a new/old house and formal.

When I was designing my house, If I had the opportunity, I took measurements of spaces I liked. To this day, I always carry a tape measure.

For example, our current master bedroom is the same size and layout as the one in our former home. I knew the same bedroom furniture would fit the new bedroom. LOL

My foyer size is based on my childhood home. My parents have an older home and I always like the size and feel of their foyer. I measured the room as well as the width of the staircase and also how much distance from the first step to the front door.

I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 9:27PM
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I wanted to add.....

My staircase is straight with the bottom few stairs wider with a curved volute.

I entertained a 90 degree turn at the bottom of the staircase but the stairs would have jutted too far into the room. I am glad I kept the staircase straight.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 9:34PM
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We are building a colonial style house, so our foyer will be front and center as well. How long is your staircase and how much room is between the door and bottom of stairs?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 7:35AM
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Nini804 love the staircase and the direction of it is awesome. Makes so much more sense for living in the house to access the normal areas you use instead of having to walk in front of the front door to get upstairs like so many homes have it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 9:38AM
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Nini804, beautiful pictures! Don't want to hijack thread but would you please share details about your hardwood? Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 9:42AM
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Hi mom2sulu! Thanks! Our floors are 5' wide site finished white oak. The stain is 75% Jacobean, 25% walnut.

Thanks, Lyfia! We really love it that way.

Lsst, 12x16 is a lovely and gracious foyer size! Your house sounds really lovely...have you posted pics on here anywhere?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 12:23PM
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Thank you, nini804! I am not surprised that that is your stain; I seem to gravitate towards that blend. :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 3:12PM
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It was a true labor of love! LOL We built close to 10 years ago and I have not posted many pics.

Your house is gorgeous! It needs to be in Traditional Home magazine!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 9:54PM
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Nini, I love the staircase and foyer!

Our foyer is 12.5' x 14.5' and 20' tall to the top of a tray ceiling that spans most of the foyer.

Our house is only about 2800 sqft., the downstairs is less than 1500 sqft.

I love it. I wouldn't change anything about it, even the height. Except maybe I would make it taller. :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Nini -- your home looks wonderful. The doors flanking the fireplace look so inviting to the outside. I assume your kitchen is off the fireplace you show. Very nice.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 11:34PM
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