Your Home: 100 ideas under $100

Designer tricks for the foyer

Architects and interiors specialists share their secret sources, strategies for clever styling, organizing tips, and other home updates you can do yourself.

(Photo by Eric Roth)
By Marni Elyse Katz and Deblina Chakraborty
June 12, 2009
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Place everything That chest of drawers just sitting there in an upstairs bedroom would make an excellent hall table, says Sudbury's Sarah Desmond. Use it as storage and switch out mittens for flip-flops as the seasons change.

Reflect on you Supply grandeur in a small foyer without taking up much space by adding a floating shelf and a mirror, suggests's Taniya Nayak. She suggests hanging a Lack shelf from IKEA between 36 and 42 inches off the floor, with a mirror (she likes the selection at HomeGoods) above it. HomeGoods, Tedeschi Plaza, Braintree, 781-356-3560, and other locations;

Slipcover your console If your style is clean and tailored, tie in your console table by adding a simple fabric "slipcover," says Dee Elms of Terrat Elms Interior Design in Boston's South End. To make one, cut a piece of fabric that's large enough to cover the top (with seam allowances) and sew it to hemmed flaps that fit the sides, front, and back -- you'll need a piece in back, or the cover will slide off. When you come in and kick off your shoes or rain boots, tuck them away underneath.

Smarten up Sarah Desmond suggests another way to show off your style while organizing your stuff: Repurpose useful items you have around the house. A planter you like, for example, can be an umbrella caddy, or a champagne bucket can hold mail.

Frame someone Architect Stephen Chung pieced together an interesting portrait of his son Jet in their home's entry. He took a series of photographs of Jet, each focusing on a different area of the body, then pieced them together. You could also create a whole "person" with the knees, face, and torso of different family members, for example.

Punch up the door Add a bright splash of color to your foyer by painting the inside of your front door, says This Old House correspondent Carole Freehauf. Or, to make a door you don't want to play up disappear, stick with a neutral color or match the walls and trim. "But if you love apple green," she says, "why not?"