Understated Elegance~A Semi-Formal Foyer

Today's featured online design plan was created for Stephanie's semi-formal entry.  Stephanie's home is a beautiful traditional style with an amazing two story foyer.  A stately front door, rich wood floors,  soaring ceilings and a gorgeous curved staircase were the base of this dramatic space.  Our goal was to choose elements that were understated (as not to compete with the already present drama) yet elegant (after all, it is a formal entry). 

We began by choosing an area rug in a soft neutral-colored pattern.  

We gave Stephanie two rug options, a rectangular rug in front of the door or a large round under the furniture vignette.  

Aesthetically speaking, the round rug {option 2} is a great choice.  I love to use a round rug in a formal entry.  Especially in this case, a circular rug will mimic the curved staircase.  From a practicality standpoint, the small 3x5 in front of the door {option 1} is the best option.  A third alternative is to go for the round rug and place a small, solid colored door mat during the spring/winter in front of the door to catch mud/salt.  

These sepia toned botanicals from Potterybarn are perfect for the neutral color palette of this space.  They are simple and elegant.  

Stephanie already purchased a beautiful round accent table.  We placed this custom upholstered armchair next to the round table to create a welcoming vignette.  The trellis patterned fabric and slim profile update the look of this traditional style chair.

This amazing fleur de lis mirror will fill a large alcove along the staircase wall.  Not only is it a gorgeous piece in itself, but it will provide a reflection of her beautiful entry chandelier.  

For natural texture and foliage, we placed an oversized pair of preserved potted boxwood on her round table.  Stephanie requested a floral arrangement that looked as real as possible.  Boxwood is my favorite.  Especially potted in these gorgeous cream colored pots on top of her dark wood table.  

Pattern (trellis fabric, patterned rug), contrast (dark wood, light accents),  texture (natural foliage, sculptured rug), and understated art come together to create an unpretentious, but elegant semi-formal entry. 

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*Please feel free to use this design as inspiration.  Out of courtesy to my client, I'm unable to share more specific details about this custom design plan.  Thanks for understanding. 


  1. What a beautiful space you have planned! The fleur de lis mirror is my favorite-- so stunning. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas!

    ~Abby =)

  2. What a beautiful space you have planned! That fleur de lis mirror is my favorite-- so stunning. Thank you for sharing your inspiring ideas!

    ~Abby =)

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE that mirror and that rug. In fact I almost ordered it for my entry until I found a deal on my local classifieds that I couldn't pass up. Once again, great design taste!! You are my hero!!

  4. Where can I find the preserved box woods? How much are they?

    1. Hi Jane, they will soon be added to my collection of home decor. Please send me an email if you are interested in them and I will send you the pricing as soon as it's available. Thanks:) Sarah


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