For the past several weeks we have discovered what some of John’s and my solutions are for a new apartment in Munich, Germany. Today we’ll cover what we’re doing with the entry-foyer. This is a tiny, city-dwelling, and the foyer is very small, with traffic patterns in 3 directions! In addition, there are two floor to ceiling windows, which offer great light, but little wall space. How can we make our clients and their guests feel welcomed when they come through the door?
First of all, there are the practical necessities. You need somewhere to put down your bag, to put down your keys, to store your coat, and to remove your shoes and change into “indoor shoes/slippers”. This is a common European habit/way-of-life. (I notice that our American city dwellers are also becoming more like this.) So you need someplace to sit, someplace to store, someplace to set down.
Then there are the artistic necessities. How do you put forth the subliminal message “Come in. Rest, Relax, Be happy. This is going to be a wonderful experience for you.”? We do that by paying attention to possible focal points, welcoming colors, and sensuous textures. And we don’t ask the space to work too hard, so that all the beauty is pushed out of it.
For this foyer we are actually establishing the beautiful focal point in the next room – which you see through full length glass doors, just beyond the little entry. (We covered that in last week’s blog about Munich, click here to see.) We are keeping furnishings to an absolute minimum, so as not to feel crowded. And we are keeping materials simple, but lush and sensual.
The two full length windows (which open up like French doors to let breezes in) we are covering with a simple, partly sheer white drapery fabric. Small natural iron drapery rods and French pleats. The floors, like the floors throughout the apartment, are a dark brown stained oak. Our colors will be dark brown and white. Crisp, clean, simple.
Furnishings: we’ll keep it to just one chair and one custom designed bench-cum-storage cubes, cum display area for plants or flowers. But I love the way the chair is sculptural – sloped side rails and no arms, for that no – fuss look. It’s the fabrics that just turn this into a little jewel!
The sculptural chair is in a velvet, cut into 3/4″ squares so that it almost looks quilted. We’ve kept the furnishings simple, but we upped the ante with wonderful fabrics.
With the drapery in filmy white, I wanted the custom bench to be in a white leather. Very durable, but easy care. Whether grocery packages or shoes get set down on it, it can take a beating. This is our first rough sketch of what that custom piece may look like.
I just can’t wait to get this apartment built so that we can see how wonderful everyone’s reaction will be! We’ll let you know.
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