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Decorating & Furniture/Front entry in raised ranch


Upon entering our foyer, we have stairs that go up to our living room/hallway area and stairs that go down to our basement.  Our living room overlooks the stairs and we recently installed new oak railings.  The guard railing almost acts as a natural vertical stop in the foyer with which to position a painting on the front door wall.  The problem is, the other wall (that can be seen from the living room) seems bare if I hang a mirror at the height of the other wall's painting.  Though, it would feel even more awkward to place a large picture at the height of my living room, because it wouldn't really be easy to see upon entering the foyer.
My question is--do I decorate that wall for someone entering the foyer, for someone sitting in the living room, or a combination of both?  Thanks!

Dear Molly,

It sounds as though you have a be-level home.  Enter on one level, go down or up the stairs on either side.  As for the a bi-level... the foyer is kind of a misnomer.  You really can't decorate for the 'foyer' as the only foyer is on two levels.  Normally, when you come in to a bi level home,immediately to the left or right, there is a little bit of wall, on which you can place a small (18-24 inches wide by 24-30 long) mirror, etc.  Other than that, anything you place on the upper wall is for viewing from the living room.  When one is viewing art work, or a mirror for that matter, one needs to see it at 'eye' level.  A little impossible to look up and see ones' self in a bi level foyer.  Try to gently define the foyer, then, take the eye up, and make/let your living room be more the star of the show.

If you are still unsure as to what to do, please consider hiring a interior decorator/designer, even if only for a one time only hour consultation, in order to get a clear picture for your home.

Thank you for writing.  Best of luck to you.

Julie Henry
Julie's Interior Designs
Hackettstown, NJ

Decorating & Furniture

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Julie Henry


In the past 22 years, I have assisted countless residential (and some commercial) clients in the design and decorating of their homes. Within reason, I can assist on ANY question for the interior of your home. From design of a new home or addition, to layout, color, truly custom window treatments or just accessorizing... as our brochure says... from ceiling to floor, windows to walls and EVERYTHING in between... if it is for the Interior of your home, call Julie's Interior Designs. Well... you don't have to call, just write and ask!


With twenty two years of experience, 18 of them self employed with a large showroom/retail store and great staff on my team, there is little I/we haven't encountered. For several years I enjoyed being the on air "Home Editor" of the local cable station and have written a column in several local newspapers for years. Taught Interior Design at the college level. My work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. This is the greatest job on earth, and not nearly as easy at it looks...

William Paterson College, NJ, Ramapo College NJ, Continuing Education with trade periodicals, etc.

Awards and Honors
Multiple for custom window treatments, best local business in our county (located in northwestern NJ,) best home furnishing store in our county, etc.

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