Does a Foyer Count as a Room?

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If you’re in the process of selling your home, you may run into some difficulties when preparing a listing. Although it seems like a straightforward task, some areas of the house might be left up to interpretation. This subject can be difficult if you have a nicely-sized foyer just inside your home. Does the foyer count as a room? We’ve done some research and have the information you need.

A foyer does not count as a room. Though there are no national standard definitions of what defines a room, most real estate agencies recognize a room such as a kitchen, bedroom, living room, family room, office, a study, or a den. Areas such as laundry rooms, storage rooms, closets, and foyers do not count as rooms.

Now that we’ve established a foyer, regardless of the size, does not count as a room, let’s discuss foyers in a little more detail. We’ll go over what a foyer is and answer other questions you might have about the subject. Keep reading!

Foyer with white columns and round center table, Does a Foyer Count as a Room?

What exactly is a foyer?

A foyer is an area just inside the entrance of a home or business. Foyers are more strictly recognized in public spaces, such as movie theaters or hotels. The foyer is an area where people might congregate before making their way into the main areas of a building or home.

A foyer could be a long hallway or more closely resemble an actual room inside a house. There might be a table around which visitors can congregate and greet each other or provide a place to wait for others to arrive. 

Why isn’t a foyer considered a room?

In general, a foyer isn’t considered a room for the same reason a hallway or closet would not, and that’s because it generally is connected or adjacent to an actual room. Foyers are a connector to other parts of a home or business and are just an area providing a path to the actual rooms. 

Foyer with spiral staircase

What Defines A Room?

A room is a space enclosed by walls with entry possible by a passageway such as a hall or a door. Regarding real estate, a room is generally what is counted toward the gross living area (GLA) of a house. Unfinished areas such as attics or basements are not counted in the GLA, so they are not technically “rooms,” along with laundry rooms, foyers, closets, etc. Therefore, a room is not a room if it can’t be counted towards the GLA, which are the parts a family can “live” or dwell within. 

These unfinished areas are mentioned in listings by real estate agents or home sellers but cannot count as rooms over overall GLA. Even finished attics or basements cannot count toward GLA in most states, though there are separate laws for real estate and residential codes for each state. 

There are stricter guidelines in defining what can be called a bedroom. For a room to be a bedroom, it must have a door that can be closed, a window, and a closet in terms of real estate guidelines.

What Is The Difference Between A Foyer And An Entryway?

An entryway is an area just inside an entrance to your home. A foyer is generally a larger space connecting to the outer rooms. Many foyers have a staircase leading to the second floor of the house, a table, and other decorations. Generally, this is an area where guests congregate, hang up their hats, and are greeted by their hosts. Foyers are entryways, but not all entryways are foyers. A foyer is generally about 2 – 4 percent of the house’s overall square footage, whereas an entryway is likely smaller. 

Foyer interior design with color coordinated furniture and fabrics, art work on the wall

What Should Be In A Foyer?

 A foyer gives you a chance to show guests your sense of style and what they can anticipate from the rest of your home. There are many different ways you can adorn your foyer. Keep your sense of style in mind when outfitting your space, as well as pondering what is traditionally housed in a foyer.

Table

A round foyer table is possibly the most traditional piece of furniture found in a foyer. Many feel that a foyer table is necessary as an area for guests to congregate, and it pairs well with a curved staircase descending into your entryway. These tables can be simple or ornate, depending on the decorating style of the individual owner. Suffice it to say, these tables add class to an area. 

View this foyer table on Amazon.

Bench/Seating

A few straight-backed chairs or a bench alongside the wall goes well in a foyer. This gives guests a place to wait if they wish to greet and wait on other guests. It also provides the host with a place to reside while awaiting potential guests. These chairs shouldn’t be too plush or cozy, however. Remember, this isn’t an area to mingle for longer than a few minutes at a time.

View this accent chair on Amazon.

View this bench on Amazon.

Console Table

A console table works very well in the foyers. The console table, also referred to as an entryway table, credenza, or buffet, is a narrow table just inside the door of your home. This is a perfect spot to display a lovely vase, a nice selection of classic books, or some fine art. These tables can also give you some additional storage space (inside any drawers or cabinets) for rarely used items you’d like to keep tucked away, such as seasonal decorations.

View this table on Amazon.

How much weight can a console table hold? We have an article about that in case you were wondering!

Mirrors

Adding a mirror in the foyer can enlarge the space and give guests a place to check their tie or makeup after removing coats and hats. A mirror would look excellent hanging over the console table or next to a coat rack.

View this mirror on Amazon.

How big should a mirror be over a console table? Read our post about that!

Artwork

Well-selected artwork conveys the homeowner’s sense of style and can create a definite mood in the space. Use the foyer as a place to display your taste with some decorative prints. 

View these prints on Amazon.

Houseplants/Flowers

Adding fresh flowers or houseplants can liven up your foyer. Flowers can be placed in a vase on your foyer table, or you can add large houseplants in the corners. Anything green can make a space pop and feel full of life. If you don’t have a green thumb, some lovely, everlasting fake plants can have the same effect.

View this artificial palm plant on Amazon.

In Closing

A foyer isn’t a room, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a prime selling point if listing your home. A nicely sized foyer is eye-grabbing and full of potential. Make sure yours is at it’s best, especially during home showings. Make use of that space.

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