9 Contemporary Foyer Lighting Ideas That Will Jazz Up Your Entry

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First impressions count. That means the foyer, the entryway, or any little bit of space where guests are received should be wow-worthy. And while it's important to have a place to hang your coat and take off your shoes, the star of any entrance is the light fixture. No matter your style, contemporary foyer lighting will set the stage for visitors and create a comforting welcome for you.

Read on for nine contemporary light ideas we think you'll love. Good luck choosing only one.

1. Make a big impact in a big space.

When in doubt, designer Karen B. Wolf says to scale your lighting up rather than down for a grand impact, especially in a foyer. This chandelier not only impresses because of the glam factor, but it also illuminates the space perfectly thanks to all the bulbs. Additionally, Wolf notes, "The dazzling starburst shape is timeless, and the florets at the end of each rod soften the typically midcentury form so that it [works] as a transition piece between the historic and modern styles in this light-filled home."

2. Go for the gold.

Jen Biswas of Paisley & Sparrow didn't shy away from color in her entryway. Instead, she highlighted the cheerful space with a brass light fixture made of gilded leaves. The pop of gold complements the foyer's mix of colors and patterns — from the pink bench to the ornate antique mirrors. And, as always, every room can benefit from a jolt of greenery like this giant bird of paradise plant.

3. Play with opaque.

For her own foyer, designer Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors highlighted her entryway's tall pitched ceilings with an opaque spherical light fixture, which gives off soft light in an already bright space. The piece coordinates with Pickens's signature style of mixing old and new, making for a lived-in yet contemporary look.

4. Double up.

If you have an extra long foyer that leads into a hallway, double up on your lighting with a pair of contemporary fixtures. Kate Lester lit up this home's entry by installing two white basketweave light fixtures. The resulting design is both contemporary and timeless.

5. Install a contemporary chandelier.

When you think about chandeliers, you likely envision fixtures that are ornate, dusty, and not modern at all. But ethereal and romantic chandeliers can work beautifully as contemporary foyer lighting, especially in monochromatic spaces like this spot designed by Studio Ten 25. It's just what a grand, winding staircase deserves.

6. Add clean lines.

Pendant lights are back in a big way. So to ensure the one you choose is contemporary, look for an option with sharp, clean lines. This foyer, from Michelle Lisac Interior Design, draws the eye up because of the tapered lantern hanging from the ceiling. It makes for a simple but impactful entryway moment.

7. Add a simple bulb.

If you're working with a small space and your entryway is more hallway than foyer, take a cue from Lilla Norr, a Scandinavian-inspired, minimalist A-frame cabin in the woods. (It's available to rent!) In this tiny entry, the wood-paneled walls and ceiling perfectly complement the single bulb that has just a hint of brass. It's proof that keeping things simple always pays off.

8. Play with shape and color.

A black light fixture? Oh yes. With marble-effect panels and a curved design, the gothic-contemporary light in this foyer from Chango & Co. proves that black can be playful. It adds a sleek touch to the traditional surroundings and is bound to draw attention. So if you go this route, consider keeping the rest of the space minimal.

9. Make good use of natural elements.

Wood + gold = a classic combo. And the geometric light fixture in this Studio McGee design has both of those aspects, making the lush foyer feel intriguing. We especially love the way the natural wood tones run throughout the space from the floor planks to the entry table to the stair railing.


Megan writes about design, travel and wellness for Domino, Lonny, Wit & Delight and more. Her life rules include: zipper when merging, tip in cash and contribute to your IRA. Be a pal and subscribe to her newsletter Night Vision.

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