New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

6 Two Story Foyers [Near One Story Living Rooms]

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 15:05 PM

Two story foyer designs: WorthingtonIIFoyer

When creating your new home wish list, one of the biggest architectural trade-offs can be choosing between two story rooms and additional square footage upstairs.

Downstairs rooms that stretch to the second story ceiling - including living room and great rooms - can eat up second floor space.

Limiting your two story space to the foyer can give you the best of both worlds.

Foyers are smaller spaces that can go big with a much lower cost impact.








Here are some examples of Raleigh new home floor plans with a two story foyer (and one story great room or living room):

Tall Foyers "How to":

The photos below show examples of Raleigh new home plans that include two story foyers that lead to "standard" height rooms (8' or 9' tall ceilings).

These foyers are great examples of how to build a home with a two story entrance without giving up square footage upstairs.

1. Tall Foyer #1: How to Add an Upstairs Overlook

This staircase is located at the center of the first floor, just inside the foyer. To the left, an arched opening leads to the formal dining room. The door to the right leads to the garage. Straight ahead, the hallway leads to the open concept kitchen and living room.


This floor plan - a version of The Gershwin - leaves space for a two story foyer and overlook. Upstairs, there's still ample space for three bedrooms and a bonus room

2. Tall Foyer #2: How to Avoid a Turn in the Staircase

In this version of The Shelby, Stanton Homes added a bonus room on the second floor, above the living room. The foyer is the only two story room on the first floor, making the entrance more dramatic.

The long foyer layout avoids the need for a landing half way up the staircase.


3. Tall Foyer #3: How to Create an Open Concept Entry

Tall ceiling - and windows in every room - keep this entry feeling open and bright. The foyer is the only two story room in this version of The Summerlyn. A second story bonus room - with overlook to the foyer - adds square footage to the home plan. 


4. Tall Foyer #4: How to Add a Curved Staircase

This version of The Avonstone Manor balances ceiling heights by spreading out two story rooms.

The large foyer opens to a curved staircase and custom overlook. The dining room add productive contrast with a lower ceiling.

Ceiling height variations emphasize high and low spaces to make a more dramatic impact.

Two Story Foyers | Two Story Foyer Lighting

5. Tall Foyer #5: How to Make Small Foyers Feel Bigger

From the living room, this two story foyer feels small and utilitarian.


Take another look, from the front door. A custom barrel vault ceiling tops the two story foyer to make the entry feel bigger - without using square footage. The two story design - when paired with a one story living room - makes a more dynamic impact. 



6. Tall Foyer #6: How to Fit Your Staircase into the Foyer

In this version of The Penelope, the foyer is the only two story room. Home plans that wrap the staircase into a two story foyer also create space for open railing and an overlook.



Custom home design tip: You can use architectural details to create the feel of a taller foyer, without adding the full height of a second story. 

Here are examples of Raleigh new homes with one story foyers that feel bigger - with a barrel vault ceiling:

What is a barrel vault foyer? Get more ceiling design ideas for your next home and find photos of two story overlooks here.

Home Plans with a Two Story Foyer:

Foyers and entry ways are typically smaller spaces. Adding height can create an open concept feel without eating into second floor square footage.

Tell us your home plan layout priorities, and we'll help you get started on building your North Carolina custom home.

Tags: Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, raleigh new home, Raleigh New Home Builder, raleigh two story homes

What is a Barrel Vault Foyer? Pictures of Barrel Vault Foyers by Custom Home Builders

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 @ 13:04 PM

What, exactly, is a Barrel Vault Foyer?

Custom Home Builder Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers

A barrel vault foyer offers a unique, arched ceiling treatment and can be used to accentuate many different styles of architecture.

In this Arts and Crafts custom home, a barrel vault foyer draws the eye upwards, and adds a dramatic touch to the first room in the home.

What is a Barrel Vault Foyer, Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, NC Custom Home Builders


Height doesn't matter.  Barrel vault foyers can be either one story or two story foyers.

In this photo, the barrel vault foyer is even more impressive with the addition of an inset plant shelf on both sides of the upper foyer.

The arched picture window with prairie style grids perfectly follows the signature curve of the ceiling.




What is a Barrel Vault Foyer, Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, NC Custom Home Builders

A home with a full height, two story foyer feels grand and luxurious when completed with a barrel vault ceiling.

This is a great example of how a typical rectangular window can add appealing contrast to a barrel vault foyer ceiling.  The window helps emphasize the clean, crisp lines of the built-in plant shelf and decorative columns. 

The barrel vault ceiling coordinates perfectly with the arched opening to the Formal Dining.



What is a Barrel Vault Foyer, Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, NC Custom Home Builders


A shallow barrel vault ceiling can even add interest to a lower ceiling in a more typical foyer. 

The barrel vault foyer in this Craftsman/traditional home brings more attention to the marvelous arches and cut out openings throughout the first floor.

No matter what type of custom home you're considering, a barrel vault foyer may be just right - and as you can see, the foyer can be charming, impressive, or somewhere perfectly in between!

More Custom Home Ideas, Photos, and Tips:

Top 5 Trey Ceiling Treatments

How Tall Should Ceilings Be?

What is a Craftsman style home like?

Formal Dining Rooms - Going Away, or Here to Stay?

Five Ways to Save Money in the Family Room

Built In Bookcase Styles and Ideas

Fireplace Surround Ideas

Tags: raleigh craftsman homes, Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, Raleigh Custom Home Builders, nc custom home builders, nc custom homes, raleigh custom homes, What is a Barrel Vault Foyer