Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Cozy Front Vestibule, Porch, Foyer...... What Should We Call It?

I don't know why I'm so excited about this entrance - but I love it!  It started as a basic enclosed porch with a storm door and exposed studs/insulation..... not exactly a focal point for the house.  A bit sad and dreary, but it had so much potential!  And while it's not big - only 6 x 8 feet - it can be a pretty fabulous first glimpse to the rest of the house.  

But what should it be called?  A vestibule?  A 3-season porch?  A foyer?  I'm curious what everyone thinks.  

Photo from the day we bought the house

Before we go too far, let's talk about the space.  Initially, I thought we should open up the walls and make it interior space and part of the main house.  But as I spent more time there, it became clear that it's a really special spot.  Facing east, it gets the full morning sun and it's an amazing place to have a cup of coffee in the morning - and watch the dog walkers and school children go by.  Even on the coldest mornings (this is Maine after all), it's a warm, cozy spot.

So it will be a true 3 season porch.  We ripped out the pathetic insulation that was exposed in the existing room and replaced it with new insulation in the ceiling, crawl space and walls - but we didn't add a heating system.  So in the winter, it would be best to leave the door to the main house closed, but it could certainly be open the rest of the year.  

It's been such a struggle to get this little room done!!!  The front door was on order FOREVER, but finally showed up and I'm sure the neighbors are grateful 😂.  

The custom made stained glass house number exceeded expectations, but it had a 12 week lead time as well.

Once those were installed, we could put in the new subfloor and then I could start the tile job.  I agonized for months over what tile to use for the floor.  My first thought was it should be a hard wearing ceramic, this is an entryway after all - but all the tile I saw was too contemporary looking for the space (and the trendy new 12 x 24" tile would just look odd in a small space like this).  And then I saw this stone flooring.  It's tumbled stone, so it has a bit of a rustic finish, which is perfect for an entryway since it can take some abuse and still look good.  (And in reality, no one in Maine ever uses a front door, particularly when the driveway is next to the back door!) 

The stone mosaic looked a bit blah when it arrived, but once I coated it with a stone enhancer, the color really popped!  Isn't it gorgeous? 

Why use stone enhancer on the raw stone???  Because it brings out the color and texture!

For the walls, I wanted to keep the cedar shakes around the original doorway - but add bead board on the rest of the walls.  Since this is a 3 season porch, I wanted something that could handle a little bit of rain if the windows got left open.  The trim is still a work in progress, but copies the style we have in the rest of the house.  

So what would you call this room?  A vestibule - where you could have package delivered without the delivery person having access to the rest of the house?  A foyer?  Or maybe a porch.  What's your vote?
View as you come through the front door!!!  So much space!


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  1. Entry porch! Looks adorable and a great place to watch the world!

  2. We absolutely love vestibules (quiet, secure, private, space, comfort and HVAC efficiency) but its not the most appealing word. Entry porch doesn't fit for me. But, it is a foyer -- just better! I vote for Foyer.

  3. Vestibule. :) Absolutely ADORE that tile floor, both enhanced and not! Actually, it is just ALL quite perfect (bead board, stained glass, door..). Love it!

  4. I would call it a foyer. I was showing my husband the beauty you are creating and I called the room a foyer. I love the flooring and the stained glass house number is stunning. I really enjoy watching your progress on the homes you work on.

  5. The first house I remember as a child was in Ithaca, NY. It was a Sears kit house and it had a vestibule. That’s what it is!

  6. Love the flooring, now I want to do that!! So beautiful and so much nicer than ceramic tile. How about the wheelhouse if you want to be nautical? When you are out there you're in the front of the house and have all those windows to see what is going on outside while you steer the ship. : )

  7. It's not a foyer unless you remove the door to the interior. Since it's an enclosed addition directly in front of the main entrance/building envelope it is a vestibule.

  8. Would love to know who made the custom stained glass piece! Can you please share?


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