I have been house shopping with a friend and have become aware of how many houses, old and new-er, open directly into the living space-- be it a dining room, kitchen or living room. I find it much more pleasing to open a front door without exposing the living space to whomever is on the other side of the door.
It is simple enough to create a “foyer” feeling from the front door, especially when the front door is off set from the center of the room into which it opens; the homeowner thus has a bit of space in which to put up a screen or something to distract the eye, which protects the privacy of the home. A simple piece of furniture can do the trick, creating a bit of a barrier between your living space and the person outside your door. You can set up a hall tree or a table or a screen to add to the privacy.
If you want to create such a screen, there are so many materials you can use, and you may have them around the house already. Shutters that are no longer in service can be adapted into a useful screen by joining two or more together with reversible hinges; you can connect shutters that are the same width to make them taller as well.
There are plenty of uses for decorative screens, not just at the front door to make an entrance more private. Screens can make a serve more than one purpose without the benefit of floor-to ceiling walls. A large room can be divided easily into multiple service areas with the clever use of furniture, screens or even sliding panels that attach to the ceiling.
Large sized cube-type book or storage units make great room dividers, and the open cubbies can be filled with useful baskets or containers for last minute items you need before heading out the door, like gloves, hats or scarves. You also can fill the cubbies with decorative items that suit your decor, an especially good way to display collections you may have as long as the scale is in keeping with the size of the cubby; remember tiny objects can become lost in large spaces.
Hanging a long fabric “screen” from a rod in a ceiling of a loft is an excellent way to create rooms within a large space. This division can be achieved with a long drape, with a beautiful colorful piece of fabric, or a great textured piece, as simple as bamboo. Lofts offer you lots of ways to create clever separations while allowing your space to remain open and airy, which after all is one of the great appealing factors in loft living.
A strategic chest, table or area rug can give a room a boundary, thus making the room feel more comfortable and oddly enough more spacious. It is a misconception that placing furniture around the perimeter of a room will make the room feel larger; actually the opposite is true. Floating a table, chest or folding screen will allow you some privacy at your entrance and actually might make your space feel a bit larger.