Foyers, like dressing rooms and pantries, have disappeared from today's home.

But there are many ways to compensate for the lack of a foyer. In the typical arrangement, where the front door opens into the living room, a divider can be created by using a free-standing, narrow, rectangular storage unit, approximately door height (seven feet above the floor). This handy unit can be made of 2-by-4s and plywood to form a coat closet facing the entrance area. The back provides a blank space facing the seating area that can be filled with art, patterned fabric, or just be painted or papered.

In one home, I used two 4-by-4 posts to the ceiling and filled in the space with a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of plywood. I covered this on both sides with the same pale-grey plush carpet that was used wall-to-wall in the rest of the room, creating a warm, accoustically beneficial separation between entrance door and sofa grouping. Using the same post arrangement, you can hang a hook strip between them, with pegs of visitor's coats and hats. A 4-foot wide sheet of mirror on one side, ceiling-to-floor, enlarges the space while making a divider.

In still another of these typical rooms-without-foyer, I built a 4-foot-wide from ceiling to floor using 2-by-4s and drywall, forming an alcove. Behind the sofa I used the remaining space to make a bookcase wall doubliing as a back for the sofa.