How you furnish and decorate your hallway depends a lot on the amount of space you have, your family situation and your personal taste. At home we have the tiniest of hallways; not much more than a porch in size, so I’ve had to make the best of what I have. Families with lots of members will need much more in the way of storage than I’ll ever need, and taste? Well, it’s personal.
But once you have sorted out the practicalities of a table to drop the post on, hooks for coats, and baskets for all the paraphernalia that accumulates, let’s have a look at ways that you can make your entrance spectacular. After all, it’s the first room that visitors see and it should say something about you.
French rose wallpaper from Scandi-Living
1. A stunning wallpaper will always make a statement and you can afford to be a bit more adventurous than in other rooms as it’s a space you only pass through. Who wouldn’t find an abundance of florals cascading down the walls mood enhancing? And bold stripes in a hallway often compliment existing period details beautifully. Wallpaper has the added advantage of hiding small marks and the occasional fingerprint. The hall is a high-traffic area and wear and tear has to be taken into consideration.
2. A large mirror for me is an absolute essential. Not only does it make a small area feel much bigger, it also bounces any light around. The bigger the better too. Putting a mirror above a console table is a bit of an interior design cliché but for good reason. It creates a focal point and it is practical too. Who doesn’t want to check their hair and make-up last thing before they head out the door?
Eichholtz Wisconsin Desk, £1188; Flamant Togo Rectangular Basket, £194; Brucs White Marble Flowerpot, £89.50; Brucs Green Boxwood Ball Artificial Plant, £63.50; Andrew Martin Monroe Chair, £395, all from Houseology
3. Lighting in a hall is important for two reasons. There’s the safety aspect of having enough light when going up and down the stairs and when opening the door. But it also makes the room more welcoming too. I have fairy lights around my mirror at home and they are almost permanently on. I can’t abide dim rooms and at the onset of dusk, or even on rainy days, on they go.
Console table from The Cotswold Company
4. You might say every hallway uses paint, but it ain’t what you’ve got, it’s how you use it. Paint is one of the easiest and cheapest decorating tricks there is. It’s great for bringing attention to period detailing, it can add a punch of colour, and it can even create mood. And if you get fed up with your choice, or make a dreadful mistake, it’s easy to just paint over it.
Chartres Jute Stair Runner from Urbane Living
5. Carpet is underutilised in my opinion. I actually prefer a hard floor inside the front door for obvious practical reasons but oh my, what fun you can have on the stairs. Stripes are used most often but you can push the boat out with spots, bold colour or even tartan. You can always have a ‘no shoes’ rule once guests are inside the door.
6. If you have the room there’s nothing quite like a statement piece to catch the attention. It it’s a beautiful chair then you are killing two birds with one stone. A handy place to sit and put on the shoes and a focal point too. Win, win.
Strong white paint from Farrow & Ball
7. And don’t forget the little extras that make a space a home. Flowers or plants in a hall always look welcoming and as if you have made just a bit more effort. Often house-plants will thrive here because it’s not as hot and stuffy as other rooms in the house and because there is light from the door, or if you’re lucky a window too. No light? Forget the real plants and buy faux.
Bench from The Cotswold Company
8. The hall is often the place where wall art comes into it’s own. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of wall space to cover. Or not. Depending on what your personal style is. But it is the perfect place to display a collection.
9. Fragrance is often forgotten but I actually think it’s more important to scent the hall than any other room in the house. It’s often more appreciated here too. Imagine a fresh aroma that greets you every time you waft past. Leave the scented candles though for rooms you are actually present in and buy a diffuser instead.
10. Now that you’ve created a spectacular entrance there’s just one thing to say. Keep it tidy. Nothing is more off-putting than clutter and it will kill any efforts you have made. Unless the clutter is Louis Vuitton shoes of course.