Making Your Entrance Grand!

First impressions are all important, right? So isn’t it a curious thing that in so many homes the hallway remains the most neglected area of the house! In many cases the hallway becomes a dumping ground for bags, hats, gloves, coats and shoes… in other homes it forms a featureless corridor leading from the front door to the other rooms of the house. In actuality your hallway decorations will set the tone for the rest of the home and so in that regard it could be argued that it is your hallway that is the most important room, offering that all important ‘welcome’ to both you and your visitors.


Perhaps one of the best places to start when decorating your hallway is with your floor. Hallways can be difficult to keep clean, they are where all the grime from the outside can get tracked in. Carpets are a thing of the past for hallways as the dirt clings to them and they are harder to clean well. There are so many better solutions available today, from quiet and durable LVT that come in all manner of finishes from natural stone to magnificent Victorian tile…to warm eco-friendly solid wood flooring. These days bamboo is also very popular, being both durable, water proof and resistant to expansion as the atmospherics in that space change throughout the year. On a budget? Then perhaps easy to lay vinyl is a good choice or engineered wood that combines the timeless beauty of wood at a more economical price point. In essence all these options are both hardwearing and easy to keep to clean. You should however, still make an effort to stop the dirt in its tracks with a good, heavy duty doormat constructed either of molded rubber that will allow the grime to fall through or with a pile or bristle that will wipe the mud from the soles of your shoes. Now-a-days door mats come in a variety of designs and colours offering a warm welcome to your visitors. Coconut or coir matting can, in fact be bought by the meter and can be fitted into a bespoke well spanning the breadth of your doorway seamlessly blending into your hallway flooring. If you’re more outdoors-y or really have a mud problem, a boot scraper placed on the door step would not go a miss, and some of them are quite comical too! A second line of defense and design could be a runner that will pick up some of the remaining particulates, protect against scratches and add both softness underfoot and colour to the room. 

Runners can bought or made to measure in the flooring of your choice, be it seagrass, hemp or traditional wool weaves.  Remember, if you extend the hallway flooring throughout the other adjacent rooms it will create flow and make your space feel larger. 


Your choice of wall colour is all important too! Beware of neutral or pale shades that can flatten the atmosphere, especially in a light starved space. Go for something with a warm glow such as a pale yellow, a mink gray or even a dusty pink. A satin finish will add some drama, as well as washability. Oh, and don’t forget a little art work – it will add interest, personality and can be used to pull all the colours and textures of the space together.


Door stops and draft excluders come in all shapes, colours and sizes these days and apart form being functional can add an air of whimsy of you hall space. Don’t forget a vase for flowers too! Keep a pair of secateurs in the console drawer and nip outside to bring a little green inside. Harvest a few twigs in spring and they will come into leaf or flower way before they do outside, a little winter greenery also looks good, even a tiny bunch of violets can be up lifting.


Mirrors are all important in the hallway as they provide a place to check your appearance before you leave home as well as helping to reflect and maximize the available light. Lighting can be in the form of sconces, ceiling lights and table lamps adding to the warm ambiance of the area. If you do happen to have a window in you hallway, a blind might be a good choice of treatment as it is unfussy and uses less space than curtains might do.


Now to find a place for all that clobber that arrives in your hallway on a daily basis. A narrow console with a drawer can provide a place for hats, gloves and scarves as well a surface on which to put a lamp, a box or bowl for coins and hatpins, and a letter rack to keep things tidy. A waste paper basket will provide a place for junk mail before it even enters the rest of the house, cluttering up surface in unsightly piles. A small set of hooks at the end of the corridor is a great place to store you keys…not by your front door mind, where they could be stolen. Hooks by the door can hold shopping bags as a handy reminder to take one with you each time you go out. Use a blanket box or flip-down cupboard to store the biggest trip hazard of all…shoes. Cushions on top could provide colour and a place to sit. Alternatively a basket under the console will do. Keep your slippers, Crocs or Moccs handy so you can change your footwear when you come in cut down on tracking. 


Rows of wall pegs or a coat stand will organize outerwear. Hang a wall rack to organise hats and caps. An umbrella stand by the door is also important, it will catch the drips from wet umbrellas and make them easy to find them when you next need them. The ceramic ones have beautiful designs that will add to your decor. If you have a cupboard under the stairs you might consider removing the door, adding a storage ottomana chaise or a little desk and chair and turn the space into a mini home office with shelving.


Hallways are often a very overlooked space but with a little thought and ingenuity you can convert yours into a charming room that can cheer you and your guests, provide extra storage and can even help keep the rest of the house organised. Enjoy!

16th February 2021

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