If you’ve recently taken a lazy Sunday afternoon to spruce up your front and back doors, you’ll want to make sure that once your guests or your family get through the door, they’re greeted with a tranquil and pretty hallway.
Typically, the hall way is the first place that you first come to when you or a visitor arrive. Despite a
hallways’ unimposing size, it is arguably the space that sets the tone for visitors when they arrive
and a space that must work hard to greet guests and find a home for all the ‘stuff’ that inevitably
gets left in the hallway after a long day.
Back in the day (more like the 18th century), when you couldn’t Whatsapp your guest to ask them if
they needed the kettle putting on, the hallway was considered one of the most important spaces in
the house. It was considered proper etiquette to make the hallway the most welcoming area, to
soothe tired guests after a long journey.
Now, the hallway is just as an important space, maybe for different reasons – maybe you’re trying to
make a good impression with potential buyers or impress the inlaws. Either way, to make your
hallway a light, beautiful and welcoming space will always go down with housemates, guests or just
make you feel better when you get home.
Of course, the hallway is the first chance you have for a bold and dramatic welcome, you can really
put your personality into the hallway and a bold front door and decorating with a flourish can be the best way to do that.
You can afford to be daring because it’s such a small space, it can be easily rectified.
First of all, it may be tempting to dump everything in the hallway, but to really make a difference to
how the hallway looks you’ll need to be ruthless. Try to conceal anything that might normally be in
the hallway. Hang coats up in a cupboard, or use an alternative space for them. A vintage coat stand
might look great in the corner if a cupboard isn’t an option – overloading the stand will make the
hallway look cluttered and small – keep a few beautiful statement pieces on the stand for drama and
If you desperately need storage in the hallway, try pretty stackable boxes, or cube shelves. Creative
ways of adding storage to your hallway is something that will change the appearance of your hallway
considerably. Piles of coats on overstuffed hooks never looks good – it’s best to distribute hanging
space to avoid the area looking crowed or cluttered. Creative boards for hooks and antique hooks
adds visual interest to a small space as well as being functional and practical.
A large mirror will add texture, interest and make a hall space look larger as it reflects light. Choose a
mirror with neutral frame for even more illusion that the hallway is larger, a mirror is by the easiest
way of creating the illusion of more space. The best place for a large mirror in a small hallway is on
the side wall, preferably one that catches some light.
Create focal points in your hallway. Add a print or some art, a chair or candles to create something
that distracts attention from the small hallway.
If you have a typically Victorian hall way, they tend to be long, narrow and dark – you can inject
some light into setting with some well-placed and low hanging lighting. By using downlights, you can
create a wall wash and make the space look bigger and brighter – a lamp on a side table creates
another layer of light, and a soft warm glow. A dazzlingly bright light can be an eye sore, so try to opt
for dimmer lights if you can.
Try and break up the symmetry if you have a hallway that is this shape – add some art to the walls
but not directly opposite each other, or create some interest by making an eclectic picture wall.
Obviously, colour plays a huge part in keeping a hallway bright and light – opt for warm, neutral and
bright colours if you’re trying to brighten the space up.
The temptation for many is to keep a hallway colour palette very neutral – that’s a great choice if
you need the hallway to look brighter or bigger, but if this isn’t an issue you can branch out from the
beige and be more daring; especially if your hallway leads onto other rooms with a strong colour in
them. You can introduce that colour into the hallway in a subtler way, you can use accessories such
as candles, cushions, flowers or door hardware to bring a bold colour into a small space without
overwhelming the senses. Bright flashes of colour perfect for injecting a pop of personality into a
small space, if you have banisters in the hallway you could paint them a contrasting colour.
Textures work well in small spaces, a neutral colour palette displayed in unusual textures make a
small space more inviting and more interesting without overwhelming the space with colour.
A small occasional or console table will help organize your hallway: banish piles of letters and pizza
leaflets to the bin or office and keep a scented candles and some flowers on it. Add a decorative
bowl for keys and you’re good to go!
Due to the amount of wear and tear this area gets, carpet usually isn’t the best option – especially if
you have muddy pets or children to bring through the door! A mop-able laminate or tile floor is far
easier to maintain. You may again be tempted to go for a light colour to lighten the space, but the
practicality of cleaning a light coloured carpet in a space that gets a lot of use might be hard, opt for
bright walls and a darker carpet for a more practical option.
If you want to add interest to the floor and you have a longer hallway, a well-placed runner style rug
can jazz up a plain space. Adding colour or pattern on the verticals of your staircase is a quirky
alternative to stair runners; the sky is the limit to what you can add to those verticals and will be
unusual that they will distract from any dark or cramped hallway spaces!