The hallway is an often neglected part of the house. Yet it is the first room that guests experience when they enter your home and should not be over-looked. How you treat this important area can say a lot about your personality, so you should look for ways to transform a hallway into an area with character and style.
We have some inspirational ideas for you:
Tips to Transform a Hallway
The first thing that you need to decide on is what ambience you want to create for visitors walking into your room. Are you going for light, bright and welcoming? Do you want to invite people into a rich and cosy cocoon?
Remember that the lighter the colour scheme is, the more it will reflect the light available in your hallway. This will also give the illusion of more visible space. If you do want to enhance this feeling of spaciousness, try using paler shades on the side walls, to push them out visually, and go darker on the end walls, to pull them in.
If you are going for a darker scheme, this can work well even in small hallways. Shades like deep petrol blue or a rich mahogany can transform and a nondescript entrance into a warm and welcoming space. Darker tones in the hallway will also have the added advantage of making the rooms that flow from it seem spacious by comparison. And on a practical note, darker walls will stand up better to general wear and tear.
If there is a bright or bold colour that you love, but you are not quite brave enough to commit to it in the living room, the hallway may be the ideal space to express yourself. This will have an instant impact, and add personality. But will not overpower your visitors who will more than likely be moving through space to other areas of your home.
Your choice of flooring will transform a hallway; it needs to be both stylish, but also practical to deal with heavy ‘traffic’ and stylish. Soft floor coverings like sisal, carpet or coir matting, are ideal for dampening noisy entrances and will add warmth to space. The use of stripes on the floor can have lengthening or widening effects depending on the direction of the stripe. Keep furniture to a minimum to let the carpet have full effect.
Also good for this well-trodden area of your home are tiles. They are hard-wearing and low-maintenance. You can make a statement with graphic designs or have some fun with bold patchwork tiles. Be sure to tie these in with the colour scheme.
As well as serving an important function in your house, your staircase also offers an opportunity to inject some personality into the design and décor or your home. Make a feature of your staircase by painting the risers and adding some colour with bold stripes to draw the eye upward, or geometric shapes, on a stair runner. Ensure the flow from stairs to the hallway by choosing a floor covering that complements or echoes colour from the runner. If you have a floating staircase, you can create a similar feature by cutting individual runners for each stair riser.
Use the wall space for art or photo gallery and choose a bold colour or contemporary wallpaper design to go with it. Strong colours can work well up a stairway especially when off-setting a more neutral colour in the hallway, so be brave and be bold. Wall murals, especially nature-themed, are a great modern alternative to wallpaper and provide another great opportunity to express some personality is this important room.
Let There be Light
Wall and floor lights work well and create depth in hallways, but you could also employ a row of small pendant lights to give the impression of a longer space with the added bonus of giving more light than one fitting. If you go for a chandelier in a low ceiling hallway, dispense with the chain and choose one with a flush fitting.
Make the most of any natural light by making a feature of any windows in your entranceway. You might place a table or chair underneath, space allowing, and use vibrant window boxes, rather than net curtains for privacy. And don’t forget that the strategic use of mirrors not only reflect and enhance the light but also fulfil a hugely practical function in your hallway.
Form and Function
With all the above ideas in mind, it is important that your hallway still serves its purpose. So instead of trying to hide that purpose, let this space reflect your interests in the décor and furniture that you choose.
Use traditional hooks or hat stands for coats and hats and store shoes in a rack or basket with lid. Consider having a hook, basket or drawer for each member of the family to avoid clutter and chaos in the hallway when coming and going. And only allow the most used items to ‘live’ in this area in order to make space for guests to hang their coats.
Include a place for sitting, and for putting on and off shoes, it’ll transform a hallway instantly. A bench that doubles up for storage would be ideal. Most importantly don’t allow your hallway to become a dumping ground for any and all items that people put down as they walk in the door. A well-placed basket at the bottom of the stairs is a great idea for collecting items that need to be taken up by the next person passing by.