How to give your hallway the love and attention it deserves
It’s the first place your guests come into but usually the last place considered when decorating your home. Kitchens and bathrooms are lavished with attention, bedrooms and living rooms get lots of energy too but the poor hallway… You could call it the workhorse of the house.
Everybody trudges through, sometimes without a backward glance other times to leave some sodden shoes and bag on its floor, quick to move onto the kitchen or some other beautiful and cosy room of the home.
So, I’m taking a stand for hallways everywhere. I’m asking you to reconsider you relationship with your workhorse and give it a little polish to let it shine.
It’s the cover of your unopened book, make it interesting and give some excitement to its readers before they step inside! There are some really simple things you can do that won’t cost a fortune but will reinvent your hallway and give it great purpose. But before any interior design is applied, the first thing that’s so important to ensure is that your hallway is warm.
Crank up those radiators, say hello to draught excluders and thermal lined curtains. Adding warmth to this space will encourage you and others to see this area as a room with use and linger a little longer enjoying your surroundings.
Let light flow
As the first room in a home, hallways have a tendency to be a little darker. Usually longer and narrower than other spaces they aren’t blessed with a lot of natural light. So, allow every drop of natural light into this room. Keep all windows uncluttered, introduce glass doors to adjoining rooms, say hello to large mirrors to bounce light around the room and avoid heavy paint colours on the walls. Choose light colours for the walls, and check the light reflectance values of the paint. The higher the LRV is the less light it will absorb and therefore allow into the room.
Once the natural light is established, consider soft lighting to support this. Table lamps, spot lights, wall uplighters all help to create a cosy atmosphere once the sun goes down and darkness sets in. Try to avoid anything too fussy hanging down unless you have a very high ceiling to support it. Otherwise, it will add to a cluttered hallway and emphasise a narrow space.
Beautiful storage Big and small
Functional yes, your hall storage will need to take a lots of use however that does not mean it can’t be beautiful at the same time. When choosing your storage, consider what it is being used for and whether it is robust enough to withstand lots of traffic. Deep drawers or benches with built in storage work wonders to hide all those shoes.
Where possible hide the majority of bulky scarves and coats as they can take over a narrow space however, do allow your favourite pieces to make an appearance. Think characterful wall hooks, which are decoration in their own right. Besides making you smile each time you walk by they will also help soften an area and remind you to use your favourite pieces as you dash out of the house!
Don’t forget storage for the little bits and pieces. Consider a concierge plate for the top of your dresser or cupboard. Along with being functional, it is very beautiful to look at.
A really narrow internal hallway can benefit from a trompe-l’oeil effect.
These hallway panels were created for this tiny internal hall to extend the eye as far up as possible and the mirrored effect wallpaper gives an illusion of space. The reflective finish of the wallpaper helps to bounce the natural light from the bedroom window when the doors are left open.
The original terracotta tiles extend from the kitchen and add a playful juxtaposition against the elegant panelled wall.
Allow your hallway to envelope you in a cloud of welcoming scented notes. There’s so many ways to add a beautiful smell. Explore scented candles, diffusers even pot pourri to give a feeling of freshness to your hall.
Happiness from Neom is an all time favourite of mine once the spring time kicks in.
Another option is to use fresh flowers although if these prove to be too expensive consider the simplicity of a simple single leaf as fresh decoration.
I have fallen in love with the eucalyptus leaf and find reason to put it everywhere in the house at the moment. The hall is just perfect as it releases a delicate scent and lasts ages before needing to be replaced!
Good luck with polishing your hallway into a space that you will fall in love with every time you walk through your home.
Drop me a line and let me know how you get on.