If the front door is the face of your home, the hallway starts the conversation.
It’s the first glimpse of your taste and personality. And if your home’s for sale, the process of deciding whether or not to put an offer in, starts to take shape in the hallway. It’s a small, but powerful area.
Unfortunately, it also tends to be the stuff-magnate of our entire existence.
Filled with the detritus required to get us out the door in the morning—shoes, keys, sunglasses, coats, Oyster, umbrella, dog lead and lipstick, for starters—that first glimpse of our personality, can feel like a lot of information, like, a lot.
But, to not honour your everyday essentials with space in your hallway, is to accept living in perpetual chaos.
This isn’t all about storage. The most important thing about your hallway is that it’s your entrance to home. You want to walk in and feel instantly calmed, every time you hear that familiar sound of the key enter the lock of your front door.
Here’re some ideas of how to create a welcome to your home, on your terms.
Cut down coats near the front door with a seasonal edit, and consider the bulking aspect of coat stands and groups of hooks. If you’re a family, designate areas for each person, or introduce a one-coat-rule for the hallway.
If you have space, a console table will take care of the post, keys and accessories like hats and gloves and provide a base for a light source. In a narrow area, use the wall space for key hooks and peg rails where lots of different things can be stored. Keep walled storage to one side of the hallway to maximise vertical space and avoid head bumps.
A magic tool for creating the illusion of light and space, a mirror provides a focal point. And also does the very important job of stopping us from leaving the home with a child’s breakfast on the front of our jacket.
It also brings the light. The larger the mirror, the more light you can bounce about. Consider a floor-length mirror and place a light nearby, to maximise the effect.
Your hallway should fit, or at least suit the architecture of your home, and lots of homes around here have original Victorian tiling which is precious. But if you’re converting and still want a tiled hallway, consider using larger tiles, leaving fewer grout lines. It’s a good way to lose the busyness.
Whatever your flooring, consider using a runner.It leads the eye up and down the space, can reduce sound transmission, and provide a kinder feel underfoot if the shoes are coming off. A runner also makes the entrance look put together and if your walls are muted, the runner can be used to create a hit of colour or pattern, to elevate the look.
Paint or wallpaper?
The best colour for opening up a hallway is a light colour in a soft sheen, while darker tones bring the room in. Using two shades works well to balance out the space, and matching the woodwork to door architraves and skirting boards can create an all-encompassing feel. You can make the whole entrance feel cohesive by using colours that are picked up in the room beyond the hallway, and if possible using the same flooring to create a flow into your home.
When it comes to wallpaper in hallways, the rule book goes into the recycling.
Whereas in rooms you may paper up to a picture rail or create a feature wall: in a hallway anything goes. Painting to a halfway point and wallpapering above works well, but having floor-to-ceiling wallpaper, particularly in conjunction with a mirror, elongates the walls and creates scale. Play with the idea of a single column of wallpaper too, to add interest to a plain space.
Hallways in flats
Hallways that don’t lead to stairs can make interesting spaces, you may have less room for stand-alone storage, but there are still loads of options including having recessed areas for necessities.
Use walls in between doorways for artworks and interesting lighting, not forgetting the power of the mirror.
Creative use of lighting will add interest, either hanging or recessed depending on the height of your ceiling. And if you have a longer, apartment-style hallway, consider emphasizing the scale with horizontal lines, in light coloured panelling or white shiplap, which will create length, as they disappear towards a vanishing point.
Make your hallway more to your home, than the cupboard you walk through to leave. And you’ll feel even more delighted to walk back into it, at the end of every day.
Estates East Team
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