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Create a welcoming hallway

Rachel Burge
Yahoo Lifestyle
21 December 2012

The hallway is the first room guests see in a house. Make yours warm and welcoming with our inspirational design tips and advice…

Entrance ways tend to be dark and narrow but painting them white isn’t necessarily the best option. “Hallways, especially busy family ones, can take a lot of wear of tear and white be very unforgiving, as well as cold,” says interior designer Chrissy Halton of Innerspace Interior Design.

A better option, says Chrissy, is to choose a light, bright colour in a warm tone. “Choose a colour that is a shade or two lighter than the main room the hallway leads to, and it will help create continuity between the two spaces.”

As this room is primarily a walk-through, you can afford to make a strong design statement and be bold with colour and pattern.

“Go for patterned wallpaper with a slight shine as this will help reflect the light, while vertical stripes can create the illusion of height,” says Chrissy.

If you’re concerned about knocks and scratches, a practical option is to have painted wood panelling on the bottom of the wall, with statement wallpaper above.

Feature flooring

Flooring in a hallway needs to be durable but choose wisely and you can create impact while being practical too. If you like retro styling, these vinyl floor tiles, £24.99 per square-metre from Not On The High Street, are a bright and cheerful choice.

“If you have a particularly long and narrow hallway, a chequerboard effect on the floor will create the impression of width - the wider the tiles, the wider it will look,” says Chrissy.

Hallway runners are a great way to inject colour, while colourful striped carpet will instantly enliven a stairway. If you have bare wooden stairs, consider painting each step a different shade of the same colour or have fun with stencils to create patterns or words.

Let the light in

Hallways can often be dark, so getting the lighting right is essential.

“If you have a high ceiling, a large pendant light will act as a beautiful centrepiece and be the first thing that people see when they enter your home,” says Chrissy.
If the ceiling is low, pendant lights will have the effect of making the room feel smaller, so wall lights are the better option.
Dare to be different with these rhino wall lamps, £95 each from Graham and Green or a pineapple wall scone, £99 from Caravan.

Mirrors are a good way to reflect natural light and give the illusion of more space. A large mirror placed at the end of a hallway instantly provides depth, making a hallway feel larger.

Opt for an arch-framed one, like this bird mirror, £179 from Decorative Mirrors Online, and it will give the impression of a window and space beyond.

Alternatively, this mirror with notice board and key rack, £95 from Not On The High Street, offers an all-in-one practical solution for busy households.

Storage solutions

Hallways can easily become cluttered so finding a space for coats, keys and shoes is a must.

If you have room, a bench with willow baskets, £174.97 from Amazon, offers storage as well as a useful seating area. 

The more floor space you can see, the larger your hallway will seem and there are lots of great wall-hung cupboards available.

This colourful wall-mounted shoe cupboard box, £245 from Heals, also provides useful hooks on the inside of the doors for keys.

If you don’t have the floorspace for a coat stand, a wall sticker with hooks, £49 from Spin Collective, is a quirky solution.

Make a feature

Hallways may be small but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a stunning focal point.

A narrow console table with a pair of lamps and mirror above makes a pretty focal point - while a vase of fresh flowers or a scented cinnamon candle will create an inviting aroma.

If you don’t have room for a table, wall stickers can add interest without needing any floor space. Take a look at these cute ducks flying up the stairs, £15.99, French café scene, £99, both from Rockett St George, for inspiration.  

A group of family portraits is another great way to add interest and personalise the space.
“Generally, it’s best to hang fewer, larger pictures as opposed to several smaller ones, as it can make the space seem more confined and cluttered,” advises Chrissy.

With a little imagination and the right colours, storage and lighting, you can create an inviting entrance you’ll love coming home to and will want to show off.

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