As the first thing your guests see when they visit, your hall should convey a welcoming energy and be a reflection of you and your family’s personality. As soon as you open your front door you should get that ‘lovely to be home’ feeling. Follow Julia’s guide on the Homebase website to turn a neglected area into a welcoming and exciting space.
1. Start with some useful storage
Tripping over shoes or not being able to find your child’s elusive sun hat isn’t ideal when you’re in a rush to get out of the door in the morning. There are lots of storage options that are both practical and attractive.
High-level shelving is a great way to utilise wall space for storing hats, while baskets are ideal for sunglasses and suncream. Shoes can be tidied into open shelf units, or you can use old vegetable crates for a vintage look. A lidded trunk or bench seat is a great alternative to hide everything away. If jackets and cardigans can’t be hidden from view, choose hooks that add character to the room such as mismatched vintage knobs.
2. Make space for the kid’s school stuff
Giving each child their own named peg, chalkboard or photograph will give them a sense of pride in their own space, making it clear whose ’stuff’ lives where. Remember to position everything at a height to suit each child. Adding a shelf for homework, letters to school or other ‘must remember items’ is also a great way reduce stress in the mornings.
3. Give it that personal touch
For your hall consider using brighter colours or the quirky ideas and decorating themes you might have decided were ‘too much’ for other areas of your home. A group of items collected over the years, perhaps from holidays, special events or things that represent the history of your family are perfect in the hallway to add a personal stamp. An affirming typography stencil, can be used to put the family in a good mood for the day.
4. Add some interesting art
Artwork can be very useful in a hallway to add colour and interest, particularly in a narrow corridor. It can be used to draw the eye either up the stairs or down a corridor to create ‘flow’ and the illusion of space. Try mounting pictures onto a painted border to create a cohesive collection, or fill an entire wall for a gallery effect. You can also add a 3D textural element by hanging features such as antlers, sculptures and carved panels.
5. Create a colourful entrance
For spring and summer you can either use seasonal pretty pastels or add a ‘Scandi-cool’ touch to open up the space with soft greys and a light, natural timber palette. Painting to half-height can be a good idea to avoid difficult areas around the ceiling or the stairs and will help to prevent a narrow hall feeling closed-in. Adding colour doesn’t need to be restricted to the walls, for example a newly painted front door or even the ceiling of a narrow hall can transform the space.
6. Give your floor more focus
Flooring in your hall can often be overlooked, but is important in your decorative scheme. Your hall floor needs to be practical and a solid surface is ideal. Painted floorboards can be very striking and stencilled patterns are making a strong come-back. Use a heavy duty floor lacquer to protect your creations. Tiled floors look great and will last a lifetime if laid and maintained properly. Always use a heavy-duty mat at the front door to protect your flooring from dirt and small stones.
7. Smarten your stairs
Carpeting is a traditional and well-tested stair covering, however, to add character, colour and pattern you could try painting, tiling or even wallpapering the stair risers. It’s a perfect place to be bold with the decoration as it can be easily and cheaply replaced at a later date. If you’re feeling particularly creative you could paint on a mural. A cheat’s way to paint, paper or stencil the stairs is to cut pieces of plywood the size of the risers, decorate to suit then fix and enjoy the admiration from friends and family.
8. Light up your hall
Even in the summer a hallway rarely receives much natural daylight so a lighting update will go a long way to lifting the overall energy of your home.
Pendant lights with faceted or woven shades can be used to cast beautiful patterns onto walls and are a great choice where a solid shade would be too heavy. Meanwhile installing stair-lights can both transform the look of your staircase and improve safety.
9. Put up some wooden panelling
Tongue and groove panelling is a super-practical wall finish for an entrance hall and when painted in a durable eggshell will take the knocks and bumps of everyday life. It also adds texture and architectural interest to what might otherwise be a bland space and looks striking in a strong colour tone. Used horizontally, the boards can work particularly well in a contemporary home.
10. Wallpaper your hall
Wallpaper is ideal for a quick update in a hall and can be used on all walls for a ‘cocooning’ effect, or on one wall (generally the stair wall) so it doesn’t feel overpowering. If you’re unsure of how a paper will look, or you would like to try a bold design or colour but lack the confidence, try wallpaper panels in picture frames. You could get inspired by spring and summer and bring nature inside using leaf, tree and floral prints.