Whether you're putting your home on the market or you're just a big fan of home entertaining, lets face it first impressions matter and make a difference.
The hallway sets the tone for the rest of your home, and is your opportunity to make a great first impression and welcome guests or potential buyers to your place.
So if your hallway is dark, cluttered, showing some wear and tear or devoid of any decorative appeal, now’s the time to give it the attention it deserves. Here are four considerations to make when dressing up and increasing the overall homeliness of your hallway.
Clear the clutter
The first step to creating a welcoming hallway is to ensure that guests can walk through comfortably. Keep the floor as clear as possible by removing clutter, and consider installing a cupboard, rack or pegs on the wall for keys, coats, umbrellas and school bags.
When it comes to furniture, narrow is best. Seek out a slimline console table for post, handbags and keys that won’t swallow up precious floorspace. If you need extra storage, say for shoes or sports equipment, look for a shoe rack or storage box that tucks neatly under the side table.
Aim to make the hallway as bright as possible by maximising natural light and boosting this with carefully-considered artificial lighting. Replace heavy curtains or blinds with ones that offer privacy while still letting the light through, or forgo window treatments altogether. Keep wall finishes bright and cheery, and consider adding a mirror along one wall to reflect the natural light and visually widen the space.
When it comes to artificial lighting, adding uplighters along a hallway with low ceilings will give a feeling of height, while a lamp on the side table will create an inviting glow for guests and make it easy to see and safely move around the house at night.
If natural light is in short supply, you might even consider adding a skylight or replacing a solid timber front door with one with frosted glass panels to let in more light.
The hallway is likely to be the area of your home that receives the heaviest footfall, so tough finishes are essential. For the floor, consider tiles, a hallway runner or a heavy duty carpet that is designed for high traffic areas. Wall finishes should be durable and washable, particularly if you have pets or a busy family home: think low sheen paint for walls, gloss for woodwork or stain resistant wipeable wallpaper.
Engage guests from the moment they step inside your front door with an eye-catching focal point. This could take the form of a fabulous colourful work of art hung on the wall, family photos, a dramatic feature wall, a glamorous chandelier or pendant light, or simply a beautiful arrangement of seasonal flowers on the side table.
Georgia Madden is a freelance interiors journalist and writer. She is a regular contributor to House & Garden magazine and a number of interiors websites. Confessions Of A Once Fashionable Mum is her debut novel.
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