Transform your hallway with these gorgeous hallway ideasJen Wiss-Carline
Your hallway is often the first ‘room’ that your guests see when they visit your home and sets the tone for the rest of the house. The Victorians regarded the hallway as an area of great importance, where they would welcome their esteemed guests and demonstrate their wealth and good taste. But in many homes today, the hallway is a bit of an afterthought – somewhere to dump shoes, coats and bags before moving on to another area. Here we look at hallway ideas to transform this room into a welcoming space and get the best use from it:
Maximise natural light
One of the simplest hallway ideas for a transformation is to replace the front door. A new front door adds instant curb appeal to your home and can contribute to the overall theme. Choose a door with glass panels and opt for sidelights and fanlights if you have the space. These will help bring natural light into the hallway, opening it up and making it look brighter and fresher.
Image source: Old English Doors (both)
Bring in mirrors
Unless you live in a large property, your hallway is likely to be narrow which can make it feel a little claustrophobic. It’s easy to counter this feeling by simply adding mirrors – and the more you add, the wider and more spacious your hallway will feel. Add them nearest to the door to reflect the natural light, and put mirrors both sides of the hall (so they reflect each other) to really open up the space.
Choose feature lighting
There’s no easier way to add grandeur to your hallway than by picking out a fabulous feature light. If you’re lucky enough to have a high ceiling, take full advantage with a sensational chandelier. If your ceiling is a little lower, look for a statement piece that is wider rather than longer, like this eye-catching smoked glass light fitting from Next:
Image source: Next
Add a ceiling rose
This gorgeous welcoming entrance hall (below) features a beautiful light fitting, highlighted by a traditional ceiling rose. Ceiling roses are easy to fit and can add a grand touch to any room in the house. They are perfect in the hallway for drawing attention to a feature light, giving the room a more superior feel. Choose polystyrene ceiling roses – these are very light and easy to fix, and they look just as good as plaster ceiling roses after a few coats of paint.
Add multiple lighting sources
A lot of people settle for a single light in the centre of the room, hence the hall is often a dark and uninviting space. Wall lights and floor lamps can all help to brighten this often narrow area, while recessed lighting under the stairs can transform a dull corner. Candles and lanterns are also a lovely way to give your hallway a warm, cosy feel.
Use the space under your stairs
Quite often the space under your stairs will be blocked off or used for a dreary little cupboard that houses little more than the hoover. Because it’s so difficult to get to the back of the cupboard, it’s frequently wasted space. Break out under the stairs and take advantage of this valuable area – for bespoke storage, neat shelving or a useful little office.
Introduce a sideboard
The hallway is a classic magnet for clutter – and a sideboard is an easy and stylish way to counter that! Most people associate sideboards with the dining room and instead choose a console table for the hall. Console tables look lovely if you have the space, but don’t offer much in the way of storage. A sideboard by contrast gives you the same surface space, with lots of room underneath for all the bits and pieces that tend to find their way into the hall.
Choose durable flooring
So many of us have a carpeted hallway but even the most hard wearing carpets aren’t really suitable for this high traffic area. Yes, they can be washed (and sometimes even bleached) clean, but who wants to do this every month? Choose a hard wearing floor covering, such as tiles (for a Mediterranean feel), solid wood or very good quality laminate. Make sure you check the care instructions carefully – for example, you won’t be able to use abrasive cleaners on all types of tiles and you often can’t use steam mops on laminate.
Add a runner or rug
Rugs are a way to introduce artistic flair to the wider hallway, although in most homes the hallway won’t be wide enough and a hallway runner is more practical. These have both aesthetic and practical uses – they give the hallway a longer, smarter appearance while helping to protect the floor or carpet below. This can be really valuable in a room that’s prone to high wear. In a dreary hallway they can also add a little colour, interest and depth, particularly if you pick a bolder or more complex design.
If your hall floor is wood or tiles, make sure you use a non-slip rubber pad underneath your rug or runner for safety. The pad should cover the whole length of the rug, not just the edges or corners. It’s a good idea to rotate your rug or runner for even wear and fading.
Even if your hallway doesn’t have much natural light, introducing plants is one of the easiest hallway ideas. The trick is to rotate them with plants in other brighter rooms when they start to look a little sad so they get chance to recover. The hallway gets a lot of usage so choose plants that aren’t likely to upset those walking through (i.e. spiky or prickly plants are a bad choice). According to Summerhill Garden Centre, soft leafed plants are the best option – they recommend Boston ferns, Adiantum or the Asparagus fern.
Left to right: Boston Fern, Asparagus Fern
Our brains love symmetry because it is so familiar. Symmetrical layouts have a sense of balance that feels comfortable and restful. Small touches in the hallway – such as mirrors on opposite walls, lights on opposite walls, a runner or rug in the centre of the space, plants on both sides – can all help create a symmetrical space.
Bring in art
Well chosen art can make a home feel more welcoming and reveal something about those who live inside! Aside from your actual choice of pictures, size matters. If your walls are tall and narrow, choose art of a similar size with portrait orientation for the best look. If your walls are low and long, landscape will look bigger. In all cases, art that takes up around two thirds to three quarters of the wall space will have the most impact – go bold and beautiful!
Tidy away clutter
It might seem rather obvious as hallway ideas go, but it’s often overlooked – the clutter in your hallway will spoil even the best of designs! Coat racks, wall shelves, shoe cabinets and hall cupboards are all excellent ways to manage clutter – the key is to make sure everything has a place so it’s easy to keep tidy.
Hide your radiators
Unless you have attractive modern or traditional radiators, hide these eyesores away with a radiator cabinet. The unpainted MDF versions are the cheapest way to do this – they simply slot together and you paint them yourself afterwards. You can also buy them ready painted which is a little less effort but slightly more expensive.