Hallways are really important and are often forgotten and/or under utilised when designing a house refurbishment or renovation. They are the first thing you see when a front door opens and therefore provide the first impression of your home. Yet all too often they become a disorganised dumping ground for all who live there.

A journalist recently asked me whether hallways matter, and for some top tips and trends on hallway decorating, hallway furniture and hallway storage ideas.

Hallways are really important and are often forgotten and/or under utilised when designing a house refurbishment or renovation. They are the first thing you see when a front door opens and therefore provide the first impression of your home. Yet all too often they become a disorganised dumping ground for all who live there.

So whether your hallway is small or large, here are some top tips for clever use of hallway space, redecorating ideas, how to de-clutter with clever storage, and some hallway furniture ideas.

 

Do hallways in houses matter? What’s the point of the hallway?

Hallways are really important but often a luxury as developers try to cram in as much accommodation as possible. They give a breathing space and a great sense of flow and can give you the impression of space and openness even if the rooms off it are not super sized. Having said that, it’s a smart design balance. Of course you want to maximise your living accommodation that is used all the time above dead corridor space. It’s about getting the proportions and flow right.

 

What’s bang on trend at the moment and what is really a bit naff?

The most popular bugbear we experience with our clients is not having any storage near the front door and so they become dumping grounds for all sorts of everyday things. Coats, boots, umbrellas and then for families with young children it’s often challenging trying to negotiate pushchairs, scooters and bikes to get out of the door. So the consistent trend we see is for smart bespoke storage units and freestanding furniture solutions to hide or make a feature of all these things. But keep them readily accessible when you’re running out the door

Industrial style design is very popular at the moment and we have just styled one of our client’s entrance halls with a 24 drawer chest which provides each member of the family 6 drawers for gloves, hats, keys, toys, whatever their choice of filler is. This combined with a beautiful brass table lamp and candle holders sets a lovely warm tone particularly in the evenings when the main lights can be kept off and the whole mood can be changed with candles and lamp light.

Industrial style hallway family storage

Elegant, industrial styled hallway – by Ensoul Interior Architecture

 

Smart shoe storage is another trend which all of our clients are looking to solve. It’s one of the most practical design challenges and the bespoke solutions can look beautiful when designed and built into nooks and crannies that are perfect for shoes and boots of all ages.

Bespoke furniture hallway shoe storage

Bespoke shoe storage under the stairs – designed by Ensoul Interior Architecture

 

What are the most common hallways mistakes? How can you really get the best out of a tiny hallway and what’s best for working a large hallway?

  • Biggest and most common mistake is clutter, whatever the size of the hallway. In any size space it looks bad and in smaller hallways it becomes a hazard trying to negotiate a pathway to the door.
  • For small spaces use mirrors to open up the space. Think about whether there is space available behind to extend into with storage solutions. Find smart ways to design bespoke storage into any and every nook and cranny: under stairs, inside stairs, storage inset into walls. Use consistent flooring with the rooms that come off the hallway so that there is a flow into the rooms and extends the perceived size of the hallway. Use light colours to keep it light and bright.
  • For large hallways think about statement pieces of furniture for instance: console tables with lamps to add mood lighting; beautiful chest of drawers that looks beautiful and stores your much needed accessories like hats and gloves. Tables and chests also provide the ability to have flowers and candles on top and thereby evoke another sense: smell. Sculptural armchairs or beautiful leather upholstered benches to provide somewhere to sit when you’re waiting for people or putting on your shoes. Or just for a quiet space to enjoy. Larger entrance halls and landings are also fantastic sites for striking artwork and sculpture that adds colour, interest and feeds the soul.
  • Get create and carve out space on landings for quiet areas to read a book or a magazine.

 

Industrial style reading nook hallway book shelf
Industrial styled bookshelf and patchwork stool provide a fantastic reading nook.

 

Is a hallway important when selling a house?

Absolutely. All of us are all super quick to judge based on first impressions and the entrance hall provides the first internal glimpse of your home. It sets the tone for what is expected beyond and about the people living there. If it’s a shabby dumping ground, prospective buyers will think you’ve stopped caring about your property. If it’s cluttered and the walls feel like they’re coming in, it will also give an initial impression that your home is enclosed and small.

 

What does a hallways say about the home and its occupants?

  • Untidy is the first impression that springs to people’s minds when entering a property and stumbling over things.
  • Organised for those that pull off a clear and well organised hallway.
  • Design led for those that use artwork, statement pieces of furniture and beautiful design.
  • Instantly reveals whether people have children with the omnipresent buggy and scooters in the hallway for those that do.

Other positives for hallways:

  • They’re great for storing items you need before walking out the door.
  • They can enable surprises when you follow them round and find hidden gems
  • They enable privacy by preventing strangers seeing through to your living space from the front door

For more inspiration, have a look at our Bespoke Furniture services