First impressions: 10 ideas for entrance hallway decor (Part 2/2)
PUBLISHED: 09:47 21 September 2015 | UPDATED: 09:47 21 September 2015
Part 2 of our entryway design feature. This time, we've got ideas on how to inject a personal touch to the space; how to design a darkly mystical coridor; and what to do if you have a hallway with enough room to swing a cat!
Are hallways rooms? It might sound like an odd question but many consider their halls and landings as avenues, there simply to connect one part of the house to another. But there’s much more to them than that. It’s the first part of your house to welcome you when you step across the threshold. What’s more, it’s the first part of your home that anyone visiting will see. Some might argue that it’s the centre of the home - the synaptic nerve. It’s the room - because it is indeed a room - that creates a first impression.
So have fun with it - spend time creating a look to your home’s entrance. Here are some ideas how...
Who are you?
As you’re welcoming either yourself or guests into the home, why not decorate the hallway with something that tells everyone who you are, and whose house it is. The standard method here is to have a wall of framed photographs in the entryway - either along one wall, dotted around the space, on a table or trickling up the stairs. It’s a lovely way to display your family and your life proudly and depending on the pictures you can plan it to set a certain design idea. For example, print the shots in black and white for a consistent theme. Or have a special photo shoot with your nearest and dearest and display these as a set.
Other ideas - metallic or wooden initials on the wall or a table (your initials or the first initial of everyone that lives there); Your favourite artwork; knick-knacks from your travels; a wall hanging of your favourite saying; framed posters of your favourite movies or plays; a shelf with your book collection on it.
If you have a long-reaching hallway, be bold by darkening it. No-one’s planning on reading a book in this part of the room so why not use this as a true example of mood lighting. Opt for shiny flooring, be it tiled or wood, and paint the walls a deep, rich colour. Not black - unless you really want to - but something classic - indigo, slate, crimson, teal.
Keep the walls clean - no art or mirrors here. Install lights up the corridor at regular intervals on one side of the hallway or each side sporadically. Install up-lighting, so that these fixtures illuminate upwards rather than down to the floor. Keep the space de-cluttered and mysterious. The effect can be stunning and oddly alluring.
At the foot of the stairs is the newel of the banister. This is normally the larger establishing feature of the balustrade that ascends the staircase. Here lies an excellent opportunity for design flair. You might have a tiny hallway, and the stairs might be the only chance for you to get creative. Use this as a feature piece for the entryway. Depending on the style of the hall and the banister you have, there are different ways to play with this design.
If you have a traditional staircase, a large, heraldic newel is often in keeping with the style; if you have a metallic railing, there are varieties of wrought iron designs that can be used; if you’re basing your hallway on the tall theme mentioned earlier, be bold and install a high-reaching newel; if your home is eccentrically modern, erect a pillar or a concrete post at the foot of the stairs.
Stairs can be carpeted, tiled or wooden. If you’re going with the wood look, increase the safety and the flourish of the staircase with a runner. If you have mahogany steps, an intricate runner in damask can work here, in a rich auburn, dark green or night blue might work. A lighter tone of wood looks great with a runner in a pastel palette looks tremendous. If you’ve painted your stairs a bold dark colour, go with a bold light runner in contrast.
Those with wide, large, lobby-like entryways are lucky enough to have the gift of space - always something the keen decorator strives for. Jump at this opportunity to place a centre-piece in the hall. A circular table, for example, with a feature in the middle of it looks beautiful. In a bright, spacious lobby, a neutral wooden table, or a glass table look fantastic in the centre of the room. Place an impressive vase on it and keep it filled with fresh greenery or flowers to entice your guests in your home. Hallways of a darker palette look great with a darker shade of table, perhaps with a richly-patterned cloth draped over it. A low centre table looks great with a variety of shapely bowls or vases on it, with or without anything in them.