If you’ve been spending more time at home recently, you may have turned your hand to decorating your house. It appears many of us have had redecorating on our minds, with research from Aviva finding that three-fifths of the UK made physical or aesthetic changes to their homes since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.
While you’ve probably turned your attention to your bedroom, living room, kitchen or bathroom, there’s one area that is commonly overlooked: the hallway. Decorating your hallway may not seem that glamorous, but choosing the right hallway decor can maximise the space in your home and make it extremely aesthetically pleasing.
Want to give your hallway a makeover but not sure where to start? We spoke to a range of interior designers and experts for hallway decor advice to help you make the most of this space and get your hallway looking beautiful.
Plan your decor
Not sure where to start? “Take a minute to think about what items need to be stored in your entry hallway versus items that can be stored somewhere else in your home,” says interior design consultant Carrie Cotton. This will help you visualise what you want your hallway to look like and how you want it to function.
Next, decide what storage you need and what you want to add as decor. “If you’re using the area to store jackets and shoes, consider hooks and maybe a bench with baskets underneath for shoe storage,” suggests Carrie. “If the area isn’t being used by you or will only be used for guests, then just a few hooks and maybe a console table or simple bench will suffice.”
Optimise your space
If you think your hallway is too small to decorate, think again! It’s all about storage solutions. “Two-in-one furniture really comes in handy when you want to optimise a small hallway,” explains Clotilde Passalacqua, Interior Design Manager at IKEA UK. “We all live busy lives, so adding clever storage to your hallway makes it easier for everyone to make that stress-free dash out of the house, as well as creating an inviting entrance to come back home to.”
If your hallway is small, consider coat hooks or racks to keep your floor space free. “Wall-mounted hooks will help you take advantage of the full height of your ceiling,” says Clotilde. “A rack with hooks means you can easily make good use of awkward spaces, like the wall surface over your radiator.”
Be brave with colour
As hallways offer very little space, it can be hard to know whether to keep it neutral or opt for a brighter, bolder look.
“As an approach for hallways, we tend to be as bold as possible,” explain Katie Earl and Emma Bradley, co-owners and co-founders of No.12 Studio. “Bold doesn’t mean cluttered or overfilled, but focuses on creating drama through brave moves. “
A great way to do this is by using colour. “Use colour in a singular sense,” recommends Katie. “Your hallways provide a sense of arrival and intimacy, which can be created by enveloping your space in a colour that you love.”
Not sure what colours to choose? No.12 Studio predicts that the colours of 2021 will revolved around a mineral-inspired palette. “Think ochres, clays, mercuries and dark greys,” says Katie. “We’re moving away from golds and brasses as people are getting braver with their colour choices. A mineral palette provides a beautiful, natural look while still being classic and timeless.”
Use a mirror
A mirror can help reflect light in your space and also comes in handy for checking your hair or makeup as you’re leaving or entering your home.
Depending on the length and width of you’re working with, mirrors can be placed strategically to create a sense of movement in your hallway, in addition to acting as a decorative feature. “If you have a lengthy hallway, rather than just hanging one large mirror, try several arched ones to create a sense of rhythm and pace as you travel through the space,” suggests Katie Earl.
Only have space for one mirror? Interior designer Cathy Dean recommends opting for an asymmetrical look. “Put down a bench that you can sit on and behind it opt for a big, asymmetric, irregular shaped mirror,” she advises. “As a rule of thumb, go almost double the size of what you’d think of using. You can then use wall lights or pendant lights to reflect both the natural light and artificial light that your hallway receives.”
Choose some art
In addition to being a great place to experiment with colour, your hallway is also a perfect space to choose art for. “Hallways are fantastic spaces for displaying art,” says Cathy Dean. “Treat your hallway as an art gallery; admire it, enjoy it and populate it with art that you love.”
If you’re picking new art for your hallway, Cathy explains there are very few rules for choosing pieces. “Art should speak for itself and you should just choose pieces that you love,” she says. “Don’t feel like you have to go for a print just because it matches the colour of your hallway. When you get your art home, lie it on the floor, have a look at how it works with the colours you have and then decide where to put it. It’s all about trying it out and seeing what works for you and your space.”
Set up candles
If your hallway is looking great, you’ll want to complement this with lovely scents by using candles within it.
We asked Good Housekeeping’s Homes and Garden Director, Carolyn Bailey, for candle recommendations that smell and look great. Her first recommendation is the Geranium Leaf Candle, from The White Company. “There are two things I love about this candle – the scent of geranium is one of my favourite summer plants and instantly conjures up the Mediterranean and the sleek ceramic pot which looks smart on a shelf,” she says.
Carolyn also recommends Jo Malone’s range of charity candles. “One of my favourites is the Lily of the Valley & Ivy scent as it evokes the countryside,” she explains. For those looking for a fresher smell, try Neptune’s Austen Seascape Scented Candle. “The combination of the glazed ceramic bowl and the scent of the sea make this a winner for me,” says Carolyn.
Weather-proof your hallway
There’s nothing worse than decorating your hallway only for it to get dirtied by muddy shoes and wet umbrellas!
Keep a doormat next to your doorway to keep hallway floors free from mud. “Hang your umbrellas by the door so they’re easy to grab as you rush out of the house in the morning, and allow clothes to hang as freely as possible for quick drying,” suggests Clotilde Passalacqua. You could also look for water-resistant wall panels.
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