By Davina Richards
Hallways are usually the first thing you see when you step into someone’s home. The impression you want to avoid is that your place is small, dark and cold, even if the only time the area sees natural light is when someone opens the front door.
It can be challenging to find a design which will transform a hallway from boring and
dull to charming and inspiring, but creating an impact doesn’t need to be as complex as you think.
Your hallway is used just as much as your bedroom, kitchen and living room, so decorate it like you would with any other room. Pay attention to detail: lighting, furnishings, accessories, floor and walls.
If you have a long hallway, choose a bold colour on the end wall which will make the space appear shorter. To make a ceiling appear lower, paint a bold colour on the ceiling. Leave all other walls in a lighter shade of colour.
Sometimes bright colours don’t work well on large surface areas, whether you opt to use paint or patterned wallpaper, so the hallway is an ideal place to play around with bright, bold and rich colours.
Apply a burst of colour by choosing a lively colour from another room in your home such as the living area; it could be a colour from a throw, lampshade or fabric. In doing this you allow colour to flow seamlessly from the hallway to the connected spaces beyond.
If you use patterned wallpaper or stencilling, remember that larger hallways work best with large-scale patterns and vice versa. Reflect light by hanging mirrors to make the space feel larger and lighter.
Furniture and accessories
Furniture in an entranceway can reinforce the sense of homeliness – remember to add tables, chairs or bookcases which are an appropriate scale for your hallway. You don’t want to be bumping into sharp corners as you walk out of the door.
Don’t be shy to decorate by laying a runner on the floor, hang up some stunning artwork, family photographs, and add narrow pieces of furniture such as a table or bookcase. Finish off with accessories: a vase of flowers, candles, mirror and ornaments.
For a creative streak, why not include a wall decal in your design. No room for a coat stand and bored of a line of hooks?
Try a tree wall decal – screw in hooks at different heights where the tree branches are and voila! A place to hang your coats and scarves, and it couldn’t look any prettier! You could even hang up family photographs which look like they’re suspended from the tree branches.
Many hallways do not receive lots of natural light, so it can feel like you’re walking into a dark tunnel. Add some creative lighting effects, or if you’re in the process of building or renovating, include windows or skylights to beautify your dark hallway. Hallways should be inviting and appealing.
Before you start making holes in the walls to hang up pictures, create a template by tracing the outline of your chosen picture frames onto a piece of paper. After tracing each frame, make a mark or punch a hole through the paper where the nail or hook will go. Once you’ve settled on the right arrangement, tape them to the wall.
You can also lay your picture frames out on the floor and re-arrange as much as you like to find the design layout for your wall.
Mix small to medium-sized photographs or artwork for smaller areas. A collection of large sizes work best in bigger hallways.