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How to design a great hallway

How to design a great hallway

Hallways set the tone for how we and our guests feel about coming into our homes. Even if you think it’s the smallest and most incommodious hallway in the world, there are some things you can do to make it look smashing. Here are some tips on how to make this space practical, stylish, and inviting.

Get the right flooring

When it comes to a hallway, choose flooring that’s easy to care, resists moisture and hides dirt better. Ideally, opt for darker tiles or something with a pattern to conceal minor spots, and balance it with light, neutral walls. For long, narrow hallways, consider a large scale chequerboard effect. Classic chequered floors will always be trendy and they will optically widen a slim corridor.

Brighten it up with color

There’s nothing wrong in using dark colors in a hallway, but if yours is particularly small or long and narrow, do brighten it up with lighter colors. It doesn’t necessarily need to be white. Pale blues, greens, grays and beiges will work just as fine – the key is to used cold hues as they appear to be receding from the eye and stretch the space. If you use a lighter shade on the long walls, and a pop of color on the door or the far wall, the space will automatically appear a little wider.

Let light in

Long, narrow hallways tend to be dark and gloomy, so use every opportunity to let some light in. If it’s possible, have glass panels installed in your front door and remove interior doors or at least have them glazed to allow the light to flow freely. If there’s a window in your hallway, give up on elaborate drapes and use delicate sheers or short valances instead if window treatment it’s necessary at all.

Ensure good storage

Shoes, schoolbags and sport gear piling next to the front door are never a good welcoming message, and this is often the case when there are a lot of people living under one roof. Ample hallway storage is a cornerstone of a well-organized home, but a narrow hallway will look cluttered as much with full-sized pieces of furniture as with stuff. The key it to invest in some clever solutions that look good and don’t take up the already limited floor space. If you can’t pack more furniture into a narrow hallway, utilize understairs space with built-in custom cubbyholes, add narrow overhead shelf racks for bags, hats and scarves or turn old crates into cute wall-mounted storage boxes.

Be creative with hanging space

Never underestimate the amount of hanging space you will need for your hallway, especially if there’s no closet to hide the outwear your family is currently using. If you stick to just a few hooks fixed up next to the entrance, the concentration of several coats and jackets in one place will not look good and may block the door, so it’s best to distribute the hanging space wisely. Besides being a practical addition, wall-hung are a great opportunity to character to your hallway – just check the web for all those fabulous DIY projects you can accomplish in a couple of hours. Also, consider putting a nice coat stand in the corner, and if you’re looking for a more contemporary alternative, think of a tree coat peg wall decal.

Add a seat

Sometimes creating a stylish hallway is all about choosing some chic seating option. It’s not much of a problem if you have a large, airy foyer – a bulky accent chair with a vintage frame or a fabulous chaise longue will do the talking. Not everyone is so lucky, though. When decorating a smaller hallway, you will have to be a little more creative and find a way to add a seat that doesn’t clutter the space. It might be an acrylic chair, a hall tree that comes with a seat, a narrow bench with cubbies for storing shoes, a sleek ottoman or a small pouf that can be tucked under the hall table. If possible, choose seating options that can double as storage.


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