When it comes to decorating your home, hallways are both the easiest to neglect and the most difficult to get right. Narrow, long, often windowless and with any number of doorways leading off it, figuring out how to add a bit of creative flair to such a plainly functional space can be tough.
Things don’t get any easier if you have a particularly narrow hall way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a touch of design magic. Here are our top tips for making the most out of your small hallways:
Mirror, mirror on the wall
It’s something of a hallway staple and that’s because it works. There’s a good chance your hallway is limited on natural light (and even if it isn’t, there’s no reason not to give it a boost with a mirror) and mirrors help to maximise what light you do have. They’re also just fabulously convenient – who doesn’t want one last check to see if they look presentable before they head out the door?
For narrow hallways, mirrors will also give a greater sense of space by reflecting back what little space you do have. Opt for mirrors with thin or no frames – a heavy ornate frame will protrude into your space and make the whole hall feel even narrower. Mirrors in hallways are better mounted rather than leaned against walls, not only because of the high amount of traffic, but because it will also save on floor space.
Just like ornaments and cushions are the accent to your living room, the hallway is the accent to your home. It’s the first thing people see and it should set the tone for your personality. It’s also the smallest room you’re probably going to decorate, so why not go a bit wild?
Fabulous wallpapers, funky colours and a well-placed rug can bring a splash of brightness to your hallway. Or, if you prefer to let your pictures do the talking, why not personalise wall art for truly unique home decor. Think outside the box and dare to go where you might never take your living room’s décor, to make the most functional part of your home the most fun.
So far we’ve agreed on two things: you need reflective surfaces and a bit of creative personality, so tip number three is perfect for both. Gallery walls of full-size print posters, art and photos are a great way of bringing some of that to your hallway.
The glass of the frames reflects light the same way that a mirror does and if you get the right sort of art, you can create a real bohemian vibe for your home. Team them with bold wallpaper and you’re onto a sure winner when it comes to marvellous modern hallways.
Hallways need storage for all sorts of things: shoes, coats, umbrellas, post, telephone books – all of which can quickly create clutter. Storage solutions for hallways can be difficult to perfect, but not impossible to achieve. Shelving is one good option, as this still keeps your floor space free, try sticking a shelf over the many doorways, this keeps them above the eye line while even adding a funky addition to an otherwise boring old door.
Shoe storage in pull-out cupboards are widely available in extra-thin designs that save on space, but if you have a shoe collection worth envying, then a few small floating shelves will soon give you a shoe gallery that will be the envy of your fellow fashionistas. Of course, there’s no reason you can’t go for a serious statement piece if that’s your style – your home’s hallway décor is all about you, after all. Coats can take up a surprising amount of space, quickly piling up and out into the main path of your hallway. To minimise this, try small hooks – ones that will force you to only hang one coat per hook – and limit the amount you have (working in odd numbers is the cardinal rule for most decorating choices).
Illuminate your lighting
You’ve got a space that is pretty long and pretty dark, so it needs a bit of light and a bit of sprucing up, right? Why not kill two birds with one stone by using some clever lighting? A line of pendant lights makes an amazing impact. Choose uniform spherical lanterns for a super modern but affordable look, or go totally funky and mix and match different pendant lights and lampshades. Don’t want to start rewiring the hallway? No problem, lots of modern light fixtures give your custom-print-decorated hallways the timeless look without requiring more than one outlet.
Reading to transform your hallway? Get creative and make sure your hallway always provides a warm welcome!