The Neglected Hallway

Picture this – a sumptuous living room with sofas adorned with plump, jewel-like cushions, beautiful artwork and
mirrors dressing the walls, clever layered lighting and other interesting accessories bringing personality to the room which has been painted or wallpapered in colours that create atmosphere and harmony. Does this sound like your home? – yes it probably does or if not you are certainly aspiring to get there.

Now picture this – a badly lit hallway with non-descript colours on the walls for practical reasons! A dis-functional coat rack, a small table with a bowl on it for keys and possibly a mirror on the wall to check you haven’t dribbled cereal down your top before you exit the house for work. Does this sound familiar too? Yes, I would imagine there are far too many of you out there that can relate to this. I experience such hallways on a regular basis on my travels and it never fails to disappoint and confuse me on equal levels.

Why? Why is it we give so little regard, time or energy to this area of our home. It is the one room of the house that greets us every time we return. It’s the one room where you meet and welcome your visitors, paving the way to introduce the rest of your home with it’s considered decorating achievements. It is actually the one room of your home that a lot of people only ever see, yet we all allow it to let us down and reflect so badly on what lies beyond. This is the one space that should be welcoming you and your friends with open arms, and it should be screaming personality not just practicality. We all know that we can achieve function and beauty – it just needs a little more imagination.

Now I realise that this isn’t a space that we hang out in, and it can often be challenged for size, but trust me when I say the minute you turn the key in the lock and open the door you need to be wowed immediately. It will lift your mood in an instant, especially if you have had a difficult day and help set the tone and atmosphere for the rest of the house.

I recognise too that we don’t all have commanding, sweeping staircases or dramatic tiled floors but that is all the more reason to give this room some punch. And what is the crazy thing about all this, is that it doesn’t take much to transform it. You just need to grab it by the horns and be bold. Trust me, it can take it.

My top tip is to make an instant transformation is to change the colour. There are plenty of tough, washable paints out there so you don’t need to choose something safe. Be brave because nothing creates drama or evokes emotion better than a clever use of colour. It isn’t a big space so it can afford to have deep burnt orange wall for example, and don’t just have one mirror have several grouped together or one over sized, to bounce around the light and create the illusion of space.

My next definite tip is to invest the time and money on clever storage. Maximise your space with floor to ceiling cupboards which can be painted in to match walls – there is so much choice. No more tripping over shoes or scrambling to find your coat under three other layers of bulky fabric because you only have six hooks which looks such a mess.

My third and other essential tip is to be generous with your lighting. Now I don’t mean have it brightly lit, I mean create some layers of lighting like you would in other areas of your home. It needs to have at least one statement pendant lamp and a good sized table lamp, preferably with some other down lights that can be dimmed to create atmosphere.

Mix that all together with an eclectic wall of family photos, artwork and other interesting pieces and you’re good to go. Just remember, this is the one room of the house that you need to turn up the volume. You won’t regret it, I promise.