As the gateway to your home, your hallway is the first thing both you and your guests will see as you step through the front door - so why is this area often given little attention when it comes to design?
The footfall this room receives surpasses most others, so it makes sense to design an interesting and functional space, no matter how big or small it is. Whether you want to spruce up your tired-looking flooring or inject a touch of class with some tasteful wall art, Suhayl Laher at Tiles Direct has shared a number of ways you can set a stylish tone in your home by designing a hallway that makes an impact.
Use colour to open the area
Unless you live in a larger house, it’s likely that your hallway will be fairly narrow - and limited natural light meaning it can often appear gloomy. Using colour on your walls to open up the area can be an effective way to combat the darkness. For maximum impact, create a neutral backdrop with lighter shades that will beautifully complement bursts of colour. Pair this paler palette with bold tones from colourful accessories such as a combination of houseplants and you’ll have a space that feels bright and airy, regardless of how much natural light there actually is.
You can also look to the floor to inject some colour too. Pretty patterned tiles are a fantastic way to bring a playful element to this functional space and there are plenty of styles and shades to choose from. However, sleek large format tiles in soft, neutral hues can lend a sophisticated and luxurious feel - something that every hallway can benefit from. In addition, the use of a larger tile means fewer grout lines, that can also work wonders in making modest and gloomy hallways feel bigger. When coupled with practical lighting choices, this will turn your dull hallway into a welcoming space that commands attention.
Update your walls with artwork, mirrors and accessories
Once the colour foundation has been laid, it’s time to layer the look by updating your walls to add another dynamic to the space. One option is to use mirrors - combined with a light layer of paint, they create a useful optical illusion that’s perfect for narrow and dark hallways. Visually opening the space up by encouraging light to bounce around the room, mirrors add depth and light to any area - and are must-have design features for stylish, modern hallways. If your hallway dimensions are particularly modest, opt for a horizontal mirror that will widen the space and naturally lead guests into the rooms beyond.
Of course, if you want to personalise the space to make it instantly recognisable as your home, artwork can really liven the space and make a bold first impression on visitors. Invest in one large standout piece of art for an eye-catching focal point or create a collage of smaller pieces for a subtler artistic approach. Try adding floating shelves or faux flowers for a clean and contemporary finish, or really make your house a home by placing framed photos of your loved ones on the walls.
Fit functional, stylish furniture
Essentially a corridor leading to the rest of your home, the hallway sees its fair share of traffic, making it a prime target for clutter - be that coats, shoes or piles of unopened post! However, with the right furniture choices, you can add another layer of functionality to your hallway that still puts emphasis on style - all while sneaking in extra storage to keep the area clutter-free.
Whether you use a small bench with racks below for your shoes or a chic side table with drawers for car keys and trinkets, the addition of some practical furniture that looks great and boasts added storage will only add to the appeal of your hallway. If you’ve got dead space underneath your stairs or have a particularly spacious hallway, you could even add in a small chair and coffee table as a little reading nook for you or your guests to enjoy.
Beyond the furniture, we’d also suggest making use of walls for added storage space to fully champion practical hallway design. Whether you favour hooks, hanging racks, open shelves or closed cabinets, incorporating a functional element to your hallway design will ensure it stays looking neat without taking up too much floor space, ensuring you successfully pull off an impressive finish.
Of course, another practical consideration for your hallway design should be your choice of flooring. As an area that’s subject to heavy footfall, not to mention dirt and grime as people step from outside to inside, your entrance hall’s floors will certainly be put to the test. With this in mind, opting for a low-maintenance, durable and practical flooring option like porcelain floor tiles could be the key to giving your hallway decor longevity. Whether you opt for warming wood-effect tiles or a vintage-inspired pattern, you can have peace of mind that your floor tiles are designed to withstand muddy footprints, spills and the inevitable daily wear and tear with minimal upkeep.
No matter the size or style of your hallway, this often neglected area has the potential to become the most stylish space in the house - so make a bold first impression this year by tapping into your hallway’s potential with our top design tips.
Suhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers - bringing design inspiration to homeowners, architects and developers.