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Making an Entrance

An entrance hall is the first thing people see when entering your home, but it is also an area which is easily forgotten.

In many homes a hallway can be a gloomy, windowless passage which does nothing more than join rooms up.

Cream tidy hallway

Often people forget to decorate their hallway as it is a part of the house where no-one stays for a long period of time. But when you open your front door your hall is where your home starts and as such should be given the attention it quite rightly deserves. Whether you want to make an impact or just create a welcoming space, the rule of thumb is to keep a hallway bright, clean and clutter free.

The Victorians and Edwardians knew what they were doing when they created terraced homes, which we see in every town and city, as they built them with stained glass windows in the doors.  For reasons, possibly related to privacy or security, these festivals of light have been replaced by solid doors and in the process have downgraded the homely entrance to a dark utilitarian passage. 

So when considering your hall, start with the door. As with this example, smoked glass offers privacy but also welcomes light. (The shuttered windows are beautiful too!) By keeping the door design simple and in keeping with the era of your home, you can choose a contemporary colour to match your home’s style without detracting from the character of the house, we offer a shutters in a variety of colours so you can ensure your whole house matches.

Keep in mind that halls are high traffic areas.  Therefore embedding an oversized doormat into the carpet or flooring of your choice will help keep muddy footprints a little more manageable, you can even create a personalized doormat at Not On The Highstreet.  While considering flooring, even with my mantra of light and bright in mind, avoid solid cream carpets especially if you have children and dogs. Wooden flooring, sea grass or tiles may be a better option. If you are determined to have cream carpets, remember to choose one with a “high domestic use” tag on it and ideally with a mix of varying shades of cream to coffee patterns so the inevitable dirt will be less visible.

hats and wellies drying by a radiator

Once inside, light – bright – clutter free is the mantra to chant while considering decorating options.  As soon as you put a shelf or coat hook in the entrance to your home you are doomed! A large bulge or unsightly outerwear encroaches into the tight space and turns into a navigation hazard. The simple, elegant shelf becomes festooned with old post, bags and junk.  Placing Objet d’art on the floor in “dead spaces” also prevents them from becoming “dumping zones”. 

Of course, we need to put our jackets and bags somewhere but by placing coat hooks, shoe racks or umbrella stands at the far end or your hallway, ideally tucked into a cavity, under or behind the stairs, it encourages people to enter the tranquil oasis of your home and enjoy the space before disrobing.   John Lewis have a wide range of house and garden accessories that suit any décor.  

To add a feeling or more light and an open feel, consider changing wooden or painted banisters for glass ones. The visual impact of the space will magically open up.  The added benefit of this minimalist approach to the first few meters of your house also enables you and others to appreciate the wall art you have loving collected.

As the walls come down in our open plan life just remember that poor, forgotten space by the front door. It really can set the stage for the rest of your home. Treat it with love and respect. 


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