Saturday 17 February 2018

Make an entrance a feature

Wallpapering the risers of the stairs is a great way to bring pattern to a plain staircase, says Selina Lake. Photo by Rachel Whiting/Botanical Style/Ryland Peters & Small
Wallpapering the risers of the stairs is a great way to bring pattern to a plain staircase, says Selina Lake. Photo by Rachel Whiting/Botanical Style/Ryland Peters & Small
Mirror Set, €38.80: Add a mirror to bounce light and add a sense of spaciousness with the Umbra Dima Mirror set; redcandy.co.uk

Interiors: Anna Shelswell-white

Hands up whose hallway acts as a featureless corridor that simply leads towards the 'wow factors' within the rest of the house?

The first thing we see when we come home and the last when we leave, the hallway is just as important as any other room in the house - yet it has a tendency to get neglected. It's easy to focus on the kitchen and lounge before taking on this often narrow room. The great news is that it doesn't need to be this way - and revamping the hallway needn't take up too much time or energy.

Pendant light, €42.90: Get your lighting right and make sure your shade distributes brightness evenly throughout the entire space with a Brike Cage Pendant; hickenlighting.com
Pendant light, €42.90: Get your lighting right and make sure your shade distributes brightness evenly throughout the entire space with a Brike Cage Pendant; hickenlighting.com

Decorating a beautiful hallway to ensure it gives a warm welcome and friendly farewell can be achieved in a number of ways. First off, colour plays a huge role in this part of the home. Choose the right shade and you'll create an airy, inviting space; choose the wrong shade and you could be left with a claustrophobic tunnel with no character.

Alison Dunne, interior designer with Fleetwood Paints says: "We like to create a strong first impression with our front hall or entryway because it sets the style for what's to come. In small, narrow front halls, keep it simple and elegant by using a light colour palette, like the [soft coffee] shade 'Coco 1955 light'. If it's long and narrow, then add something like the [deep blue] 'Fallingwater 1935' to the end wall to create the illusion of a wider, more open space.

"Mirrors also play a big role here - the bigger the better. Bouncing both natural and artificial light around, a mirror will also make the space feel double the size."

Plants can also feel right at home in the hall as they provide a nice transition from the outdoors.

Bench, €450: Look out for dual-purpose pieces that double up as storage and a seat such as the Hampden Hallway bench; marksandspencer.com
Bench, €450: Look out for dual-purpose pieces that double up as storage and a seat such as the Hampden Hallway bench; marksandspencer.com

"Botanical prints are a good way to bring the outside in," says stylist and author of Botanical Style, Selina Lake. "Frame vintage botanical prints in groups or opt for a statement botanical wall hanging if you have an expanse of wall.

"Hallways are a great place to introduce some on-trend botanical style," believes Selina. "Fresh flowers or house plants will instantly give your space some life and a welcoming feel when you enter your home. Display cheese plants in basket planters on your hall table. Use hanging plants if your ceilings are high enough and if there's a lack of surfaces.

"Another idea I champion is to ditch your carpeted stairs in favour of painted wooden steps with added botanical inspired wallpapers attached to the face of each riser."

With the range of beautiful, yet functional, accessories out there at the moment, the beauty of the hallway is that it can be switched up and redecorated with minimum effort.

Artificial Cactus Plant Pot, €6.99: Place faux potted plants above the doorway or in hard-to-reach places - they look great but don't require watering; newlook.com
Artificial Cactus Plant Pot, €6.99: Place faux potted plants above the doorway or in hard-to-reach places - they look great but don't require watering; newlook.com

The hallway sets the tone for the rest of your house and it's your first chance to express your style. They say you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear; think of the hallway as your home's favourite pair.

  • Anna Shelswell-White is editor of House and Home magazine

Coat rack, €35.22: Add style and function with an on-trend
coat rack; oliverbonas.com
Coat rack, €35.22: Add style and function with an on-trend coat rack; oliverbonas.com

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