Beautiful Hallways to greet Visitors in Style

Hallways come in all shapes and sizes, but what all of them have in common is that they are the first thing visitors see when they enter your home. This, of course, means you want your hallway to not only be bright and beautiful, but welcoming and warm.

Interior Designers and Hallways

Most top interior designers agree that using pure white walls in order to make a hallway brighter is not a good idea, partly because this often results in a stark, almost sterile appearance – especially if combined with harsh overhead lighting – and partly because white does tend to look ‘grubby’ very quickly, no matter how hard you try to keep it clean. So what colours do these top designers suggest for hallways?

Tom Stringer’s favourite is a combination he used on the hallway of a Georgian house, namely a rich, chocolate chip brown (such as, for instance, eicó’s k22, Moriche Palm) – in eggshell finishes to provide a bit of sheen – and off-white mouldings. Sue Burgess likes to combine these rich browns with yellow, coral, tangerine or green.

As hallways often tend to get little or no sun at all, Marshall Watson likes to use yellows – like the warmth and light emanating h9 Mackan or e3 Sunset eicó finishes, for example – as these colours do not take on the unpleasant grey pallor or purple shadows often associated with white, creams or tans.

Birch Coffey, Kim Alexandriuk, Alex Papachristidis and Betsy Brown all swear by pale, almost putty-like greys – like, for example, eicó’s h6 Ursula, o1 Misty Grey or c16 Blue Moon – which all tend to minimise architectural flaws, while at the same time making art work placed onto the walls look fabulous.

Metallic, pale silvery grey paints are – according to Maureen Footer – perfect for long, tunnellike hallways, as their special glimmering effect serves to dematerialise walls, creating an illusion of space in the process. This effect can be further enhanced by adding rock crystal sconces and gilt wood mirrors.

Burnt orange walls combined with arched doorways and wainscoting in pale creams (eicó e23 Jacko Lantern or e22 Moroccan Sunset and e5 oyster or e2 Creme Anglaise, for example) are Darren Henault’s idea of perfect hallway combinations.

Other top designers, like Lisa Jackson, Susan Zises Green and Elizabeth Bauer like to use off-whites, deep turquoise-blue and even bluish-black (similar to eicó’s h24 Prague) respectively.

Choosing your own Colours

In essence, while your ultimate colour choice depends on personal preferences, the idea is to create as much light and crisp contrasts without generating stark appearances. For a truly unique, bespoke appearance, it is also possible to have your very own, special colour range created from samples of fabrics, images, and so on.

Visiting the Websites of interior designers like Katharine Barton, Naomi Warman – Suzy Hoodless Design or Linda Barker – all of whom have been successfully using eicó paints on both interior and exterior projects for many years – will provide further inspiration.

Furnishing your Hallway

Furnishings used within your hallway need to be both attractive and practical. Naturally, what or how much furniture can be used depends to a great deal on the shape and size of the hallway in question. The following suggestions are suitable for a variety of shapes/ sizes (as indicated).

The Art Deco Hallway

Medium to large hallways can be transformed into a welcoming haven by combining burnt orange walls and cream woodwork/ wainscoting with a rosewood or blonde walnut Art Deco influenced console table, a matching bookcase (to which suitably coloured wicker baskets can be added to house shoes, gloves, etc) and a matching stool or chair.

A large Art Deco mirror will provide an illusion of extra space, as well as reflecting much needed light, and space for coats, hats, etc can be provided either in the shape of a matching coat/ hat stand or tasteful metal hooks/ wooden hook rails on the wall.

The look can be finished off with Art Deco lamps on the table, a vase with fresh flowers and tasteful indirect lighting along the wall.

Country Style Hallway

Transforming a comparatively small, but reasonably square hallway into a rustic, country style entrance is made easy by combining pale cream walls with a chocolate brown country style settle (which is particularly useful if the seating area can be flipped up to reveal a hidden storage area), colour-coordinated cushions and a shelf with an attractive wavy edge in the same colour as the settle.

Coat hooks placed at varying heights will break up the wall and provide ample space for everyone’s coats and hats, and a small table by the door will hold keys, gloves, post and more. Finish off the look with country scenes, flowers, and so on.

A slightly smaller hall can be transformed with the help of the same colours and a deep brown wood/ leather trunk, a matching chair and a hat stand.

The Long Tunnel

Long, narrow and often exceptionally dark, tunnel-like hallways are often accompanied by a space set back below the stairs. This space can be used as an advantage by creating a storage area for coats, shoes, and so on here with the help of floating shelves.

The incline of the stairs allows for these shelves to be staggered in height, with the lower ones being perfect for shoes and boots, while some of the taller areas can be used for coats and/ or staggered shelving for hats, gloves, handbags and other belongings.

To create a bright, but warm effect, try using yellow on the walls, perhaps offset with pale creams. Up-lighting along the longest wall will also generate a warm effect, and a large mirror will help by reflecting what little natural light is available.

If possible, place a small tray-table by the door to accommodate keys (or attach decorative wire key hooks to the wall), post and perhaps a welcoming bunch of flowers.

Hallway Flooring

Finally, a word about flooring – while hardwood or natural stone flooring is typically easier to keep clean (especially during the wet and muddy times of thee year), you may want to provide a little extra warmth and interest by adding a colourful rug/ hallway runner.

If choosing carpet, it is best to select a strong, easy to care for material in a neutral colour, again adding interest in the shape of a rug. In any case, a strong, hard wearing doormat (there are many delightful, welcoming designs available) will help to keep flooring clean and protect it from the grit and gravel carried in on the bottom of shoes.

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