Step inside your home and what’s the first thing you see? Is your entrance hall a serene place to leave the world behind or a general dumping ground? Make sure that your hallway isn’t an afterthought. Halls can sometime be neglected in terms of design and investment. With our guide to the perfect hallway, you’ll see that a little effort can go a long way.
- In the know – Top 5 tips for that perfect hallway
- Flower Power – Add a splash of colour with some flowers
- Cool Colour – Blank canvas for you to experiment
- Picture This – Pictures are popular for the entrance halls
- More Store – Don’t forget about storage when planning
- Upstairs Downstairs – ways to recreate the humble staircase
- Mirror Mirror – Mirrors add the illusion of space
- Entrance halls should be warm and inviting and a give a sense of what the rest of the house like. Firstly, ensure that your hall is clean and not too cluttered and then you can start to look at the nice features so that you can dress it appropriately.
- Wallpaper gives a very warm and stylish welcome to a house. It’s a great way to make your hall more unique. A rug or runner is simple way of softening and warming up a stone or timber floor, and it also protects paler carpet.
- Lighting is a key issue for the hall, there is nothing nicer than coming into a house that is warm and cosy with lamps subtly burning. Of course, if you have the space, a stunning chandelier hanging above a stairway is incredibly dramatic
- Where room permits, a hall table is always important for lamps and a simple vase of flowers. Art on the walls always makes a house into a home and smaller halls will instantly be enlarged with the use of a mirror.
- Finally, if there is a window or even a front door, it is a fabulous place to hang a curtain. It instantly dresses the hall and creates a warm and luxurious look. You can also afford to be bold with fabrics and trimmings, to really create a dramatic first impression.
As there are no lost corners in the entrance hall, it’s the perfect place for a plentiful bouquet of flowers, if your budget does not stretch to a house full of blooms, make your entrance hall the priority for a bi-monthly purchase of your favourite flowers. It’s the first thing you’ll see, and smell, when you enter your house and the last thing you’ll see before you leave. For a regular delivery of fresh flowers visit websites such as www.appassionata.ie or www.flowersmadeeasy.ie to order from home, or head to your local farmers market for a wilder bunch. Corks English market and Limerick’s Milk Market on Saturdays are good destinations for local produce.
This wide corridor is classic in everyway, but the decoration changes it into a kaleidoscope of shape and colour. A bright rug, modern art and shapely sculptures are all eye candy for the weary worker returning home. The key in this hallway is that none of the colour is permanent – walls, doors, and floors are all neutral, which leaves a blank canvas for you to experiment with different shades using flowers, vases, paintings and rugs. For a colourful range of vases head to Stock (33-34 South King Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 6794317) for a full range of Italian brand LSA or to Inreda (71 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2, Tel: 01 476 0362) and Siena Design (29 Patrick Street, Kilkenny, Tel: 056 90771) to start a collection of Iittala’s colourful and charismatic birds. Visit Ceadogans colourful website ( www.ceadogan.ie) for a stunning range of rugs available to order from designers such as Liz Nilsson and Orla Kelly, and even have a unique art deco range from the archives of Manie Jellet, so you can have art on your floor as well as on your walls.
A minimal space is given the personal touch; a mix of neutral colours and no furnishings create a serene entrance, but it is the multiple framed prints which really gives this space character. Framed pictures, be they posters, photographs prints or alternatively, objects, can be achieved with any budget and can suit all tastes. A popular option for the entrance hall is a home photo gallery, featuring many framed portraits of family and friends, or for film lovers, reproductions of their favourite movie posters. Visit www.movieposterstudio.com for a good selection of original retro posters. Dekko offer a wide range of ready made frames, including a deep box frame which can be filled with objects, such as dried flowers or even found items, see them all at www.shopdekko.com
Before anything goes into your hall, you must first thing of storage. How much do you need and what type? If you have a large family, this under stair storage is perfect for throwing in the days detritus when organisation is the last thing on your mind. This is a great idea for smaller homes to help maximise precious space. If you are not keen on any major renovation of your staircase, there is a wealth of specifically designed products for hallways which will help keep it organised, such as coat racks, key trays, letter racks and shoe rails.
Web: www.howardsstorageworld.com/ireland) is a one stop shop for everything storage, from in built shelving units to jewellery boxes. Or head to Muji (45 Chatham Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 679 4591; Web: www.muji.co.uk) for utilitarian style storage in recycled cardboard and plastic. French store Perigot (140 Royal Hibernian Way, Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Tel: 01 616 9835) have a few unique storage solutions, such as the metal or cedar floor standing shoe racks and a large selection of hangers for coat closets.
Designers are finding even newer and more exciting ways to recreate the sometime humble but oh-so-necessary staircase, introducing new materials such as glass, concrete, brick and metal. This bright and airy glass staircase allows for maximum light exposure and helps create a illusion of a larger hall. An awkward space like this always benefits from some structural changes which leaves the design process a pleasure. Keep walls a sharp white to aid the reflection of light.
Even the most unassuming entrance can be turned into a welcoming and extravagant space and not just a seldom thought-of thoroughfare. The addition of an ornate mirror adds the illusion of space, as well as being an essential accessory for last minute outfit/makeup checks. Well placed, but minimal, accessories lend to homely feel as soon as you walk through the door and the floor lamp creates much needed ambient light, although the hallway is the perfect spot for a decorative hanging shade or grand chandelier. High street stores Laura Ashley and Marks & Spencer offer an eclectic selection of oversized mirrors, as well as ornate hanging shades and chandeliers which can all be viewed online at either www.lauraashley.com or www.marksandspencer.com. Alternatively, Mew interiors in Terenure, Dublin, offer a bespoke mirror service and will create a mirror to suit your space.
Source: House & Home and Redcover.com
Opening Words: Alexia McInerney