Making an Entrance
I am in the processes of changing my hallway, again. I did it fairly quickly when I first moved in as I couldn’t cope any longer with the existing burgundy and pink pinstripe wallpaper. However it was always one of the spaces I had earmarked to go back to, as was never quite happy with it. So it got me thinking about how to make your hallway or entrance something special but on a budget. Paint is the obvious, but let’s be more creative. One suggestion would be to paint the architraves and the doors a different colour to the walls, see below. This is the fantastic Paris apartment of Sarah Lavoine she has expertly experimented with a palette of just four colours (I have just realised you can’t see the 4th colour, but trust me there is and it is turquoise!) to create interesting combinations to highlight the architectural details and at same time create cohesiveness throughout her apartment
door accessories click on link to see a previous post. It is worth spending money on interesting handles for your doors, make sure you get the style right to work with your door. There is nothing wrong with mixing modern and traditional or brass looks great with dark painted doors. I have burgundy acrylic handles like below, my gran put them on the doors and I couldn’t bear to take them off, and they feel very much part of the flat.
Because hallways are transitional spaces it is an ideal opportunity to be a bit bolder. It is the first space people will see when visit your home and you want to set the tone and style of how the rest of your home will look. It is a space that takes on many rolls: links adjoining rooms, place to meet and greet, place to store all manner of things (keys, coats mail etc.) So it Needs to be practical to cope with the daily demands but this doesn’t mean it should be devoid of and personality and humour.
Another important element is good lighting, the key is to strike a balance between being functional – so you can see what you are doing – and creating atmosphere. You achieve this by layering lights. By layering I mean, don’t just go for a single pendant light, combine floor lamps, wall lights and table lights. I love the oversized rattan lights in Sarah Lavoine’s house (top right) I am sure Ikea used to do similar pendants, they seem to only have the smaller size now. Go for a statement pendant, something on a large-scale or very grand like a chandelier. I would love a neon light, the feature image on this post has a great neon arrow light. It is the NYC apartment of Zac Braff (Scrubs.)
If you are lucky enough to have a cloakroom for coats, bags and shoes etc then make a feature of it and hang a wallpaper, add a nice light and hang pictures, display old luggage and remember nice wall hooks. This is an image of my little cloakroom, which is extremely handy. I don’t have a door on it, but because I have made it look interesting, it is not an issue. Unfortunately I have quite a narrow hallway, so can’t house a large piece of furniture like the image below on the right. I really like how the owners of this house have used a piece of furniture you would normally see in a bedroom but they have giving it a new purpose in their hall. It is ticking lots of boxes for me as it is practical in terms or storage, looks great and is breaking the so-called interior rules, that furniture has a designated space and you can’t stray from that.
Most of us will have stairs in a hallway, I have a dark charcoal carpet that I have regretted buying so many times. Because I live in a flat I thought it would be more considerate for my down stairs neighbour. I am planning to rip it out and paint the stairs, I love the stencilled numbers on the image below. Another bit of personality, yes it would require more maintenance but so what, I am forever hovering my stair carpet as I have a white-haired cat. I think I have just convinced myself that is what I need to do.