The hallway is rarely first on our list of priorities when decorating a home, but first impressions count, and a welcoming entrance could make all the difference to the overall feeling of your house.
If your hallway is currently just a dark, narrow means of getting from one room to another, check out our tips for brightening things up.
Colour and pattern
White can be a tempting choice colour-wise, particularly if your hallway suffers from dark and dingy syndrome. But bear in mind that it is an extremely unforgiving colour in an area of the home that is subjected to plenty of wear and tear.
Instead of going bright white, opt for a warm but still light shade, ideally a shade or two lighter than the room it leads to, creating a sense of colour continuity whilst hiding handprints better. If you prefer to make more of a statement, a bold patterned wallpaper can look great, but opt for one with a slight shine to reflect the light.
Your hallway has to cope with plenty of footfall and deal with everything from stilettos to wellies, so a durable material is a must. Good quality vinyl floor tiles are easy to clean and able to cope with the daily strain, whilst adding colour too. Be careful with patterns though, as stripes can lengthen a long, narrow hallway. Try a chequerboard effect instead, as this will give the impression of width.
Wooden floors can also be brightened up with a colourful carpet runner, but may not prove the most pet or child-friendly option.
Since natural light sources generally come from each end of a hallway, it can easily feel dark, and good lighting can make all the difference. If you have high ceilings, opt for a large, hanging, statement light to act as a centrepiece, but if the ceiling is low, try wall lights in order to avoid making the hall look smaller.
Mirrors are also a great way to add a sense of space, while reflecting what natural light there is.
Shoes, coats, keys and other clutter can quickly accumulate in the hallway, and instantly make the area look smaller. Create the illusion of space with wall-mounted storage, from shoe racks to coat hangers. You could even add light and space by investing in a mirror with key rack and coat pegs for an all-in-one solution.
Focus on features
Even the narrowest of hallways benefits from a focal point, and depending on the available space, a feature will make it a welcoming entrance to the home. A simple console table and lamp will add further light, while fresh flowers or a scented candle instantly welcomes guests with a beautiful aroma.
For those who are lucky enough to have the space, a bench or small armchair can reduce that corridor feel, but even if you have a limited area to play with, add a little of your own personality and a homely feel with family portraits.
While you might not spend long periods of time in your hallway, it shouldn't be neglected, so let your creativity flow and make a good first impression.
What are your top tips for decorating a hallway? Leave your comments below...