In­te­rior de­sign

The grand­est hall­ways can cre­ate a bold state­ment, says Amelia Thorpe and we of­fer the best ways for you to make the per­fect en­trance

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Al­though the house­proud among us lav­ish huge amounts of love and care on sit­ting rooms, kitchens and bath­rooms, the hall­way is all too of­ten seen as a dump­ing ground. how­ever, in an ideal world, a hall will make an aes­thetic state­ment. ‘It should be filled with things you en­joy,’ says the de­signer So­phie Con­ran. ‘the hall not only makes the first im­pres­sion on your guests, it’s also the room that wel­comes you back.’

there are a few es­sen­tials (a ta­ble for let­ters and parcels, dog leads, keys and um­brel­las), but it’s the less pro­saic el­e­ments that tend to be the most fun—pic­tures, col­lec­tions and wall hang­ings that cre­ate a dis­tinc­tive mood. So­phie is a fan of mir­rors in a hall­way, not just be­cause they max­imise the amount of nat­u­ral light in a space, but for a quick check of your ap­pear­ance (‘no scram­bled egg on your chin be­fore you go out’).


given that the hall is likely to see plenty of com­ing and go­ing, hard­wear­ing flooring is the best choice. Make the most of orig­i­nal flag­stones or en­caus­tic floor tiles if you’re lucky enough to have them, oth­er­wise there are plenty of highly durable nat­u­ral stone and porce­lain floor tiles avail­able.

Wood and rugs or run­ners is a com­bi­na­tion that of­fers warmth, tex­ture and com­fort—just be sure to avoid pale colours if you have mudlov­ing chil­dren and dogs


‘El­e­gant and rest­ful colours help the space to in­ter­act with the ad­ja­cent rooms, but there is a good case to be made for throw­ing cau­tion to the wind and cre­at­ing a bold, dra­matic open­ing state­ment,’ sug­gests in­te­rior de­signer Ja­nine Stone. ‘this can add to the “wow fac­tor” and punc­tu­ate the en­ergy of the home with real verve.’

Much de­pends on per­sonal choice and your fur­ni­ture and paint­ings. For ex­am­ple, a re­strained colour scheme may cre­ate a neu­tral back­drop to strik­ing an­tique pieces or a sculp­tural stair­case, al­though punchier or dark wall colours may work well in cre­at­ing an in­di­vid­ual iden­tity.

‘Why not be brave in ways that you would never dream of in a sit­ting room or kitchen, which you use all day’ sug­gests in­te­rior de­signer Emma Sims hilditch. ‘You could paint the walls char­coal or a beau­ti­ful bright blue to cre­ate real im­pact.’

She rec­om­mends us­ing just a thread of the colour to run through a stair run­ner or in sit­ting-room cur­tains, for ex­am­ple, to cre­ate a co­he­sive feel to the whole house.


‘It’s im­por­tant to have a va­ri­ety of lev­els of light to help cre­ate sev­eral at­mos­pheres at dif­fer­ent times,’ ad­vises Emma, who rec­om­mends a com­bi­na­tion of a ceil­ing light, such as a chan­de­lier or lantern, mid­height light from ta­ble lamps or wall lights and low-level light, such as step lights. ‘And think about scale—a tall can­dle­stick lamp or an ex­tra-large lantern will have amaz­ing im­pact.’ Ja­nine Stone & Co (020–3131 7001; www.ja­nine­ Sims Hilditch (; 01249 783087) So­phie Con­ran (020–7603 1522; www. so­phiecon­

Fac­ing page: An en­trance hall by Ja­nine Stone. Above: A Hard­wick con­sole ta­ble from So­phie Con­ran. Left: An en­trance hall de­signed by Emma Sims Hilditch

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