Banish the daily coat and boot-strewn battle to reach your front door with our guide to achieving a properly grown-up hallway to be proud of
As transient thoroughfares to rooms where you linger for longer, hallways are frequently neglected on the decorating schedule. Before (not very) long, they descend into a dumping ground of outerwear, umbrellas, pizza flyers and general detritus. This would all be perfectly fine if we were talking about boot rooms or the back of the garage, but the hallway is your first chance to make a good impression. It’s also the first place you stop to take a deep breath after a busy day out and about, so it really does deserve a more prominent position on your decorating leaderboard.
Make getting, and keeping, the clutter under control your number one priority. Invest in multitasking solutions like seats with built-in storage or console tables with drawers for loose change and receipts. Include somewhere to drop your keys and a shelf to stash any post that needs attention – out of sight is out of mind. If you have children, double the hanging capacity of your walls with dual-height coat hooks. A named hook might encourage them not to ditch their school bags in the middle of the floor but we can’t promise anything.
Speaking of children, and/or untrained partners, it probably won’t matter what type or volume of shoe storage you provide, there will always be a trail of abandoned trainers from the front door to wherever the TV lives. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be optimistic, so do factor in at least one shoe rack, ideally located somewhere that is hard to miss. A welly rack that holds boots upside down will help protect your floors from mud.
Now to the fun part – making it pretty. Many interior designers are adamant that your hallway’s décor should set the tone for what’s to come, and be dressed in colours and finishes that flow smoothly into adjoining rooms.
Others are equally committed to a contrasting scheme with its own personality that aims to impress. Whichever path you take, it always helps to take design cues from your home’s architecture and, of course, there is plenty of online inspiration. Trawl your favourite Pinterest and Instagram haunts for ideas and to see how things work/look in real life settings. As long as the décor makes you happy (and those shoes are locked down), it’ll always feel like a welcome home.