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

Real Homes - - Front Page -

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.

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