Jun 11, 2013

Why Interior Design should Start at the Front Door

The poor humble hallway. It is the forgotten hero of the home, a means to an end that serves to function and functions to serve and little else. But with a touch of design flair and careful thought, the hallway has chance to become the most treasured room in the house. And here's how:
Little luxuries.
Even the most functional hallway can be rejuvenated by a simple design touch. For the smallest of spaces, a splash of bright paint can make a style statement. There's little need to be afraid of the traditional theory that small spaces need to be kept neutral to create a sense of space   in fact, a dramatically different colour scheme in the hallway can create an intimate welcome and a real talking point. Alternatively, a more flexible approach would be to invest in a pretty but functional runner to brighten up your home's entrance or a bold lighting fixture to create a big impact in a small space. Or for a truly personal touch, turning treasured photos into wall art or creating a striking collage can add interest in an otherwise dull situation.

Sophisticated storage.
There is nothing worse than a cluttered hallway that has become a dumping ground for shoes, coats, scarves and everything in between. Storage is essential and making it part of the design can ensure that hallways are kept clean and tidy at all times. Wall-mounted shelves and hooks are efficient, but for a true touch of style investing in a piece of luxury furniture such as a designer console table can turn the functional into the fashionable. Even the smallest of hallways can also benefit from the addition of a bookcase. Whether in a sleek and contemporary finish or a traditional and antique style, shelving can add distinctive character to any home's hallway.

Perfect practicalities.
If your home is lucky enough to benefit from a larger than average entrance space, why not consider really turning the hallway into a functional and usable space? Although the tradition of the telephone table has been somewhat usurped by the advent of mobile technology, its re-introduction could add a touch of vintage style to your home. Selecting a matching seat, or if the space allows, a luxurious chaise longue, can return the everyday simplicity of a phone call into a true event. Not only that, but seating of any kind can add a welcoming warmth that is decidedly absent from most hallways. A chic interior design finish can also be achieved by creating a sense of symmetry in larger entrance halls: a central round table flanked by complementary furnishings either side creates a focal point for not just the hallway, but the house as a whole.

Spending time to consider the design potential of a hallway, no matter its shape and size, is well worth it. It is an opportunity for luxury in moderation, a quick burst of style and design experimentation and it should be neglected no longer.

Smith is a home and interiors expert. He prides himself on sourcing luxury furniture for clients and homes of all types and she writes regularly on the topic of design for a range of websites and publications.
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