9 Updates That Will Change the Look and Feel of Your Hall
Give the entrance to your home a little TLC with one of these ideas
Our hallways in the UK are often dark and narrow. Finding ways to bring in more daylight can help to open up a space and make it easier to find shoes, don the right coat and lay your hands on the house keys.
We’ve seen examples on Houzz of brightening a hallway with a large internal window into the adjacent reception room, but how about this for a more achievable solution? In this Victorian hallway, Beth Dadswell of Imperfect Interiors has replaced two of the panels in an internal door with glass, pulling extra light into the back of the hall.
She also fitted a skylight above the staircase, allowing light to flood down and illuminate this space even more.
You might also enjoy A Beginner’s Guide to Roof Windows, Rooflights and Skylights.
We tend to spend time and tester pots on the outside of our front doors, but what about making the inside a little more eye-catching with a bold shade?
This lovely injection of pale green-blue (Dix Blue by Farrow & Ball) in a small house renovated by Eva Byrne of houseology has become a focal point in the small hallway.
What’s more, if you can see your front door from elsewhere, as you can here, it can add another layer to the scheme in that room, too.
A slightly more ambitious option for a front door is to replace panels or plain glazing with stained glass.
As you can see in this example, you don’t need a grand hallway for this to work, and the glazing not only lets in more light, it adds lovely decoration, making the space more attractive.
There are plenty of patterns to choose from, or why not design your own? Numerous companies can supply your choice as a made-to-measure pane. Stained glass is also available in double- and triple-glazed units to minimise heat loss.
If your hallway floor has seen better days, it could be time to refresh it, whether that’s re-sanding a wooden floor, reconditioning tiles or laying a new surface. After all, it’s a large expanse and one of the first things to catch the eye on arrival.
If you have a period home but laying traditional encaustic tiles would bust the budget, consider this smart solution. Architect Brian O’Tuama wanted to nod to the era in this Victorian hallway, but in a less expensive way than with traditional tiles.
“For simplicity, we designed a pattern that would be more cost-effective than having a bespoke one made,” he says. “They’re unglazed porcelain mosaics and the contractor simply had to replace a circle of black tiles with a circle of white ones at a predetermined spacing.”
You might also like How to Choose the Perfect Hallway Flooring.
Subtly lighting your staircase will not only make make using it safer, it will create a pleasing glow that will add to the ambience of your hallway.
Spots like the ones on this staircase are a popular option, as there are lots of designs to choose from and they’re relatively easy for an electrician to install.
Alternatively, if your stairs are uncarpeted, consider LED strips under the nose of each tread, or run a strip along the stringer or under a wall-hung handrail.
An easy way to give your hallway a lift is to paint the banister. Whether you go for fresh white, strip the rail back to natural wood for contrast, or choose a colour, as here, a gleaming finish will immediately make your hallway feel more loved.
If the banister is really dented or gouged, consider replacing it. A basic softwood handrail costs from around £40 and it should only take a qualified carpenter two to three hours to change your old one. Replacing the spindles as well would take longer, but is still a fairly straightforward job for a professional.
The key to keeping your hallway looking smart and tidy is storage. Many of us have very narrow spaces in which even a slim cabinet wouldn’t fit, but a wall unit like this one should keep coats, hats and keys in order. Or try fitting hooks under a slim shelf for a similar result.
The combined cupboard and bench underneath in this hallway is also a good idea, but if you can’t spare the inches, you could include a second row of simple hooks lower down the wall for bags and brollies.
Panelling can make a hallway feel smart and a little more grand, however small the space, and it’s an easy way to add a decorative element without pinching precious inches.
It’s also a good way to protect walls in a busy thoroughfare, as eggshell or satinwood paint will be tougher than emulsion, plus scuff marks can be touched up more easily than having to paint a whole wall.
If you don’t already have panelling, it’s relatively easy to add, as this beginner’s guide to installing wall panelling explains, and can look as if it’s always been there, as demonstrated by the newly fitted panelling in this hallway renovated by Celine Erlam of Indie & Co.
Lastly, an oldie but a goodie – don’t underestimate the power of a mirror to boost both light and the sense of space.
Go for a decent-sized design if you can, as this will have maximum impact. This one, chosen by Penman Interiors, with its large expanse of glazing and a simple frame painted the same colour as the wall, is a great example of a mirror that enhances a narrow hallway without dominating the space.
If your hallway is short as well as narrow, a full-wall mirror opposite the front door can also create an airy feeling as you arrive home.
You might also enjoy 9 Times Designers Used Mirror Ingeniously.
Would any of these ideas work in your home? Or have you already made the most of your hallway? Share your tips and photos in the Comments.