The entry hallway (and other hallways in the home) is often neglected with respect to interior decorating. Its frequently overlooked because it serves no purpose other than providing a passage from the door to the interior "functional" areas of the home such as the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. Because of this, many times homeowners shuttle the decorating dollars to other areas.
But in actuality it is quite important. As the saying goes, always make a good first impression. Just as the front door is the focus from the exterior of the home, the entry hallway carries the burden of maintaining that impression.
The goal is to decorate in a fashion that is inviting and conforms to the style and decorative theme of the home. The following tips offer a few useful ideas on how to engineer this effect.
Use Light High-Sheen Paint Colors to Open up Small Areas
Painting the walls with high-sheen colors is the easiest and most frugal way to impart a good mood to ones place and visually make the space seem larger.
Contemporary popular shades of bright colors include orange, blue, green, and traditional pastel colors like beige and white. Avoid the use of gloomy colors for the walls. The ceiling of the hallway is usually a flat white.
The use of gloomy colors will make a space seem smaller and darker and can impart a depressing mood. Who wants to feel like they are walking into a dungeon?
Wallpaper can be a good substitute for paint if more of a pattern is desired. The major issue here is that if your walls are currently textured, you will have to get them smooth before hanging the paper.
Furnishing for the Entry Area
Hallways come in many different sizes and to a large extent this dictates the different type of furniture you can place in it. A larger entry can be furnished with an armoire which can be used to store your coats and jackets.
A hat rack is as contemporary as it is timeless; if you prefer an antique look these are easy to find in the local antique store. Sleek modern styles are available if that complements the style of your home. It is also a functional necessity that takes up very little space.
Providing Adequate Light
All entry halls should be well lit. Navigation is important as are tasks such as putting on shoes and coats. In a short entry a simple overhead light will prove adequate. For a more classy look and for longer halls consider wall sconces; these are both functional and decorative.
For longer hallways one type of lighting to consider is pendant lighting. They hang from the ceiling from varying heights. They lend themselves to high-ceiling areas in particular.
High Traffic Flooring
Unlike other parts of the home, entryway foot traffic is funneled down a narrow chute. Anyone entering from outdoors is likely to bring with them mud, snow, or simply grit and grime. Obviously, carpet is not the optimal choice.
Instead, consider a non-absorbent, sturdy material. Good choices are natural stone, ceramic tile, and hardwood (laminate flooring is not as good choice because of a potentially wet environment).
Regardless of which flooring material you choose, a runner can add a distinctive decorative touch that matches your homes decór as it leads guests into your living space.
The type of art you place in your hallway is mostly dependent on your own personal tastes and how much footage you have to work with. Some sort of framed art on the walls always adds an interesting touch; especially if you install wall light sconces.
Strictly speaking, mirrors are not art (except for the frame perhaps). Mirrors on the wall make the room seem larger and amplify existing lighting. a mirror hung close to the front door makes a perfect spot for that last bit of grooming that you may have overlooked.
The point is that there is really no reason to neglect the hallway. It is easy to decorate with a little imagination and makes your home a much more warm, inviting place.