How to make the most of your forgotten room - the hallway

Ok so not technically a room, but the hallway is a space that’s often overlooked & neglected. It’s a hardworking space that serves many purposes - from welcoming guests into your home, as well as, the first and last point of call as you fly in & out everyday.

I must admit that when it came to designing the interior of my home, the hallway was at the bottom on the list. From the limited footprint to the often overlooked importance of its function as more than just a “corridor” between rooms, I hadn’t given it much thought. And as such, it’s become the dumping ground, from shoes & coats, odd flyers and takeaway menus, or a place for that ever growing box of recycling that one day needs to go out to the bins.

Keeping it tidy is a task, but the real challenge is how do you make it an area that you will love as much as any other room. Well, read on as I share the best design ideas & styling tips that will change the way we all think about these in-between nooks of our homes.

1.Declutter & re-evaluate

So let's start with the basics - declutter the space. Get rid of all those unnecessary items that are cramping your hallway-style. If you are finding it hard to know where to put all those pairs of shoes & coats, it might be time to invest in some much needed extra storage.

Now with a blank canvas, it’s time to think about how you want to use the space going forward. A place to keep your coat & your everyday walking shoes? Somewhere to take a last minute selfie in front of a mirror? Or a spot to pick up your house keys before you walk out the door? Write down your list of must-have functionalities and set out to create spaces for each of those items.

2. Work your walls

Photo: @tylko

Walls are valuable space in a hallway. With hanging wall pegs to narrow shelves and built in storage units, you can take it all the way up and along the space to really maximise the usage.

3.The right furniture

If you have the space for furniture, ensure it’s proportionate in size to the space. A narrow bench would work perfectly down a long corridor, while an occasional chair or small round table could work better in a square or round hallway.

Assess whether you need to add more storage into the space, or if you just need decorative elements. If it’s the latter, then a beautiful standalone piece like a large oversized ceramic pot will work well in a hallway. Equally, a bench with shoe storage built in might be better for those needing clever storage solutions. Just remember not to fill the space with too much furniture so you can keep it accessible to walk through.

4. Mix decorative art with functional art

Make the use of your wall space by hanging art down the length of the corridor or up a set of stairs, but don’t forget that the art can be functional too. If you need somewhere to store your bike or a collection of hats, why not hang them up and show them off as pieces to admire?

5. Mirror mirror

Photo: @artisanville

Whether it's to check your outfit right before you leave or to take that all important #outfitoftheday selfie, a mirror wouldn't go amiss in this space. Mirrors work well at the end of a corridor ( hello - homemade runway!) to help enlarge the space, while doubling up as a functional object too. If you haven’t the space for a full length mirror, opt for a decorative piece to hang on the wall, place it opposite a window to allow it to throw some extra light into the room.

6. Go bold

Photo: @farrowandball

Go for gold and add a contrasting paint job to the space. I especially love the look of a deep hue to contrast the lighter walls in the rest of the home. Take it to the walls, floor or ceiling to get the “wow” effect, and don’t be shy here if you really want to get that maximalist effect.

7. Good lighting goes a long way

No one wants a dark dingy room, so why would you want that in your corridor? Opt for some bright down-lights if you haven't the ceiling height for a decorative pendant. Conversely if you have extra high ceilings, equalise the proportions of the space by hanging some interesting pendants in a row or cluster.

If you are lucky to have windows in your hallway, ensure they are dressed with sheer, light curtains to allow the light to flood in, or better yet, just leave them undressed to keep the space really fresh.