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By Emma Hooton

How to Decorate a Large Hallway

A good first impression begins the moment you walk in the front door…

It’s easy to overlook the importance of a hallway. It’s the room you spend the least time in – a ’liminal space’ in architectural terms – that serves merely to transition you between rooms. However, a beautiful large hallway can create a great first impression by bringing flow, continuity, tone and personality to a home. Emma Hooton at Studio Hooton shares a few tips on decorating to transform your entryway.

Flooring for your hallway

Natural wood flooring in a herringbone pattern is a popular flooring choice for hallways. Visually striking and reliably durable for high traffic entrances and transition areas, the eye-catching zig-zag pattern of herringbone tricks the eye into making a narrow or small hallway feel wider or longer. In this hallway scheme for a Georgian country home, the illusion of space is further accentuated in the use of quiet earth tones and plants that help to bring the outdoors in.

A wide shot of a large contemporary hallway in a historic house showcasing a beautiful herringbone floor.

Herringbone creates an illusion of movement that invites the guests in

Artwork for your hallway

Artwork is a great way to bring personality to a home, especially if they have a story to tell. However, their size and colour, along with the way they are grouped will impact the aesthetics. At its most basic, artwork needs to be at eye level (typically 57-60 inches from the floor). You also need to consider the lighting – you want to avoid reflective glare. When grouping artwork, consider how the frames and pictures work together and with the existing décor. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different arrangement and layouts to find the one that works. Use paper cutouts or painters’ tape to experiment with different arrangements before hanging the actual artwork.

You may also enjoy our guide to choosing antiques to decorate your home by Jane Walton, founder of the Decorative Collective.

A large wood panelled hallway houses a large U shaped dark wood table on which sits a large ceramic lamp and plant. Behind is a large linoprint artwork showing a blue and white rural landscape

Storage for your hallway

All too often hallways become a dumping ground for boots and shoes. While boot rooms are an obvious solution for keeping everything – coats, shoes, sporting equipment – in their own place, hallway storage, be it in the form of slim wall-mounted cabinets, built-in drawers or fitted under stairs units, can be a space saving saviour. If you’re a collector of coats (as many people are), you’ll know that coats look cluttered hanging on a hallway wall. Cloakrooms and landing areas can also be suitable candidates for custom joinery that stores outerwear without taking space away from high-use rooms.

Shot from the outside looking in a large white door is surrounded by honey coloured brickwork. It looks into a elegant polished tile hallway which at the back features a thin console table above which hangs a black and white abstract portrait

A simple console table with drawers is a convenient way to store keys and showcase favourite objets d’art.

Paint colours for your hallway

Paint can transform a hallway by altering the perception of a space. In this project for a historic grange in Hampshire, the walls, ceiling and moulding have been painted in the same warm putty shade. This paint effect helps to create the illusion of more space by eliminating the visual break between the walls and ceiling that can make a room feel smaller. In hallways with white ceilings, painting the moulding in the same colour as the wall can make a room appear higher by drawing the eye right up to the ceiling. Echoing the white in the ceiling elsewhere in the room, for example, the paintwork on doors and windows, will further create a sense of uninterrupted flow.

The staircase

Finally, nothing is grander than a traditional sweeping or spiral staircase but you can still charm with classic stairs. Beyond its primary function, a hallway staircase needs to work with your hallway design rather than operate as a standalone feature. There are many types of stair runner materials, with sustainable, eco-friendly fibres such as sisal, jute or seagrass an increasingly popular choice. Mirroring the colour, pattern or style of the hallway décor in the stair spindles, runners and rods will also help the room to effortlessly flow.

Looking from above is the view of a spiral staircase winding down to a hallway. The railings and bannister are made from dark coloured wood and the stairs have a soft grey runner.

Upgrading your hallway is just one part of transforming your home. Time and again, Studio Hooton has delivered whole house renovations that have brought new life to old properties. So, if you’re planning a home renovation then contact us to see how we can help with your next project.

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