We all know the feeling – walking into a house and immediately feeling like the atmosphere just isn't right. It is at this stage during a house hunt that we make up our minds on the whole house. It may have everything else you could wish for, but if the right atmosphere isn't created from the moment you step in then the sale is lost. It is the same for when you have friends over or even when you need to relax in your home. Those first few moments when you enter make all the difference to your overall impression and feeling about the home.
So how do we go about creating a welcoming and pleasant atmosphere in what can be a very cramped and sometimes dark part of the home? Well, the simplest and cheapest of things can make all the difference.
Clear the clutter
The hallway is the obvious place to store shoes, coats, hairbrushes and handbags. All those things you need to grab as you walk out the door. But these sorts of items can create a very cluttered and messy look. Simply clearing away these items can make a world of difference. Invest in a shoe storage box and put up plenty of hooks for coats and handbags. Even better ensure that these things are kept in a cupboard or in bedrooms. The less that is in your hallway, the better it will feel and look.
Try a Lighter Look
Many hallways suffer from a lack of light. Often the only source of outdoor light comes from the front door itself and this is often very limited. Simply lifting the colour scheme can do wonders for improving the light in a hallway. Painting the walls white or cream is the obvious choice and putting in a light coloured carpet or flooring are good places to start.
Not only will a mirror provide that all important place to check your appearance before you leave the house, it will also allow the light in the room to bounce around, creating the illusion of a lot more space. The bigger the better in the case of a hallway. One huge mirror hung on one wall will give the impression of a much wider corridor.
We have already mentioned that a light coloured flooring is important, but flooring can also give the impression of a wider room by simply creating a border down each side. Laying tiles with a wooden border near the walls is a great trick for drawing the eye down the room rather than to the edges – emphasizing the width. The same trick can be used on the stairs, by employing a stair runner. This strip of carpet gives both an opulent look and makes the stair look wider and more inviting.
Make it bright, but use dimmers so you can create different looks depending on the occasion. LED lights on the stairs can look magical and lamps can create a cosy atmosphere. Stringing fairy lights down the stair handrail doesn't have to be confined to Christmas, it will work all year round.
Don't be afraid to accessories your hallway. Yes, space is limited but there are some small touches which can turn a boring space into an exciting one. Plants and flowers are a good starting place. Try resting a large vase on the floor in a corner with huge flowers. Use radiators to your advantage by adding a shelf above for interesting knicknaks. Choose carefully and don't overload it. People often underestimate the usefulness of the walls in a hall way. They can be perfect for books in particular and of course the areas to the side of a stairway are made for photos and pictures. You can turn the area into a gallery by adding family photos and even children's paintings.
So for very little money and no structural changes whatsoever, a larger looking and more welcoming hallway is within everyone's reach.