5 hallway decorating mistakes we're probably all making – how to solve them

5 hallway decorating mistakes we're probably all making – how to solve them

They say first impressions count. On that basis the hallway should be the most important area of the house surely?! Yet often it’s the least considered.

That’s not to say it has to be the best decorated room by any means, it just has to make the right statement. There are many hallway decorating mistakes we’re probably all guilty of, that could leave our guests less than impressed. But fear not they’re easy enough to avoid, when you know how.

Inspiration: Making an entrance – colourful and practical ideas for refreshing your hallway

Emily Dunstan at Heal’s reveals the five most common hallway decorating mistakes we often make – and how best to avoid them.

5 most common hallway decorating mistakes

1. Choosing light coloured flooring

Image credit: Colin Poole

‘Even with a strict ‘shoes off’ policy, there’s no escaping the fact that the hallways floor is where dirt arrives and can be easily trodden in’ Emily explains. ‘Depending on how much traffic your hallway gets, there are a few different things you can do. Forget light coloured tiles or laminate and opt for patterned tiles or dark wood floors. They won’t show marks as easily and are simple to sweep, mop and vacuum.’ She advises before adding, ‘Don’t forget to add a hard-wearing hallway runner and doormat to finish off the look.’

2. Poor storage for shoes, coats and clutter

Light grey hallway with storage unit

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

‘Not only are unorganised shoes unsightly, they can also be a trip hazard. Ensure you have enough storage for everyone in the home to have a couple of pairs of shoes in the hallway, plus room for guests to leave theirs when they arrive’ says Emily. For a smart hallway storage solution she suggests,  ‘Add bench seating as a further incentive for shoes to be left at the door. Why not opt for an option where the bench is also the storage?’

‘Rather than letting coats pile up in the hallway, add as many hooks as you can so you can comfortably hang and retrieve coats.’

3. Thinking small equals dull

Blue hallway with storage and mirror

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

‘A small hallway doesn’t have to mean a dull hallway. Nor do you have to stick to white paint to make it feel brighter and bigger’ is Emily’s advice. ‘Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour, especially in a light-starved space. Confident use of a bright colour such as yellow creates a welcoming and vibrant space.’ Adding,’ If you don’t want to go all out and paint your walls bright yellow, try adding a few bold accessories such as hooks or benches to get a similar feel.’

Read more: Hallway colour schemes – the combinations that make an ideal first impression

4. Poor hallway lighting

Hallway with wall lights

Image credit: Cobra Wall Lights at Heal’s

‘Transform a dark and dingy hallway with carefully positioned lighting. Directional wall lights can highlight a beautiful ceiling, and pendant lighting can be really effective in making a small space feel much bigger. A single pendant light can have the opposite effect, leaving too many shadows and patches of darkness’ she thoughtfully explains. ‘Instead, opt for multiple pendant lights running the length of your hall. This will draw the eye into the space and feel much warmer and inviting.’

Read more on lights: Hallway lighting ideas – that integrate ambient, decorative and task lighting

5. Using wallpaper or hard-to-clean matte paint

grey hallway with wood panelling

Image credit: Rachael Smith

‘In this high traffic area, it’s worth investing in a quality scrubbable or wipeable paint. This way, any muddy splashes or little fingerprints can be easily wiped away.’

‘Alternatively, wood panelling can help to keep your walls in good condition. Try to opt for panelling that suits the age and history of your property.’

See an example: Novice DIY-er transforms room with wall-panelling – you won’t believe the results!

Now you’re all set to redesign this small but powerful area of your home.

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