A small hallway with space saving storage

Lauren’s Hallway

Author: Lauren Coleman

Our hallway is titchy. You barely clear the stairs when opening the front door and a narrow passage runs alongside the balustrades. We do however, have a lovely open space under the stairs so while the entryway isn’t vast and airy it’s not as cramped as it could be.

Before we moved in our plan was to build some form of elaborate understairs storage and seating combo to store shoes, hats, scarves and all the various outerwear regalia, however visitors commented on how the exposed area was so spacious we decided the way forward would be to keep it uncluttered and open.
Once again we used Jali to build a bespoke cupboard, though this time rather than the built-in version we went for in the living room we chose a stand-alone version. As sad as it sounds we spent one evening laying out our shoes in a row and measuring the height of our boots and trainers to make sure the finished product would be the perfect shoe cupboard. What an exciting life I lead but that’s the beauty of going bespoke after all.
Several weeks later the MDF flat pack arrived ready to be erected. Once built James primed and applied two coats of Farrow and Ball’s Pavilion Grey after the very helpful folk on Instagram responded to my plea for a soft grey. When I was in the Dulux Trade store they had an unwanted mixed dark grey sample on sale for the pricey sum of £1 so I snapped it up and used it for the interior. The knobs are just super simple chrome ones from Screwfix. We ushered the unit in place and I’m pleased to report that the cupboard can hold well over twenty pairs of shoes. Please ignore the state of my Stans as they are utterly filthy after a garden digging session.
On the walls we went for Dulux Trade Supermatt in white once again. The shelves were a home-made affair built from three strips of wood to create a mini picture ledge and painted with F&B Pavilion Grey. There are loads of tutorials on Pinterest if you fancy making your own. The Ikea picture ledges are 10cm deep and due to the door frame to the left (into the utility room) we needed something far slimmer. The awkwardly placed light switch is masked by the ledges and means I can adorn the walls and still open the door to get to the washing machine. As our homemade ledges are so skinny it was a struggle to find frames thin enough to fit so I went on the rob around around the house for treasures to trim the shelves. The Rapper’s Delight print is from Etsy. I’d recommend buying the download version if you fancy getting your own as mine went AWOL several times.

The metal and wooden hooks came from Bert’s in Brighton several years ago and were previously in the man cave at the old house. The chair is one of two which I originally bought to go in our old summerhouse. Best bargain goes to the lamp I picked up from The Range which is a dead ringer for the White Company one and at £22 it’s a smidgen of the price. The hexagonal mirror is also from The Range and the gorgeous scented soy candle from Willow and Honey. The basket for storing accessories came from HomeSense.
There’s always one thing that takes an absolute age to find and for this ‘room’ it was the lighting. We needed four lights as there are two pendants on the landing too and due to their positioning they needed to be relatively compact. During one of Cox and Cox’s flash sales I found their metal pendants. I’ll be honest they were a complete pain in the bum to install as the mechanism was very difficult to get apart (according to our electrician) but I love how understated they are and the striped flex is a nice touch too.
For floor coverings, I brought the jute runner from Matalan for our previous hallway and the stairs have been carpeted with the same grey, neutral carpet as the bedroom.

So there you have it, my small yet perfectly formed hallway. I’m hoping the cupboard and shelving have given you some space saving ideas. Did anyone else struggle with a small space? What kind of storage options did you go for?


Photography by Little Beanies

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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28 thoughts on “Lauren’s Hallway

  1. What a difference! It looks amazing. I didn’t realise Jali did MDF cupboards like that. I’ve used them for radiator covers in the past. Must check them out! Love those shelves too. It all looks great.

  2. Gosh your pictures are making me wonder whether we should rip out our understairs built in cupboard (the junk cupboard, where literally everything gets bunged in then I close the door at speed to stop it all falling out). Your space looks so light and airy. We too have the typical Victorian / Edwardian *very* narrow hallway and it drives me mad with 3 kids – its like a train carriage that I have to usher guests & kids along to keep them all moving and not block up the entrance. We also have original floorboards, which are lovely but I wonder if they do make the space feel even darker. Off to check out the Jali website now.. thanks for the gorgeous inspiration!

    1. I have to say Nicola that your train carriage description made me laugh. It’s SO true! We have the same situation in our house (1930s semi) and it is currently open at the moment. I was tempted to block it up with a cupboard but after seeing Lauren’s clever use of the space we’ve decided to keep it open to create a greater sense of space.

    2. I feel your pain Nicola. Always very envious of folk with these lovely sweeping staircases and big entrances. I think ours are way more common though! X

  3. oh its beautiful, can i ask where did you get the show cupboard from, i couldnt see it mentioned and am after pretty much exactly that for my hallway!

  4. That looks lovely – really airy and spacious!

    We have a non-existing hallway downstairs and I share the envy of those large open, sweeping staircase spaces. Ours is an Edwardian with the entrance on the side so you open the door and the staircase is right front of you, living room to one side, dining to the other. We have a lot of storage in the dining room so coats, shoes, bags etc are all there in an inbuilt under-the-stairs cupboard but I would love a proper hallway!

    1. Maike – I feel your pain, our house is exactly the same; front door on side, open the door and staircase IMMEDIATELY in front of you, living room to the left and dining room to the right except in our house, our 3rd (spare) bedroom is in the basement which means not even a built in under stairs cupboard as it’s a staircase going to downstairs!

      We literally have no storage! Our hoover lives in whichever room it was last used in (much to husband’s annoyance) – I dream of storage i’m not even kidding!!!

    2. Edwardian homes are utterly charming but their hallways can be far from generous. Our is a similar period and they were so stingy!

  5. Love it Lauren, it looks huge!

    I too am tempted to rip out the cupboard under the stairs now, but as I don’t have a utility room I’d spend the rest of my life trying to find somewhere to keep the hoover. I can’t deal with that level of stress.

    I love the fab mix of gorgeous design and bargain finds. You definitely have the magic touch xx

    1. Ahh thanks lovely.
      My utility room is actually more like a cupboard Karen. It’s quite compact so I have to keep my hoover in the dining room. It drives me crackers! x

  6. Ah it is so lovely and bright! It certainly doesn’t look titchy, what you’ve done has definitely made it look spacious. The previous owners of our house removed the under the stairs cupboard too, so it’s lovely and open, but rather annoyingly (although it does make perfect sense…) there’s still a very shallow cupboard along the back where the fusebox and electricity meter are, so we can’t have too much substantial furniture in front of that in case we have a black out and need to flip the fuses back on! However we do have a porch which is lacking in shoe storage, so I may need to nick your genius idea for the shoe cupboard, Lauren!! Do you mind me asking how much it was, approximately?

  7. Love it, so light and airy for a narrow awkward space. And that mirror – I’ve been looking for a hexagonal one and this is perfect and what a bargain!

    Our hall/ stairs and landing are our final project, but over 4 floors is a total pain so motivation to star tis low (plus on doing ‘debate’ about how yellow I’m allowed to paint it!)

    1. Wowser Rachel. Over four floors is a mammoth task! It will look epic when it’s done and how fab to be on the last job x

  8. Wow Lauren it looks amazing, you have such an eye for design. Can I ask where you bought your hanging planet basket – sorry not sure of proper name ? Thank u xx

    1. Hi Sarah, I think it’s half a coconut! I bought it with the succulent already in it from my local garden centre x

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