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Lisa’s Characterful New Build Home {The Hallway and Cloakroom}

Author: Lisa Soeno

As you may have gathered from my previous posts, I blimming love decorating. As such, even though we spend hardly any time in there, I put a load of effort into making my hallway and cloakroom pretty but practical.

The Practical Bits

One of the first decisions we made not long after we moved in was to knock through one of the hallway walls to install a door so we could access the garage. Rich assured me this process would take four days. FOUR MONTHS later, the job was complete. (This is in no way a criticism of our builder. The delay was due to us not getting off our arses and doing the finishing touches like painting the woodwork and installing the couple of strips of amtico flooring to the new doorway). It looks brill and saves me from being rained on when I lug our laundry to the washing machine.

In terms of storage, my hunt for the perfect hall table was the bane of my life. As you can see from the photos, it had to fit a funny little space which, at 90cm, was half the width of most hallway tables. I had my heart set on finding a mini version of this John Lewis console table but it turns out that no such thing exists. I’m pretty sure I considered every other conceivable option. I looked at bedside tables (too deep), hanging shelves (not enough storage), I even bought an Ikea chopping board with the intention of adding some hairpin legs. And then, after nearly two years of searching, I stumbled across this Georgia shoe cabinet from Debenhams. It’s nothing like what I envisioned but it works and I am happy.

The Pretty Bits

I’m not one for using bright hues in my home so deciding to wallpaper the back wall of the cloakroom in a fuchsia-pink flamingo print was a radical step for me. I am so rock and roll. However I figured that a downstairs loo is the one room in the house that you are allowed to go a bit crazy in. I also LOVED Osborne & Little’s Penguin library wallpaper, and their Quentin Blake Cockatoo wallpaper.

I knew I wanted a rug for the hall to make it homely but had no idea what shape or style to go for. And then following my post about wallpaper woes, a couple of you clever readers suggested that the jute rug might have been the issue, so I moved it from the dining room to the hallway. It worked a treat and the rustic-ness of the rug works so much better in this space.

The lamp was a bargain from Sainsbury’s (on a completely unrelated note, how lovely are the kids’ clothes from Sainsbury’s? I could quite easily have bought the whole of the girls’ range when I was in there yesterday). The ceiling pendants are another supermarket bargain – Tesco – I also bought them in ‘stone’ for our bedroom and ‘ecru’ for the landing.

We picked up the painted wooden elephants in Chiang Mai, and I spotted the retro travel prints when I was in Padstow. I love buying nick nacks for the home when I’m travelling or on holiday; every time I see them they bring back lovely memories.

The circular mirror is from M&S, the city prints are greeting cards from Rifle Paper Co (a great website if you’re looking for art), and I think my next purchase for the hallway is going to be these cute wooden mouse hooks.

Looking back, the amount of time and effort I put into trying to get the space just as I wanted was a bit silly really, considering how little time we spend in there! Has anyone else spent years hunting for the perfect furniture? Are there any other gems for the hallway that I need to know about?



Photography by Adam Crohill

Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
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23 thoughts on “Lisa’s Characterful New Build Home {The Hallway and Cloakroom}

  1. Lisa I love your hallway. We’ve just moved into a new build and have already spent ages faffing in our hall. Managed to fit in an upholstered bench which I love as we’ve never had the room before. Gorgeous wallpaper I’ve earmarked this for our downstairs loo as well. Just have to wait until we can decorate now!

  2. This is lovely, Lisa, wish my hallway was fresh and uncluttered like yours! Thanks for the link to the Quentin Blake wallpaper, I’m looking for nursery ideas at the moment and it’s made my day!

    1. Helen – it doesn’t look uncluttered right at this moment!

      The Quentin Blake wallpaper is lovely isn’t it. Would love to see pics of your nursery when it’s finished. X

  3. Lisa, I’m having a chuckle as I read this cause you have just rehearsed many of my current decorating quandaries! We moved a few months ago and our new house has a fairly sizeable hallway. Either side of the front door there’s a recess which is about 75cm wide – as you mentioned, about half the width of a normal console table. I had my heart set on this one from Cox and Cox:, but of course they wouldn’t ship it to Northern Ireland (still cross about this!). I eventually found a table the same shape and size, but in a totally different style (it is actually very similar to your cabinet, soft grey with a wooden top). I love it in situ and have put an oak frame with a few b&w family photos above it. But, what to do with the recess on the other side? I was thinking a low bench with a basket under it for stray shoes, but I can’t find anything the right size.

    We currently have light shades from Ikea on the ceiling lights, but I want these:

    I also need a runner. And wall art! This is taking up WAY too much of my time.

    Also, sorry for boring you with the lengthy story of my hall… 😉

    1. Not at all Tracy M, I love talking hallways! Hee hee. Yours sounds lovely. Good luck with the search for a low bench, hope it doesn’t take you too long! What about getting the same table so there’s one on both sides or would it look a bit too matchy-matchy?

      I also considered that Cox and Cox table but it was too deep! Love that pendant too. X

      1. Hadn’t thought of getting another one of the tables Lisa, though it might be just a tad too matchy. Plus the hubster would likely be all “Whaaaat? ANOTHER table?!”

        The other options are the small shoe locker thing from Garden Trading: (they have a bench with shoe storage underneath that would be perfect, but guess what? Too wide…), or I thought of just putting a statement chair in there – an Eames DSW or a wishbone, maybe.

        I notice your jute rug comes in a runner version too, so I might completely steal that idea and get one.

        PS forgot to say, LOVE your flamingo wallpaper! x

        1. Tracy M loving that rustic shoe locker. Also a big fan of a statement chair in a hallway – it’s an excuse to go cushion shopping 😉

    2. Hi Tracy! Have you looked at the Ikea Hacks for the Kallax/Expidit range? I’ve seen these turned into benches with shoe compartments and they look a bit ace!


  4. It looks gorgeous and I love the flamingo wallpaper. You’ve done a great job and I don’t think it matters how much time you spend decorating a room, even one that’s not used much, if it makes you happy every time you walk in it! I’ve been searching at least a year or more for a petite console table for our upstairs landing. Trouble is, it’s got to be no wider than 85-90cm and depth no more than 30cm. Turns out it doesn’t seem to exist so I’m contemplating making one! I’ll get there one day….

    1. That was exactly my dilemma! Would a shoe cabinet work or would it be a bit weird having one on your landing?

      You’re right, it does make me happy every time I walk through it 🙂

  5. Hello, your hallway looks fab (as does the rest of your house)! Having moved in to a new build 9 months ago I’m going crazy staring at the magnolia walls & cream carpets! You’ve given me some much needed motivation. Do you mind me asking what your flooring is? The builders put carpet in our hall and with a toddler and baby is plain bonkers.

  6. I love the prints and postcards, what a lovely idea.
    May well be borrowing that! I’ve just spent far too long browsing vintage postcards on when I should be working….

  7. Oooo, love the hallway and the posters are a great idea (I’ve just spotted some Harry Potter ones that are similar, they might have to be purchased!) .
    We’ve decorated most of the rooms in our house now (as in, we’ve painted them and hung curtains) but I’m waiting to start the big job, the hallway & landing. For the smallest space in the house and the one we spend the least time in it’s getting a massive overhaul, sanding the staircase, wallpapering, wood panels, new carpet, lights etc etc.
    It seems a bit crazy to spend some much time and money on it especially as it’s ok as it is, but i think it will make such a difference to the feel of the house and hopefully inspire us to be much more creative across the other rooms of the house too.

    1. Ooh please send me the link! (Currently reading the new Harry Potter play).

      Good luck with your hall and landing. Sounds like you’ve got a massive job on your hands! But I’m sure it will all be worth it. Now that most of the rooms in my house are sorted it has definitely inspired me to finish the rest. X

  8. Love your hallway Lisa! Ours is looking very bare at the moment, I can’t wait to get some artwork on the walls. We have got a bench beside the stairs though which I love. I’m hoping to put a pattern in our loo, I’m in love with and am thinking of painting the rest of the walls a dark stiffkey sort of blue, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough or if it will make it far too dark (hubby is also not convinced). I do love your bright loo though, the flamingos are lovely! Xx

    1. Thank you Alex! It’s amazing what a bit of artwork can do to a room isn’t it. That wallpaper is CUTE. If I ever had a boy I’d be tempted to use it in a nursery. X

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