One of the items on the top of my ‘shopping list’ prior to purchasing our house was a hallway. Daft as it may sound, I was sick of opening the door at our then house and falling over the boy’s work boots into the living room. The lack of a buffer zone from the front door meant that dust and dirt was often tramped through the house and there was always a bit of a chill from the original but draughty front door. Talk about first world problems eh?!
So when we started looking around for house number two, I made sure that if Ste was going to have his beloved driveway and garage, I was sure as hell going to get my hallway complete with handsome staircase and landing (and parquet floor and study and deluxe kitchen and woodburners…ahem). Comparatively the hallway in our new home isn’t that large by most standards (you can see a peek using the hashtag #middleparkroad on Instagram) but at least it’s there y’know. You can actually walk in the front door and there’s a bit of breathing space between the entrance and the rest of the house – well that’s what I’m telling myself since I’m yet to live there but that’s a whole other story.
In the meantime given that it’s interiors week I thought it might be an idea if I shared some of the best stairways and hallways that I’ve come across on my travels on the inter web which have inspired me on my own planning journey.
Probably one of the first things you notice as you walk in any front door is the floor (or is that just me?!). Clearly the Victorians knew the impact of a carefully designed hallway floor – Minton eat your heart out. Be it a simple encaustic chequered floor, oak herringbone parquet, stripped back wide pine boards or lime washed planks – each and every option has a healthy dose of the x factor. I had my heart set on a dark and light grey diamond shaped chequered floor before our plans changed and we realised that the hall would actually flow into the main area of the kitchen. Instead I’ll be looking at a parquet floor or a palette sourced floor instead. That said there are some really gorgeous tiles to be had out there – both Topps Tiles and Fired Earth have wonderful ranges with special promotions running at the moment. Lastly if you’re looking to add a splash of warmth to an otherwise cool floor then it’s all about the rugs – French Connection has some corkers this season!
I’m having a bit of a moment with the grey colour spectrum hence the dominance of the monochrome inspiration here. Apologies in advance for this. In theory I love the idea of a white hallway, so clean (!) so crisp (!) (my previous house utilised an all-white colour scheme downstairs) but in practise I’ve found it’s possibly the worse colour to use in a hall and up a staircase particularly due to the high traffic (and bumps and bashes and scuffs) that this part of the house endures. Grey colour schemes then are a great compromise particularly when paired with jet black or charcoal grey handrails, treads and risers for the modern home. Pay attention also to key details such as skirting boards, spindles and newel posts which help to structure a space and add elegance.
We’re a no-shoes house which often means that many people uncomfortably wobble round trying to take their footwear on and off at the front door. I’m desperate to incorporate an old school bench that was bought for us as a wedding present from Baileys Home & Garden three years ago into our new hall in order to give folks somewhere to sit whilst they pull their shoes back on. In reality though I’m not sure that we’ll be able to fit it in and still manage to squeeze past with our shopping bags which makes me sad because there’s nothing better than a bit of handy seating in the hall. Where a bench won’t fit (in either style or space) then it might be worth considering purchasing an armchair instead. For a budget friendly option it’s worth scouring eBay for an chair that needs a bit of love and then having it reupholstered (either by yourself or by a professional). I’ve picked up several chairs from the site – all of which I snagged for under £20 – which are all as perfect (if not better) as anything you might find in the shops.
I’m on the hunt for the perfect hall light. I’m yet to find it but I’m after that perfect combination of statement lighting but nothing so ridiculous that it would overpower our not so huge hallway. It also needs to harmonise with our 1930s house while possessing enough modern design to complement the rest of our decor . Is that a bit of a tall order? I’m kind of liking this one from M&S but I’m not sure if it’s hallway-ish enough or has enough of an impact. Anyway I digress, I really love both the chandelier and the clear lantern in the slider gallery at the end here. They’re classy without screaming look at me which I think is important when it comes to your entranceway; welcoming as opposed to offputting.
So there we have it – a quick round-up of my favourite hallways. Are any of you planning a refurb of your own homes any time soon or perhaps like Hannah whose house we featured yesterday you’re in the thick of it.
And can anyone suggest any shops, online or otherwise, I should be looking at to help solve my lighting dilemmas?
Image sources | Whitewashed Parquet | Wood Parquet | White Cabin Stairs | Stairs With Hall Table | Black Rail On Landing | Black Stairs and Picture | Dark Stair Treads and Mirror | All-White Staircase | Four Hats | Two Hats | Stairs With Picture Gallery | Shoes On Stairs | Bench | Armchair By Stairs |Chequered Floor | Stripped Pine Floor