Tips for Designers: Tackling Tricky or Tiny Hallways

You know what they say, your first impression is often a lasting one.  For interior designers, hallways can no longer be considered as dead space, but an opportunity to make an impact. Working with a big open space and a grand staircase you can’t miss when you enter the house offers an abundance of decorating and design opportunities. Whereas if you’re faced with a narrow hallway with minimal lighting, leading straight to the foot of the stairs, it can feel a bit of a daunting project.

For projects that have small hallways, it can be a challenge to make it a bit more of a statement entryway. But fear not, there is a way to design and furnish even the smallest of hallways to nail that all-important first impression.

Seasoned interior designers could just as easily be referred to as magicians considering the number of optical illusions they can pull off in one space. A tried and tested trick is to use mirrors to make a space appear bigger than it really is. The reflective properties not only bounce light around somewhat dark spaces like hallways and corridors, but they make the space appear double the size.

Whilst full-length mirrors are best for making spaces look bigger if an entryway is too small for this option, try arranging a sequence of smaller mirrors or a large horizontal mirror mounted to the wall for an equally impressive effect. As we’ve previously discussed, mirrors are also a great way to bring life into a space. This can work particularly well when designing spaces like show-homes, where property developers and designers need to make an uninhabited space appear lived in.

For retailers, offering customers a variety of mirrors is a great way to personalize the service you’re offering. Engaging in a conversation about what mirror would best fit into their space, regardless of its size can build those ideal client relationships that then convert into legacy customers. Utilize those all-important dropship accounts to broaden the selection of mirrors available to your clients and find the perfect solution for just about anyone.

Narrow hallways can be particularly tricky. Whilst some tend to stick to neutral colours to enhance that feeling of space and light, on occasions, this advice can be misguided.  Using the right dark colours, you can bring a welcoming sense of home into a space. Dark spaces also tend to inspire more interest and intrigue in a space. Colours like black in a hallway, offset by warmly lit chandeliers can be incredibly romantic.

 

It’s not an easy job keeping hallways tidy. Often families, particularly children, use it as an offloading zone the minute they enter the property. It’s always best to suggest some kind of storage solutions to clients.

Very few homes will have space for sideboard units. But in the event a client has an abundance of space, these units can function as a double whammy. Not only do they benefit from enclosed shoe storage, but equally the tabletop is the perfect place to present a bowl for keys and any other bits and bobs. House plants and flowers on top of the unit will also help to brighten and bring life to the space.

Alternatively, customers inhabiting a shoebox-sized apartment needn’t panic about their options for surfaces either. Console tables are slim and unobtrusive, provided there’s a wall long enough to fit the width.

If the foyer is intended to be the window to the rest of the home, it’s important that designers and retailers consider how the customer wishes people to feel when they walk into their homes as of the utmost importance.  Homely, warm and welcoming tends to be a good baseline. Rugs and runners provide a soft contrast to the hard outdoors. A woven pile is durable but not hard and welcoming.

If your client’s entryway is near non-existent, with the front door opening directly into a living space, a runner helps to separate it from the rest of the room. Designers can create a designated space as a lobby, a place to store outdoor clothing and shoes to stop it from taking over the rest of the home.

A conundrum designers and residents alike will be aware of is that if you don’t explicitly create a designated place for coats, they will end up on the arm of every sofa and on the back of every single dining chair in the vicinity. Coat hooks or a coat stand are imperative. They help to avoid clutter and to keep outdoor clothing within one specific area. For space-saving purposes, your clients may be inclined to lean towards wall fixed hooks as they sit horizontally against the walls and don’t obstruct the entryway.

Written by Millie Sheasby 


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