After struggling to easily find the right items to furnish her own apartment, Kuldea Co-Founder, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, was inspired to create an online platform to make home shopping as straightforward, efficient and fulfilling as possible. Here, she shares some of the top tips she has learnt when it comes to maximising space in entrances and hallways to make first impressions of your home beautiful.
Tyra Banks, the former model once said, ‘I always think of the hallway as my runway’ and in essence, this is what the hallway / entrance can do for our home – it showcases what lies in store. The entrance and hallway are where we make both our first and last impressions on house guests. In other words, the entrance and hallway are the alpha and the omega of our home!
In this article I’ve developed 5 top tips on how to maximise space in your entrance and hallway that will make the smallest of spaces appear larger, provide savvy storage solutions and identify trend ideas for each home design style.
Top tip 1) Lighting and floors
To create the illusion of space, the trick is to bring as much natural light as you can into the entrance and hallway area. So if you do have a solid wall on one side of the area then look at if there’s the possibility of carving out a glass window. Or, if you have an adjacent room, could you place a glass door to allow more light to flood in? Many front doors already have glass incorporated, whether these are frosted or stained-glass, for the very reason of lightening-up, otherwise dark entrances.
If structural work is too much of a project for you, then check out how you can use mirrors to create reflective light. Mirrors are indeed a time-honoured way of making a smaller space appear bigger. Natural light bounces off mirrors, giving the effect of more light. In this regard why limit yourself to just one? Unless it’s a floor length one of course, which may sound grandiose but the extra space is ultimately defining – it can make a room appear double or even triple its actual size.
For artificial light, the market is your oyster, there is a lighting type and style to suit every home and budget.
Another ‘must’ if you want to create the feeling of a larger space is to have walls painted or wallpapered in lighter shades. Lighter colours create the illusion of space and they can complement other room pieces like mirrors very well.
Finally, when it comes to flooring, it needs to be hard-wearing in the entrance and hallway as it’s a busy traffic area. So whether it’s tiles, wood or carpet – think thick! A hard-wearing coir Rug or Doormat for the hallway / entrance can be incorporated into any style.
Top tip 2) Mental space vs physical space
Do ask yourself if you want to maximise space for visual benefit or functional use. If you want visual space then you need to scale down the number of physical items. Yet if you want functional space then you need storage solutions. This will most likely be determined by the number of occupants you have in your home. For Boho-chic, create the illusion of a bigger space by selecting a chosen mirror or picture frame to take pride-of-place, i.e. the focal point of what you want guests to see. And if you want storage think statement pieces that hide stuff away like a shoe rack or small sideboard where you can place items regularly left in the entrance and hallway.
For contemporary / modernists less is always more. If you’re looking for storage and you’re a huge Hygge devotee then think baskets to hoard those essentials. Those baskets could be sitting on corner shelving, under a stairwell or under a small side table. Whatever you choose ‘out-of-sight’ is definitely the way to go.
Top tip 3) Trends
You can bring the latest trend into any design style you choose. If you’re a Scandi-fan then nothing will separate you from your beloved white walls, so when it comes to adding layers why not choose some tassels here and there instead of the usual wools? By doing this you add something on trend like Passementerie style. More than just mixing styles, this says you won’t be defined by a specific style, and in any case style pioneers are usually bang-on-trend, right?
You might be an open-space loving minimalist or harbour a preference for vintage but ultimately you are unique and perhaps you don’t want your home to look like every other Industrial-adoring fan who opts for bare brick. That’s why you can always inject a little ‘you’ in your decorating. Why not add a little luxury when accessorising with items like artwork, vases and bowls. These can really add a lot of style and trend to the space. They also can be easily changed if you fancy updating your style.
Whatever you choose, a hallway will always need hooks, coat racks and generally hanging space. Again, there is an abundance of options on the market, from wall mounted to free-standing. You could always opt for a clothes rack, which is increasingly being used to display fine garments – especially if your outerwear is too good to be flung on a hook.
Top tip 4) Slim-line? Built-in?
Take a good look at your entrance and hallway to see if any corner, wall area or even window bay – could be used to house either a slim-line cupboard or have one built in. This extra storage can be used to put away ‘hallway’ items which is particularly useful if you have a young family.
If hiding these (or other) things appeals to you, then do consider this option which can fit in any design style. For example, Mid-century Modern or Shabby Chic fans would choose reclaimed wood, one off pieces, possibly making it a focal point; while Minimalist or Contemporary/Modern followers would colour-match any furniture to the walls so that the eye would hardly notice it there. Do remember that built-in items usually have the most storage, but do keep in mind that it can make the hallway appear smaller, as they tend to block-away areas.
Top Tip 5) Declutter Darlings
To declutter successfully, viewing some hallways of your favoured style can help for ideas and inspiration. Often we cannot see what’s staring us in the face, so maybe recruit a fresh set of eyes to help provide feedback. Perhaps a willing friend could tell you what they would chuck out? (or at least put away…)
The biggest culprit is usually the pile of jackets, coats, cardigans all fighting for space on not enough pegs; or indeed the woolly hats, odd gloves, scarves – all left over from winter. Some might view this scene as ‘homely’… it might be homely but it does nothing to maximise space. So, if you must use this zone for your boots, umbrellas and goodness knows what – then check out some innovative ways that house all these items – and hides them away! Like a slim-line hall wardrobe or sideboard perhaps?
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