They say first impressions count for everything so what does yours say about you? Our entrance halls are an often neglected space. We all start with good intentions but before long it becomes a dumping ground for coats, shoes, bags and goodness knows what other paraphernalia deemed essential to keep by the front door. Console tables that were once Instagram-worthy become hidden under keys, shopping lists and all that mail that looks far too boring to open.
So how do we get our entrance halls to look like this?
The answer is – we can’t. It’s not real! Seriously, look at it. It’s beautiful but who lives like this? It’s possible you’re the sort of person who has a zero tolerance on clutter and mess, perhaps you don’t own shoes or keys, and maybe you never throw everything on the floor as soon as you enter the house because you need the toilet then forget to come back and clear it up. If so, your house probably already looks like this. Congratulations. For the rest of us mere mortals, here’s a helping hand from a fellow messy person to make your entrance say ‘Welcome to my lovely abode’ rather than ‘You are now entering a chaos zone’.
Featured image: Light and airy hallway by Farrow & Ball
Give yourself a break
It’s all about setting a realistic goal. I love that sleek, minimalist look but I’d never be able to have it in my own home. I’m far too lazy and am terrible at putting things away. Plus, to be honest, I do like a little bit of ‘lived in’ clutter in a home, I think it tells you a lot about a person. By all means collect these inspiration pictures on your Pinterest board but know that you won’t achieve it and that’s ok! You can make your entrance fabulous in your own way.
The fact is, your stuff is there because you need it so it’s just a case of making it look good. There’s boots, coats and all sorts at this entrance but somehow it doesn’t feel cluttered. It’s normal to have your belongings out and visible but as long as it’s balanced and tidy, you’re ok.
A place for everything
Junk builds up because there’s nowhere obvious to put it. We know we’re supposed to open the post straight away and deal with the bills, file them away in the proper folders, put the envelopes in the recycling…but in reality it doesn’t always happen. Get a post rack or box file to store mail that needs sorting so that it’s still visible but not in an untidy pile.
You know you shouldn’t leave your keys by the door but if you know you always do it, use a decorative tray or get a console table or wall shelf with a small drawer. Even if you can still see it, the trick is to make it look like it’s supposed to be there.
Most hallways are quite small or narrow, which is tricky when you have a lot of stuff. Try to find storage areas away from the main entrance for the majority of the bulky items, such as a coat cupboard under the stairs. Ideally you’ll want to fit some storage into the hall itself but without compromising the space.
Get creative by using space at high or low level or in unexpected hidden areas. Store shoes in slimline shoe cabinets or in baskets under a bench, hide gloves and hats in boxes on a high shelf out of view and make the most of space under the stairs with sneaky drawers and pull out cupboards.
Light the way
It can be tricky to light up a hallway, particularly as there are often no windows. A glazed door or skylight can help or an internal window adjoining a living room or dining room is another way to introduce some natural light. In addition, you can use the area to display some stunning light fittings. These gorgeous glass pendants from Curiousa and Curiousa would look divine in a row along a narrow hall.
Hang mirrors, art and interesting pieces on the wall to lift the eye as your visitors enter and distract from what lies beneath. This also adds personality and character, which I think is great for the visitor as it gives them a sense of the person whose home they’re entering. Mirrors also help to make the space feel bigger as well as being very useful for a final hair check on the way out the door. Why not try a collection of small decorative mirrors like these from AtNo67 Concept Store?
And if you want to have hooks on the wall for coats, who said they had to be ordinary?
Define the area
Rugs and runners are a great way to define the hallway area and therefore contain the space to a specific area. This works particularly well if you have a large, open entrance space or, like me, no hallway at all. Some flats and small houses that don’t have a separate entrance hall means the clutter can spread into the rest of the room. Paint the area a different colour or use a runner rug to pull together your shoe storage, coat rack and other hallway pieces. The idea is that you’ll subconciously keep all your hallway stuff to this area and prevent excess clutter from escaping into other parts of the room where it doesn’t belong. Well, that’s the theory…
So there you have it. Hopefully these ideas have made it a bit easier to create something a bit closer to your entrance hall interiors goals. With a few little changes you can convert chaos into something resembling organisation…or at least organised chaos.