Hallway decorating tips

hallway

Welcome home
Protect your floors by investing in a smart new doormat. Choose a design that fits in with the décor in the hall and a size that is big enough to cover the width of the entrance

Back to basics
If you live in an older property take a peak under the carpet and see if the floorboards are in good shape. Wooden floors look warm and welcoming, they are durable and easy to keep clean. Sanding back and then applying a protective finish will quickly rejuvenate tired boards. Ronseal's Perfect Finish floor varnish is designed for areas with heavy foot traffic or, for a more natural look, try Ronseal's Diamond Hard floor wax, available from www.homebase.co.uk.

Create a gallery
Bring life to the walls by hanging a selection of your favourite posters, mount them in matching frames (ww.ikea.com has a great selection) for a cohesive look.  Alternatively hang smaller pictures together in groups. Family photos look particularly effective when displayed in this way.

Paint the woodwork
As the hall is the main thoroughfare through the house the paint work is bound to become scuffed and scratched. Wash the skirting board, window frames, doorways and doors with a soapy solution. Give the surface a light rub over with sand paper and finish with a coat of gloss of eggshell paint. It is amazing how fresh paint can instantly brighten a room.

Dress the radiator
Unless you are lucky enough to have ornate cast iron radiators, the modern variety can look bulky in the hall. Fitting a narrow shelf just above the radiator detracts from the utilitarian design and provides a useful space to leave door keys. Alternatively cover the radiator completely with an ornate cover. Jali produce a range of made to measure radiator covers in a variety of designs; visit www.Jali.co.uk.

Dodge the drafts
Hanging a heavy curtain over the front door is a practical and attractive way to keep draughts out. You can fit a standard pole but this means you have to pull the curtain every time you want to open the door. A hinged portiere rod attaches to the door itself and rises up when you open the door lifting the curtain out of the way. www.justpoles.com have a wide selection to choose from.

Use the space
Most of us have an ever expanding collection of paperbacks and not enough bookcases on which to store them. Why not extend your library into the hall. Before investing in a set of shelves measure up carefully to make sure there will be sufficient space to walk past, taking into account any necessary pushchair or wheelchair access. Alternatively, have bespoke shelves made to fit into unused areas such as an alcove, awkward corner or above the front door.

Talking tiles
In a country cottage setting stone tiles look great on the floor and they are eminently practical when you trudge into the house in muddy wellies. Or you can bring an authentic touch to a Victorian property with an arrangement of quarry tiles. Choose black and white geometric shapes to create an overall floor design. Fired Earth sells both natural stone and quarry tiles; visit www.firedearth.com.

Bring the hall to life
It is easy to dismiss the hall as simply an entranceway, but you can create a far cosier ambience with the addition of a few homely touches. If there's sufficient space place a small upholstered chair next to the telephone, add colour with a vase of flowers or houseplant in an attractive pot on a side table, introduce a luxurious rug or hang a large mirror.

Look at the lighting
Avoid harsh lighting in the hall, this room should be warm and welcoming. If the ceiling is high enough a chandelier will shed an attractive glow and create a grand impression. Laura Ashley has an affordable collection visit www.lauraashley.com. Alternatively, if you are planning to re-decorate, consider replacing the overhead light with wall lights. The wires will need to be channelled into the wall but any damage to the plaster can then be painted or papered over.


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