The hallway is an often overlooked and underutilised area of the home, probably because it is usually too awkward a size or shape to easily envisage furniture in. It’s also a transitional space; not much thought is paid to it, because hardly any time is spent in it that isn’t simply passing through to another area of the home. However, the appearance and order of the hallway has the power to set the tone for the entire house upon entering, both for you as a resident and for visiting guests, which makes it the perfect candidate for a spring clean overhaul. Here are our 5 top tips for making the most of your hallway:
Top 5 tips for hallway optimisation
Assess your space
As odd as it may seem, set aside 5 minutes to sit or stand in your hallway. Really get to grips with it as a space, and begin to ascertain the wall space, ceiling height, existing furniture, and light levels. Over the period of a few days, why not try to consciously notice how your hallway is used throughout the day, and the shortcomings that are posed by the layout, lack of appropriate furniture, or existing furniture (for example, is there a cabinet which is slightly too wide, and interferes with a doorway opening fully?). Dedicating this time to get to know your hallway will give you both an informed base to work from when considering the next steps, and an appreciation for this habitually unnoticed yet entirely essential area of the home.
Make it work for you
How you use your hallway will depend largely on your lifestyle and those who live within your home. If you have children, you may want to optimise coat and shoe storage for easy access before the school runs by using a wardrobe-esque piece like our Phantom Oak Storage Cabinet. If you have a dog, it could be useful to have a draw to stow treats, refuse bags, and dog leads to grab before you head out the door. If a common scene in your home is someone frantically looking for their wallet or keys, find a piece of furniture with a large surface area, like our Trenton Console Table, upon which to clearly place these and help to prevent them from being forgotten or lost. The same goes for other items; place your child’s bookbag, or an important letter to post in your eye-line to make it harder to forget the next morning.
Find pieces that fit
The main function of the hallway is as a circulatory space for footfall, so select new additions to your hallway tactically. If you have high ceilings but little floor space, opt for a wall mounted solution or taller storage units with a smaller footprint, like our Vola White Bookshelf. If you have lower ceilings but a longer room, a shorter, longer unit, such as our New York Black Console Table, can give a welcoming, inward gesturing effect. Ensure any awkward corners have been considered as candidates for use; even an awkward height beneath an open staircase could house a piece like our Nova White Sideboard.
Open VS. concealed storage
Closed storage solutions like our Dakota White Sideboard visually streamlines a space by fully enclosing items for easy access with minimal show. Open storage solutions can encourage a lack of clutter as the contents are open for all to see at all times. Although, they do provide the chance for displaying photos, flowers, or other everyday pick-me-ups to enliven the room, much like the Dakota Open Shelf Unit. It is worth mentioning that open storage solutions can be made partially or fully closed by inserting baskets into shelving spaces, offering a greater degree of customisability and allowing the piece to evolve over time as your households’ needs change.
The hallway as a calling card for the home
The hallway is frequently the last part of the house to be decorated or updated, however this is often the first area that guests see, hence it becomes a calling card for what to expect throughout the rest of the house. Try to select pieces which compliment or suggest the type of furniture and finishes found in other rooms, both in terms of colour and material and design style. While there’s often an emphasis on streamlining this transitory space, and rightly so, occasionally there’s the opportunity to implement a piece which offers both functionality and a design statement, like our Button Oak Chest of Drawers.