How to make the most of a tiny hallway
A hallway is the first thing you and your guests see when you come inside, so it should be stylish and preferably functional for storage too. It’s an interior design conundrum, but it’s not impossible to solve, as these examples prove…
By Virginia Clark
When you come through the front door, what you really want is a place to sit down, take off your shoes, store your umbrella, and hang your coat. But how to fit all of this in when your hallway is the size of a shoebox itself? These narrow dark spaces are inevitably challenging, but we’ve gathered some bright ideas for lightening them up with colour and pattern (or alternatively, embracing the darkness), and making a stylish entrance to come home to.
“I didn’t want a staircase straight ahead of me when I came through the front door,” says Angelica Squire of her London house, “so we had the stairs turn the corner and used the gap for a cupboard. We put a Christopher Farr cloth in the panels and used and a mirrored panel to open the space up.” This is an ingenious approach to the typical urban problem of having a house open right on to the staircase.
If you have the smallest of alcoves or niches, try incorporating this classic boot room formula: bench to sit on, shoe storage beneath it, hooks for coats behind and a shelf for hats above. This stylish example at an 18th-century gatehouse and hotel in Wiltshire welcomes guests with the fresh forest green of Farrow & Ball’s ‘Beverly’.
Gloss paint is a brilliant way to bounce light around and add a sophisticated look to a small space. Interior designer Tara Craig has used a bespoke khaki gloss by Papers and Paints to establish a Georgian feel in the hallway of her Chelsea flat.
The artist Bridie Hall added panelling to the walls of the hall in her Victorian house in north London painted in ‘Spanish Brown’ gloss paint by Little Greene. Plaster casts of classical architectural features by Peter Hone cover the walls.
A bold wallpaper can be transformative in a small space. At Emma Ainscough’s London flat, the hallway is papered in Common Room’s reprint of Charles Voysey’s famous ‘Lioness & Palms’, a wallpaper she came across on a project and knew she had to use herself. ‘I added a dado rail and papered just the top half of the room. I thought it would be overpowering to do the whole wall. It’s my favourite area because it’s such a statement, but because you’re passing through it isn’t overwhelming.’ The radiator has a cover painted in the same colour as the panelling, which allows for a handy shelf for keys.
Bespoke joinery is always helpful when it comes to making the most of small rooms. If you have the resources to build in a bench to a hallway, it can take up less visual and actual space than a freestanding piece of furniture. Oak panelling flows seamlessly into a bench in this cloakroom area at an Edwardian house designed by William Smalley.
Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Design Director Emma Burns’ London flat is the ideal pied-à-terre – richly decorated yet smart, efficient and full of clever solutions for small spaces.
The entrance hall is painted in Papers & Paints’ ‘Du Cane’, for a dramatic effect, while the woodwork is crisply picked out in Farrow & Ball’s ‘All White’. The pot cupboard was a gift from Roger Banks-Pye, with a Belgian Fossil stone top added by Emma. Pot cupboards with their slim round profile are a great choice for hallway storage.
The hallway in designer Pandora Taylor’s London house also goes for a dark shade to embrace the lack of light – in this case Farrow & Ball’s ‘De Nimes’ – with brass sconces from TAT London to add a touch of glamour and a floating shelf for low-key storage.
If there is a formula for decorating a tiny hallway, we’d probably say ‘mirror, console table, lamp’ is it. Make them all as stylish as you can and the rest will take care of itself. When it comes to painting a hallway, we love what designer Lilse McKenna has done at this Manhattan apartment, painting the door and woodwork in the same colour as the walls, which creates the sense of a seamless space.
6 ways to maximise your small hallway in style
A tiny entrance hall doesn’t need to be a dead space in your home. With some clever decorating tricks in your arsenal, even the most economically-sized hallway can make the best first impression.
As tempting as it is to use spare space for storage, overload it with stuff and the room will quickly descend into chaos. Minimal is your mantra here, so don’t spend time finding dressers, chests or tables to fit the hallway, instead, add some shallow shelves for keys, indoor plants or whatever you need to store there. B&Q’s rectangular and floating shelves fit the brief perfectly.
2. Add art
Jonny Caspari for Unsplash
If you’re going furniture-free instead, inject some personality and your own taste into the space by creating a gallery wall, with framed pictures and prints here there and everywhere. The more randomly placed, the merrier.
3. Get a carpet runner
Colours Lottie brown runner, £31, B&Q
If your hallway isn’t carpeted, a rug is a great way of not only adding texture and absorbing noise, but can also create the illusion of a bigger space – even if that sounds a little counterintuitive. The key to getting it right? Make yours a runner. Printed, embroidered, textured or plain, the parallel lines it creates along the hallway floor will draw the eye to follow the length of the hall and so, appear longer.
4. Maximise light
It sounds obvious, but go big with lighting – brightening a room will always make the space feel instantly bigger. Be daring with a modern take on a chandelier in white or cream, or try multiple hanging filament bulbs with copper fixtures for a New York loft style vibe.
5. Make your bike a feature
Whether you’re a weekend racer or brave the commute on two wheels, chances are you’ll need a place to store your bicycle. Leaving it to rest against the wall may not be an option if space is tight – bikes are pretty lengthy – but doing so can also wreak havoc by scuffing your wallpaper or paint job. Take an inspirational trawl through Pinterest for innovative ways to store yours on shelves that double as bike racks, simple hooks (these ones from B&Q are perfectly neat and perfectly priced) or complex but clever hanging systems.
Swap out the coat stand
If space is limited, a coat stand might not be right for you. Not only do they encroach on valuable floor space, but our tendency to overload them with coats and umbrellas means they become a mound that must be manoeuvred around every time you come and go. Instead, go for a few well placed coat hooks, with enough space between them that other coats won’t fall off in a domino effect every time you grab one. As a rule of thumb, ten inches apart, at varying heights is a safe bet.
Feeling inspired? Visit B&Q for more DIY and interior decoration ideas and advice.
120 photos of real examples of modern hallway interior
The entrance hall is a special area of the apartment. Equipping it, you need to think through all the details of the interior. The furniture is needed compact, multifunctional, the finish is practical, the light is bright. Only if all three conditions are met in the hallway will be comfortable.
But first you need to decide on the style. Modern fashion does not accept uniform standards, creativity is welcome. You can follow popular styles, but it is important to consider the interior of the rooms.
The entrance hall is a calling card of the taste preferences and well-being of the inhabitants of the home.
A few ideas presented in the photo of a small hallway will help you develop your own project for arranging the entrance area.
- Getting Started
9 0024 Photo of a small hallway
Where to start
First of all, the space is zoned: a place is determined for shoes, outerwear, bags, accessories. A person who enters the house first frees his hands – attaches a bag, an umbrella somewhere. Then he takes off his shoes, then his outer clothing. In the morning, everything is repeated in reverse order.
A shoe rack or a platform for street and indoor shoes is always located closer to the front door. A little further, at arm’s length, they arrange a place for bags, hats. A wardrobe or rack for outerwear can be placed further.
Entrance hall – a special place:
- dirt accumulation, regular cleaning required;
- high humidity – wet shoes, clothes, splashes, snow.
When choosing furniture, finishing materials give preference to textures that are not afraid of moisture.
In a small hallway you need a minimum set of furniture:
- shoe rack;
- stool or bench, built-in shelf to sit down, put things;
- wardrobe or rack for outerwear, hats.
Depending on the size and shape of the hallway, choose a standard cabinet or make built-in furniture to order. The color scheme is chosen according to the style.
Decorating the interior of the hallway, you can visually adjust the space. A closet in a small hallway can be replaced with an open shelf.
Low ceilings will be lifted by a narrow pencil case. In l-shaped entrance areas, corner built-in or cabinet interior items are convenient.
You can not clutter up the entrance area, furnish it to a minimum. Sliding wardrobes, open and closed shelves, chests of drawers should be no wider than 40 cm so that the space is not “eaten up”.
Entrance hall in a small apartment provides mirrors. This is an essential element of any hallway. A wall or built-in mirror should be placed so that a person can appreciate himself in full growth.
A mirror is not placed opposite the front door; it should not immediately catch the eye.
There should not be too much mirror space, it has a depressing effect on the psyche – it creates the effect of surveillance. Mirrored ceilings are acceptable, they increase the illumination.
Chandeliers are not suitable for a small hallway. It is better to choose ceiling lights or spotlights above the entrance area and at the mirror.
Ramp panels are convenient, they are mounted at the top of the wall. Plafonds can be directed in different directions, it is convenient to hide defects in the finish, to simulate the geometry of the hallway.
At the mirror, if space permits, place a sconce or an additional wall lamp. The mirror should be well lit. In general, there should be a lot of light.
In order to save energy, they use LED spots, install switches with rheostat regulators, connect lamps to different switches so that each zone of a small hallway can be separately illuminated.
The same or combination of walls is allowed. A small hallway with wallpaper is a budget option for finishing. Wall murals on one of the walls always look advantageous. Allowed textured plaster, plastic.
Colors should be natural shades, soft, tones are welcome:
- pale pink;
- muted green;
- light grey;
- all shades of white.
Now about the picture. Large prints, geometric shapes are out of place. A small stripe in one color scheme, a splash of color, a small, dim print looks elegant.
The flooring is selected to match the walls. Linoleum is considered universal, in second place is a moisture-resistant laminate. Parquet in the hallways quickly loses its appeal.
Wealthy owners install artificial or natural stone tiles. This coating is durable.
A modern small hallway is designed in the same style of the apartment.
Classic is always in fashion. Only massive solid wooden furniture needs to be replaced with chipboard with a laminated finish.
Terracotta or burgundy-brown tones, a bit of gilding in the decor, inlaid lamps will help create an intimate atmosphere.
Provence requires small floral prints, textured walls, additional decor on the walls (flower pots, panels with pastoral motifs). Soft yellow light, light furniture – the basis of the French style.
Country is rough wood-like furniture, textured plaster in beige tones, a minimum of decor on the walls.
Loft – for lovers of minimalism. Rack or open shelf with hooks instead of a cabinet, brutal design of walls, floor, ceiling, simple geometric lamps.
Decorating the interior of the hallway, the emphasis is not on finishing, but on harmoniously selected furniture. Much attention is paid to the location of light sources. Be sure to zone the space, visually correct it.
Photo of a small hallway
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7 ideas for an ergonomic entrance area
In the morning you spoil your mood, in a hurry trying to find the keys, a scarf and a second glove; guests freeze on the threshold, not knowing where to attach wet outerwear; the closet is ready to burst from the abundance of things… Familiar? We tell you how to make your life easier if you got a small hallway.
Call baskets for help
The hallway is the most problematic area in terms of organizing order. It is only in the pictures of interior studios that small-sized entrance areas look neat and minimalistic; in practice, small hallways quickly absorb chaos.
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Children’s cars get tangled under their feet, scarves hang over their heads, someone has already lost a glove, and there are so many shoes that it seems like two more families live in the apartment with you. Proper sorting will help to cope with the disorder. No need to look for complicated ways – just use the baskets.
A textile, wicker or metal basket is a convenient utilitarian accessory. To save the hallway from homeless trifles, you can select different baskets for scarves, gloves, umbrellas, slippers, children’s toys. To quickly find the right things without pushing in a cramped hallway, each family member can get a personal basket.
The beauty of this simple solution is its mobility: baskets can hide under the bench, hang on hooks, stand on racks and shelves.
Use all free space
Namely: corners, ends and space above the door. An ergonomic shelf with a key holder and / or open shelves for shoes can find a place in the corner, which, if necessary, can “grow” up to the very ceiling.
The closet occupied the entire wall and goes out into the doorway? Don’t let its ends go to waste, with coat hooks and hanging wire baskets for small items.
See above. The place above the front door is also often “idle”. The void can be filled with open shelves or a mezzanine.
Choose a floating console
Suspended consoles not only save space in fact, but also visually relieve space. In addition, they are devoid of furniture legs, which complicate the cleaning process – an important point for the hallway with its dirty reputation.
Hanging console or narrow shelf will be a haven for many important little things: letters, receipts, mobile devices, keys and sunglasses that you always forget to take with you.
…or the right shoe
Especially for narrow hallways, narrow shoe racks were invented, which can also “float”, creating the illusion of empty space, and their upper part can be used as a surface for small things. used as a surface for small things.
Ergonomic sloping shelves are hidden inside such shoe racks, which allow them to be so “thin”.
Remember doors are surfaces
To hide the whole rich inner world of a small hallway behind the closet facades seems to be the surest way to maintain order. But you can’t hang wet clothes in a closet. And what if he has already taken all the free space for hangers? Use his doors.
When closed, the cabinet turns into a “wall” on which additional hooks can be placed.
By the same principle, you can use other doors that are present in the hallway, if they open to the wall.
Assemble the “constructor”
The most ergonomic solution for the average hallway can be a monolithic structure that uses the surface from floor to ceiling. In such complexes, closed sections alternate with open ones, between them there are hooks for outerwear and, sometimes, a seat. But not every small hallway can accommodate even such a relatively compact design, then the ergonomic designer will have to be assembled independently from stands, shelves and hooks, taking into account all the main types of things that live at the entrance to the apartment: outerwear, shoes, accessories, bags, keys .
Hanging rod, which is mounted under the ceiling, will take up less space than a floor stand, and it will fit more clothes than wall-mounted hooks.
Another life hack is to attach hooks under the shelves.
Try to “squeeze” a seat into a small hallway, the interior will look more aesthetic with it, and you can comfortably take off and put on your shoes without squatting down to tie your shoelaces.
For small-sized entrance groups, seats with a hinged lid, drawers and shelves were invented.