Hall, Stairs and Landings

Hall, stairs and landings are often overlooked and viewed as busy thoroughfares, as a means to get from one room to another or out of the house. These areas are often small, cramped or resemble little more than corridors. The hall is the first impression visitors receive when entering the home and an organized, welcoming space sets the tone for the rest of the home.

Storage – before you even consider wall colour, remember the hall needs to provide instant, accessible organized storage for the items you discard as soon as you walk in through the front door, coats, shoes, keys and umbrellas. The space available will obviously dictate your options of course. If there is room, a built in cloaks cupboard is ideal with a shoe rack. This will hide all the clobber. Failing that, a simple coat hook for everyday wear and visitors coats will suffice. Do not overload the rack as this looks untidy and obstructs the thoroughfare. A shoe rack can be placed below the coat rack, which  will contain shoes which have been kicked off and abandoned in the middle of the hall. A bench with storage  will also provide somewhere to sit down to pull on boots and provide much needed storage for hats and gloves etc. An umbrella stand is useful, and there are some lovely tall pots available which will do the job. A table for keys and mail, however small is useful, or perhaps a slimline shelf if space is at a premium. You may have room for a chest of drawers or armoire providing extra storage for over spill from bedrooms or linen storage. Built in slim line shelves for books or baskets filled with items needed from time to time.

Flooring – Hall floors need to be robust to cope with outdoor footwear. Whatever you choose make sure you have a good foot mat to take off the worst of dirt and grime. Hardwearing floor tiles are easy to clean in a pale neutral colour help the space feel bigger and if laying new, ask your tiler to drop the door mat into the tiles. This prevents the foot mat sliding around the hall. Carpet on stairs and landings is still a popular choice, avoiding the excess noise of feet clumping up and down the stairs. Choose a very hardwearing woven carpet preferably with a high wool content to cope with the heavy traffic, and in a colour to blend with the hall flooring. This gives an illusion of space and merges the spaces together for a cohesive look.

Lighting – This needs to be welcoming and not over powering. The lighting needs to be bright on the stairs for safety reasons, but not so bright it flattens any interesting shadows. Create atmosphere with table lamps, wall lights and add a large decorative pendant light.

Mirrors and lighting have been used to light and add interest to the stair well.
Mirrors and lighting have been used to light and add interest to the stair well.

Fabrics and Colour’s – Hall, stairs and landings need to link with other rooms harmoniously, so colour’s and patterns shouldn’t  be too bold. To disguise the ‘corridor’ effect try painting the doors the same colour as the walls. Use a good quality, spongeable, durable paint which will withstand the wear and tear. Add colour and interest with a runner or rug and a blind or curtains.

Accessories – Well chosen accessories make the functional space feel lived in. Pictures or a framed photograph gallery displayed together, or a clock. Use mirrors to reflect the light and create a feeling of space. Mirrors are also good for the last minute face and hair check before going out of the front door. A vase of flowers or a plant too add finishing touches.

New Uses for Old Stuff

I recently came across an unwanted telephone table. Remember the days when one had to conduct phone conversations in the hall because that was where the phone connection was? Ceasing talking when someone walked past, or whispering secret things to friends, boyfriends’ or girlfriends’ so as not to be overheard by any eavesdroppers. The days prior to mobile’s and text’s. So the telephone table is now an un-required item of furniture, and there it stood, a ‘White Elephant’ in this technological age. So I got to thinking about other uses for it. The unit provided some great storage with five drawers, and a space for stuff under the seat.

1. It still is great for a hall or boot room. All those drawers for hats, gloves and scarfs, shoe and boot storage and somewhere to sit to pull on and off those boots.

2. It would be great in a family bathroom, providing storage for towels, toiletries and all manner of items that generally clutter a bathroom. The storage below the bench seat is a great place to keep toilet rolls, shampoo and bath toys. The seat is great for sitting down whilst drying either yourself or young children.

3. In a child’s room it could be used a bedside table offering precious storage space for clothes, a seat for a child to sit and read or play. The space under the bench seat can be used for toys or shoes.

So, not only can a piece of furniture be up-cycled with some love and attention, but can be recycled for other purposes. To see all the examples go to Furniture listings.

Hide away all your bathroom clutter with great storage. Some where to sit too.
Hide away all your bathroom clutter with great storage. Some where to sit too.