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Making an Entrance - The Ultimate Hallway

Updated: Feb 13

Hallways are often a little neglected, but can be such interesting spaces. They set the pathway from one space to another. They are often the first place we see when we enter a home, wake up in the morning to get that cup of coffee and the last thing we see as we leave or go to bed. Ironically we often don’t put much thought into their decoration.

I have been blessed with some of my clients homes in that hallway is already architecturally gifted with its mouldings and arches which are a nod to the era that they were constructed. These era's often saw the entrance hallway as the first impression that someone would get of your home as they arrive. The hallway was a sign of your social standing and status, the more grandeur the more of a social standing you had. In these cases a touch up, a little rug, a simple gallery, lighting and simple but practical storage ( if space allows) is all it needs . The rooms leading off in the project pictured in my concept board for a client are filled with character and the simplicity of the hall allows a ‘breath’ or ‘rest’ as you move from one room to the other.

However, as not all hallways are given the gift of ready made features, or indeed you are starting from the scratch, there are a few factors and considerations to keep in mind. This also goes back to my article on the importance of getting your floor plan spot on before you kick off a build, so here are a few pointers for consideration: 1. Functionality: Consider the purpose of the hallway. Will it primarily be used for circulation, as a transition space, or for storage? This will help determine the layout and the amount of space needed. 2. Traffic flow: Ensure that the hallway allows for smooth and efficient movement of people. Avoid any obstacles or tight corners that could impede traffic flow. 3. Lighting: Proper lighting is essential in a hallway to create a safe and inviting atmosphere. Consider using a combination of natural light, overhead fixtures, and wall sconces to provide adequate illumination. 4. Width: The width of the hallway should be sufficient to accommodate the expected number of users. It should also allow ease of accessibility detailed below, allowing for easy passage for people with disabilities. You also need to think about how the width will be affected by furniture. 5. Storage: If the hallway is wide enough, consider incorporating built-in storage solutions such as closets or shelves to maximise space efficiency. 6. Flooring: Choose a durable and easy-to-maintain flooring material that can withstand heavy foot traffic. 7. Acoustics: Hallways can be noisy due to echoing sounds. Incorporate sound-absorbing materials such as carpets, wall panels, or acoustic ceiling tiles to reduce noise levels. 8. Aesthetics: The design of the hallway should complement the overall style of the building or space. Consider using colours, textures, and materials that create a cohesive and visually pleasing environment. Think about the history of the building or the area that this property is based in. It is also the perfect place to introduce your story with art or photos that reflect you, your family and interests. 9. Safety: This is usually one of the highest traffic areas, as such it is subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Often clients have young children, pets and also visits from aging grandparents. Ensuring that furniture and artworks are safely secured, rugs don't slip and flooring is up to wet feet from outside without becoming an unintended slip and slide is an important part of the selection. It is all well and good to look wonderful on instagram but not so good if someone ends up hurting themselves. 10. Accessibility: This partly goes hand in hand with safety but design is not always about the here and now. such an important part of my brief is understanding the future intentions of clients and who will be frequenting the space outside of the family. Often people have aging relatives, or are looking for their home to support them through their latter years. They, or one of the users of the space, may have a disability or an illness. As such the design really needs to think about ensuring that the hallway is accessible to people with disabilities, and will work as mobility becomes a little more restricted. Installing elevators is becoming more and more a consideration with clients, and ensuring there is adequate room for mobility aids such as wheelchairs to move freely.

Feel free to contact me in the contacts page for an obligation free call if you need a little extra help....

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