Monday, May 24, 2010

You Asked for It! - A Fabulous Front Hall


o. I'm starting a new series here at The Design Pages guessed it, "You Asked for It".  I selfishly figure that if you have a question that I can blog about and give you a reply, then it saves me from thinking of a topic that you might be interested in reading.  See how that works?  It's a win-win, people.

Heather from Stratford, Ontario asked for some tips on decorating a front entranceway.  I have posted about this in the past (Don't Put that There!) but that post focussed on clutter.  This time, we'll delve into the aesthetic of a space.  How to make an impact when you first walk in to an entranceway.

Skona Hem via Nerdy Fashionista
Try to remember that your entranceway is a room in your home.  It is a transitional spot but should be regarded the same as any other room when you're creating a design plan.  There are 3 elements that can take your hallway from boring to, colour and texture.

Front halls are notoriously poorly lit.  Get some fabulous lighting and put it on a dimmer.  Lights can be dimmed once guests have made their way into another room.  It's surprising how much drama you create with this little trick.  If you have the height, get an oversized light fixture that relates to your home's style and have it installed.  This will create a huge impact and doesn't need to be expensive.  Lots of the big box stores are selling fabulous fixtures at really good price points.     
Living Etc. via Apartment Therapy

Have you been wanting to use a bold colour or wallpaper but kept opting out in favour of a safer colour?  This is the time to go big.  The space is small so you only need a little but the look is stunning.  If you can't paint or paper the wall because of an open floor plan then paint the door.  White doors are positively boring so spice it up and add some colour.  The colour should relate to any space it directly opens on to but don't get too matchy-poo.  If you're still afraid, meet me halfway and go with the second safest colour next to white which is black.  It always looks good on doors.  If you have open storage in the hallway, try wallpapering the back of the unit for a burst of colour.

Texture is so often overlooked in the hallway.  The most obvious place to get texture is in a rug.  They can be the showpiece in an entranceway.  Again, go for something you wouldn't use elsewhere in the house.  There are ways to use a rug even in snowy climates.  There's a new market  catering to outdoor carpets and there's lots of great patterns and colours to chose from.  There are also thin carpets that can be machine washed and dried and they can last for years.

Make sure to glam it up a little.  Always have a mirror in your entranceway.  How can you 
possibly go out and raise a little hell in the world if you haven't even checked to see if there's dryer fluff on your butt?  Besides the practical aspect, a mirror gives a bit of sparkle that looks elegant in a front hallway.
Don't forget about the walls.  Add a great art piece or some family photos or a few floating shelves with a favourite collection (keep it very simple).  Make sure your hallway makes a statement about who you are.  Too many entranceways are void of character or personality.

So let's all wish Heather good luck in her hallways endeavours and hope you can post a photo for us when it's finished.


  1. Ha Ha Ha ... dryer fluff on your butt .... a new classic line! Great idea for a blog post....

  2. Go out and raise a little hell in the world, you're clearly a girl after my own heart (though my hell-raising days are pretty much over now!). Love it! I agree with all of these tips, excellent job! That top picture is to die for and I'm putting it in my own personal inspiration file!

  3. I agree that entries should be treated like a room. I'm still trying to figure out how I want mine. I've tried 3 different pieces of furniture in it and still can't decide! Thanks for stopping by today. Gray with the yellow and blue would definitely be great. I was kind of thinking along the same lines with the black & white. :)

  4. The dimmer switch is a brilliant idea and such an easy fix! I am now on a mission to find a new funky rug and can't wait to go fixture shopping with Heather! She definitely has the space for something fabulous!

  5. Oh I love your choices here! We had a contracter in today to chat about knocking out a wall and replacing some super ugo tile with hardwood....:)

  6. Love ALL of these examples! Especially the light, airy ones. I wish I had an entrance into our home - instead the front door opens up straight onto the living room in traditional Spanish style.

    Morgan @


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