‘So often, hallways can be considered as an after-thought but this is the first glimpse of your personal style that your guests will receive,’ says Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director, Little Greene. 'The most welcoming spaces don’t take themselves too seriously – let your artwork do the talking with a colourful gallery wall, paper a feature wall in oversized florals, or paint an alcove in a shade that makes you smile,' adds Patrick O'Donnell, Brand Ambassador, Farrow & Ball. Pick a shallow unit or even picture ledges would work and create displays with photos, prints, accessories and houseplants.
Instead go over sized with your frames – almost floor to ceiling – and stick to three or four equally hung up the staircase wall
With such a vast area of wall space to fill, it makes sense to go for an oversized piece. This smiley-face light installation by Brighton artist Andy Doig adds a fun touch smiling down over the living area and is in contrast to the classic setting with its high ceilings and traditional wood-panelled staircase.
This immersive hallway paint scheme starts with bold blue on the panelling downstairs taking the colour a shade darker as it continues up the staircase. White painted woodwork and decorative plaster mouldings punctuate the blue in places, with album covers resting on plinths adding a witty touch.
The exotic Chinoiserie wallpaper is a bold choice on such a large scale, but against the weathered wood floor, stone steps and polished banister, the designer pulls it off with aplomb.
An oversized piece will accentuate a tall ceiling, whether it’s a large canvas, photographic still, ornate mirror or something quirky, like a bicycle mounted on the wall. ‘When it comes to a gallery wall, just about anything goes,’ say King & McGaw, ‘but deciding on an overarching theme or style is a good place to start.’ ‘With your chosen style in mind, decide whether you’re going to keep it orderly with a tidy grid structure, or mix it up with an array of different sizes.
Find stylish ways to show off books with more home library ideas (opens in new tab). Provide visual interest at every level by incorporating landing areas into your decorating scheme.
A frieze or mural will create a focal point further up a staircase that draws the eye in and encourages further investigation. A classic toile print takes on a modern edge in monochrome black and white and makes a striking backdrop in a small hallway. Echo the colour theme with black-painted stair balustrades and artwork, alongside white-painted walls and accent furniture. Stairwells are an area that often get neglected, but as you pass through this space countless times a day, why not make it more of a decorative feature rather than just a thoroughfare.
Fill wall space with a collection of vintage gilt picture frames in assorted shapes and sizes. Removing the glass and backing makes them lightweight and easy to hang and a safer option at the top of stairs. Try an alternative to wall art and decorate a plain hallway and staircase with fancy fretwork and trellis panels to add a Moorish vibe.
Ribbon has been woven around the balustrades and pictures hung at an angle to create a beautiful chaos – albeit one that can quickly be reinstated to calm. Keeping to the same colour theme throughout will create a sense of continuity on staircases and landings, whether you go dark or light. Hallways and staircases can feel quite chaotic with lots of doors, skirting boards, radiators, etc that distract the eye and carve up the space.