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The Beautiful House Hall Decorating Tips

Updated on April 14, 2012

The Beautiful House Hall Decorating Tips

The hall is the first thing people see when they cross your threshold. First impressions should be good impressions.

Halls get passed through rather than lived in which is why they are often relegated to the bottom of the list of priorities, and furnished with leftovers from the rest of the house. This is pity because they give an initial-and possibly lasting-impression. So it's well worth spending the money and effort to make them warm and welcoming places.

The Essentials

Most halls are too small to take much furniture by the time all the doors have been left unimpeded. If you don't have room for a free-standing cupboard to take coats and maces, and there are no handy alcoves or dead ends for built-in storage, try to hide any line of coat-hooks around a corner. If you must have hanging garments on view, a bentwood hat-stand is an attractive and space-saving way of coping with the outdoor-clothing problem. If you want a more snappy and modern approach, look for one of the enameled tubular metal versions that come in brilliant primary colours.

If possible squeeze in some form of hall table because you will want somewhere to dump shopping as you come in the front door-to say nothing of letters, car-keys, library books and gloves. If you feel your hall is too tiny to take the visual clutter of table legs, perhaps fit a shallow tabletop or deep shelf on sturdy but good-looking wall brackets. If there isn't even room for this a long bench can provide a useful dumping ground as well as slim-line seating.

II Ideally every hall should include a chair, especially if this is where the telephone is but it may not be practical in very narrow situations. A wall-hung mirror however takes up no space allows you t check your appearance before dashing off in a hurry and makes small halls look lighter and larger.


The hall gets more wear and tear than anywhere else in the house because as well as coping with incoming traffic there is constant cross-traffic there is constant cross-traffic from the rooms leading off it. It's a good idea to have a generous-sized doormat to cut down the amount of dirt that gets trampled indoors: this will look neatest if it's set into a door-well In the case of a close-carpeted hall, this will mean you can vacuum right over it without stopping.

A top quality wool carpet is warm, friendly very hardwearing and if plain best chosen in a speckle-textured light it colour or a medium colour- although it could be any light colour in a flat where people have already cleaned their feet on the communal stairs coming up. ( A dark `plain carpet tends to highlight dirt.) However top quality carpet is very expensive and once you have started with it you are really committed to taking it up the stairs and along the landing.

Otherwise the result will look bitty and will make your hall seem smaller.

If you can't afford an expensive carpet don't waste your money on a lesser quality that will your money on a lesser quality that will soon go shabby with the relentless tread of feet. Buy an honest alternative like rubber-backed sisal. This will be able to take all the punishment it gets and will provide the hall with plenty of visual texture. Or buy good quality vinyl tiles or sheet vinyl or lion. Traditional black and white tiles may be obvious but have never been bettered for good looks.

If you live in the country or want a country look sisal flooring is always appropriate. If you can't afford it cheaper rush matting is nearly as attractive and you can replace individual squares or strips as they get tatty. If mud is likely to get trampled in it's sensible to go for a durable but really easy-clean flooring like vinyl-surfaced cork or quarry tiles.

If you want carpeting on the stairs choose a close-pile or a cord (never a sisal which is hard and slippery-and obviously never a long-pile which you could catch your too in); and if possible have the job done by a professional, because the carpet needs to be really tightly fitted. It will save you a lot of dusting and repainting if you have the carpet taken right across the treed of the stairs rather than using a 68 cm (27 in) wide strip. Of course buying a wider carpet will be more expensive and you will probably have to cut it down slightly and waste the surplus.


Walls need to be tough and practical because people brush against them when they come through the front door (as do wet dogs and cats), and children skid against them with scooters etc What is more if you keep a pram or pushchair in the hall it's bound to cause damage.

But wear and tear isn't the only consideration. Halls look best when the wall covering is carried all the way up the stairs and onto the landing-where there are tall expanses of wall to tackle.

Whether you employ a costly professional or do it yourself (which will mean balancing ladders on stairs or rigging up platforms on scaffolds.) it isn't a job that vital to choose durable decorations, Vinyl wall covering is practically indestructible.

Washable wallpapers are less tough; perhaps buy several extra rolls, so you can re-do the most vulnerable areas like soften a will with warmth and texture, paper-backed is very long-lasting the natural colour is dirt disgorging and it camouflages dodgy plasterwork.

If you prefer paint hard-wearing gloss looks clinical and unfriendly although you could use it just up to dado  height and then continue in a different finish. Otherwise eggshell combines a practical finish with seedier and much softer looks.

Adding pattern

Pattern has two advantages in a hall. It can make a sparsely furnished area feel furnished and it can disguise the ravages of time by blurring the impact of dirt and it can disguise the ravages of time by blurring the impact of dirt and scuff marks. Whether or not you choose it may simply depend on whether or not you have young children. Be careful i you choose a patterned carpet because unless you pick a small-scale and repetitive design it will make the hall seem overcrowded and smaller. It may also make the stairs dangerous to walks down: with any large and rambling pattern it's difficult to decipher where one tread ends and another begins.

As mixing patterns is a tricky business it's usually best to team a patterned carpet with plain walls or walls with a pattern so tiny and overall it gives the impression of a textured plain surface If you have used a plain flooring however the hall is one of the few places where you can risk a bold and flamboyantly patterned wallpaper because you eon's be spending much time with it.

Windows and lighting

Theoretically because halls stairways and landing are very busy circulation areas with people continually brushing by the windows window treatments should be very simple. If you feel conventional curtains would take a battering from your family, think in terms of Roman roller or Venetian blinds or wooden shutters.

These would be a good idea in any case if your windows are so small they would be swamped by drapes. Roller and Roman blinds made in a fabric that matches your wallpapers could be a way of integrating awkwardly-shaped windows. Furthermore as privacy is not a prime consideration, since halls and landing are not actually lived in you could simply leave the windows bare; or give them just a pretty pelmet; or if you never need to open them span them with shallow shelves and fill them with houseplants. Green leaves and filter light in a most romantic way, and are good at softening ugly outlooks. However in practice you may decide that softly-draped curtains are just what you nee to compensate for lack of furnishing.

As in so many cases with design how practical you choose to be may well children to contend with.

Halls and stairways aren't the place for moody lighting. Yu need to see where you are going efficiently and clearly. For a good overall light in the hall ideally use recessed or ceiling-mounted down lighters or pendant fittings. These will illuminate the traffic areas well-whereas wall brackets for instance wild mainly illuminate the walls. Once you have established the general lighting you can always highlight special features with effect lighting.

Provide a really strong light above the stairs so the treads are picked out emphatically while the risers are left in contrasting shadow. This light down or it will be balanced out, thus losing the contrast. It's very important to avoid glare: lights should never shine directly into people's eyes. In very tall halls where you need a ladder to reach the light fittings or on the stairs where it may be awkward to get at them the less often you have to change the light-bulb the better so consider paying extra for a fluorescent long-life bulb. Ass these are far more economical to run than tungsten bulbs (see picture they would also be good for landing lights that get left on all night, either to reassure very young children, or provide safety elderly people.

Narrow And High-Ceilinged Halls

Installing a false ceiling to lower a dauntingly lofty hall is expensive but does provide an opportunity for incorporating recessed lighting. In a gloomy hall that needs the help of artificial lighting during the day, you could bring down the ceiling much more cheaply by hanging a low row of pendant light fittings. These would concentrate attention on the well- lit areas allowing the shadowy area above to recede into obscurity.

If your hall is too light for this trick to work lower the ceiling by clever use of colour. Strong colours bring a surface nearer while pale colours make it seem to recede. Don't just paint or paper the walls bring the ceiling part-way down the then make it look really intended by adding wallpaper border around.

Alternatively create the impression of a false ceiling without getting involved in heavy structural work. You could run battens along both walls just above door height and span them with widely but regularly-spaced bamboo rods that the eye would foreshorten to look more closely from ceiling fittings, but if the ceiling fixed light was inadequate anyway, you fact just spanning above the doors with eye-level down, and then you would have provided accessible platforms that you could use to store light and attractive but little-used items.

Obviously if a tall hall has good architectural features like deep skirting, dado rail, picture rail and cornice just emphasizing them will enough to break up the walls. These in turn will give the impression that the ere lower . If you want pattern you could use two different but coordinated wallpapers one above the dado rail and the other below. If you prefer plain paint you could use different shades of the same colour. Or you could use a wallpaper below and a related shade of paint above linking the two with a walls just above the dado rail.

In a tall hall that doesn't give you any help you could either add a real dado rail and decorate accordingly; or simply create interest at dado height perhaps by running a wallpaper border along the walls, or painting band or bold bright colour. Alternatively you could hang pictures at eye-level height letting the largest pictures define the outer limits of the band and grouping the smaller pictures so they're contained within it. The secret is to provide a convincing band that confines attention to a well-defined strip. In a dark hall instead of hanging pictures you could hang a collection of old wooden-framed mirrors instead.

Finally you could concentrate on making the hall look wider which would automatically make it seem lower. Perhaps buy a carpet with horizontal stripes. Or buy sheet vinyl in two plain colours get to work with a Stanley knife and alternate deep expanses of one colour with shallow expanses of the other. This will look more sophisticated than equal-sized stripes. Or create a horizontal pattern with ceramic tiles, and stretch the floor even further sideways by carrying the pattern up the walls to provide a tiled skirting. At least be sure to use a full-width covering: a narrow strip of  carpet or a runner will make the floor seem longer and narrower.

A Hall Full Of Doors 

Some halls have so many doors leading off them, there is hardly enough wall left even for pictures so the doors themselves must provide the interest. This might seem difficult if they are flush and faceless but in fact if you have used a patterned wallpaper on the walls, it's easy to create door panels with matching wallpaper and finish the edges with wooden beading.

The beading not only adds character to the doors but protects the edges of the paper. Even if your doors are already paneled it could still be worth making the panels match the walls so the doors become an integrated part of the hall.

If you prefer a basically plain hall and are lucky enough to have traditional doors in good condition you may simply want to strip them back to the wood-also stripping the architraves and skirting board which will create the interest of a frieze pattern. For variations on the frieze in something roughly textured like doors, skirting and architraves in a punchy-colored and shiny gloss paint.

If you have flush doors and want to keep them you could paint a band of strong colour along the top of the skirting and continue it around the architraves, perhaps painting a circle of matching colour around the door knobs.

Dual-Purpose Halls

Not all halls are small. Some have actually got the space to double as an extra room. In the picture on for instance a large hall doubles as a dining room, with the help of floor-to-ceiling storage which keeps hats and coats out of sight as well as accommodating china and table linen etc. But even a smaller hall could double for dining if you teamed a narrow table with benches that could tuck under the table when not in use. A drop-leaf table would also make sense, as would folding or stacking chairs.

If you have not already exploited the space under the stairs it could make an ideal work-study area, because all that is needed is a well-lit desk a chair and some open shelving.

Alternatively provided you could organize the plumbing and ventilation you could use the space for an extra lavatory and wash-basin or if you organized just the plumbing a washing machine and tumble dryer. All these possibilities would apply equally well of course to any space going spare up on the landing.
Read more hubs;
The Beautiful Bathroom design
Choosing The Lavatory Bathroom
The important dining room

The tiny dining room
The beautiful bedroom ideas

Storage for the bedroom
Children's Rooms Interior Designs


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      A moveing picture is perfect to transform your TV screen into an eyecatcher.

      I have my TV located similar to the big pictureframe of your first photo of "Dual-Purpose Halls".

      Playing videos like this: it almost looks better than an original picture.

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 

      7 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      I see that you are all for the house hold.Great hub.NOW,if you can find a women that is not rebellious in cooking and taking care of the house it would be a wonderful thing.

    • Philipo profile image


      7 years ago from Nigeria

      Nice hub with lovely pictures. I was carried away with the pictures. Indeed, first impression matters a lot in all of human endeavours. Thanks for sharing.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Yes, impression of first sight is the best of mind for full satisfaction.


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