You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so here’s how to do it right with your interior design
If you want your home to wow, you need to start at the beginning. Stepping through an attractive front door and into a beautiful entrance hall is a fool proof way to create an impact, and leave your guests wanting to see more.
This is your home’s first impression, and we all know that first impressions are vital in any situation. So your entrance hall needs to tease the architecture and décor to come whilst also standing on its own as a stunning space.
This is your chance to show off those first hints of your style and personality. This might sound like a big ask, but making the most of your entrance hall is surprisingly simple. It might only take a few key additions and considerations to transform your hallway from drab to fab and really make your guests take notice — and we are here to help.
We’ve put together this vital guide with four key areas you should explore in order to make your home’s first impression really pack a punch. Are you ready? Then let’s step through the door and get started.
Don’t overlook the space
The first thing you need to do to make the most of your entrance hall is to give it the love and attention it deserves. When redecorating our homes, we tend to forget about the hallways and leave them as an afterthought behind more concrete spaces like the living room, kitchen and bedrooms. But it is this status as a transitional space which gives the hallway its main advantage when it comes to décor.
As a transitional space, the entrance hall creates a sense of anticipation which offers a limitless freedom when it comes to design. Think of your entrance hall as the first paragraph of a great novel, sparking people’s curiosity and inviting them to stay with the journey until its end. Your entrance hall needs to reflect the quality of the design found in the rest of your home, making it just as important — if not more important — than the rest of your interior design.
No matter how big or small, or what shape your entrance hall is, there is always something which can be done to make the design really stand out. So make sure you don’t fall into the trap of overlooking your home’s entrance — consider it like you would any other space. Once you dedicate a bit of time to it, you’ll find that the ideas and inspiration start flowing.
The perfect introduction
Like the kitchen and the bathroom, the entrance hall is first and foremost a functional space rather. This means that a little extra effort, care and imagination needs to be put into making it stand out and shine. The best hallways are those which celebrate their use — the act of passage — whilst capturing attention on the way through and offering a memorable moment. This means creating a carefully orchestrated balance of calm ambience and striking drama, in order to avoid both monotony and being overpowered.
But on top of this, you should also bear in mind that an entrance hall is your way of visually introducing your home to friends and family, meaning your design choices should work to create a space which enhances the other rooms it is introducing, rather than distracting from them.
Flexibility and breathability are key to effective entrance hall design, especially if you are working with a smaller space. Its role as an introduction to your home means you shouldn’t dive in at the deep end with your design choices, so find options which reflect your overall style without being too overbearing. A hallway is most effective when it opens up to other spaces in the home, without being so big or loud that it takes away from these other key areas.
Try introducing grandeur through the use of sumptuous yet delicate materials like marble, limestone, hardwood and rich upholstery.
Your entrance hall should be an arrival experience for guests, as well as a visual space. Think of opening your front door as something of a ‘grand reveal’ — what do you want them to see when you open the door to greet them? More importantly, how do you want them to feel? The answers to these questions will inform your interior design decisions.
Use your environment as inspiration
Let the style of your home’s natural architecture and the overall environment outside your front door inspire your creativity when it comes to designing the perfect entrance hall. If you live in an urban environment and have a contemporary home, let this help you create an exciting entrance hall with a modern slant, designed to soothe as well as excite. Similarly, if you live in a more rural area or live in an older home, try using natural materials like wood and wicker and natural additions such as floral displays to bring the outside in.
Your entrance hall is the bridge between indoors and outdoors, so think of the benefits of both of these locations and try to bring them together. For example, you may want to celebrate the freshness and openness of the outdoors with light tones, and the privacy and comfort of the indoors with screens and warm textures. It’s also important to consider the space in motion.
What will it look like when you open the front door and allow light to shine in? Are you using materials which will reflect the light and make the most of it? Sometimes the simplest materials like glass and bronze can create the biggest impact in terms of helping your entrance hall shine — both figuratively and literally.
Find a focal point
A lot of the process of designing a space comes from deciding what furniture you are going to include. This can be difficult in hallways, where the primary purpose is to move from one space to another, giving you no framework to jump off like in the bedroom, where items like a wardrobe, mirror and — of course — a bed are usually staples.
But don’t see this as a negative point! In fact, this lack of necessity means you can go wild with aesthetics and drama.
Your entrance hall is the perfect home for artworks, sculptures, musical instruments, pedestals and seating, among other things. These items can create an artistic flow and the feel of a gallery, bringing elegance and luxury into your home from the very first moment.
One of the most fun things you can do is combine your artwork, your children’s artwork, and some Abstract art prints. The gallery effect can be something quite spectacular. Combine all of the different artworks with a range of frames in different sizes and textures to have something truly unique and beautiful too.
Consider factors like lighting and colour for how best to highlight these items, creating the perfect harmony of welcoming guests and welcoming you home.
However, this stunning array of décor needs a focal point, otherwise you risk overpowering your visitors. Less is more, and this rule applies to your entrance hall too, so try to find one or two items which you really love. Vintage furniture is a fantastic way to blend decadence and homeliness with a functional item like a console table or sideboard, and there’s a stunning collection of vintage items available from Vinterior.