Thursday, September 17, 2009

Interior styling II

To continue from the previous post on house styling/fluffing/decorating/staging's HOW TOs: The hallway.

What to do with it? Hmm... too hard basket?

Often forgotten or neglected, adored or hated but we must all pass this entryway on the way to the interior cave that is our living sanctuary. What does it look like? Barren, shoes everywhere? Too many family portraits? Trip over the dog or cat? Only a ceiling light? Space to hang coats or would you rather choose a closet for that? Wallpaper or paint? Furniture or no, mirror? Carpet or tiles? Again; smell-check, you'll be surprised with how scents influence what we think and feel.

Right: after having made an assessment of the hallway we can change it if we feel that is necessary. One way to make a hallway interesting is lighting. It gives a surprise which I think is always a good idea for the hallway as these usually tend to be predictable and 'safe'. Art is great, I wouldn't suggest you smother the hallway with it as this can feel as being to forceful and can give an overbearing impression. The idea is to create an ambiance that is welcoming, warm and safe. So scrap the idea of having your daughter's fav goth pop group in there.

The hallway my dears is like the gossip alley: what to expect after this? It gives the first impression of your tastes and personality after visitors have seen the front of your house. (Of course you decorate for your own comfort and bearing in mind what a visitor would say helps pick up on hidden and forgotten aspects.)

So! Get to work:

  1. make a list of your observations
  2. make a sketch or ground floor plan.
  3. make notes of what you would like to see there:

furniture, lighting how and wall preference.

I found this company on the net Fun on the floors. Isn't that cheerful? Reminds me very much of Marimekko. I wouldn't expect everyone to like it but it definititely makes a statement and they have done well with the white as that creates a counterbalance for all the zingyness.

Now: depending on size of hallway:

Choose: small hallway? A wallpaper with a pattern can make it look smaller so stay away from that. Plain wallpaper or paint would be preferable, choose an artwork or designer light to get the wow factor. Larger entry? Wallpaper is fine but then choose a timeless light and I always prefer a table lamp somewhere which softens unless you have a very attractive chandelier...

Don't forget practical stuff as that comes first: where is the floor mat if you like one and where does everyone leave there jackets? keys? is there a mirror so visitors can check their appearance? Note: don't hang this opposite the entrance preferably as people don't like to be confronted with their own image unexpectedly (and apparently the feng shui is not improved by it either. Something about the energy entering the house doing a U-turn and dashing out again.)

So to sum it up: there's no 1 cure solution for the hallway but the essentials are:
  • clean
  • smell good
  • mirror to bounce light if needed + handy for visitors (on wall left/right)
  • solution for jackets & keys
  • inviting> have adequate lighting but soft preferably
  • don't use a standard ceiling light! (chandeliers are the 1 exception)

The one thing that creates the all-in-one-spot-on-effect unfortunately only comes with experience... that's how you learn what works and doesn't, but this will give you an enormous head start. Good luck and feel free to email me how you get on.

1 comment:

  1. nice info! with a smile you teach
    readers being creative. it's their thing,
    their feeling of homecoming...
    very instructive!

    love Kees