Although it is traditional for furnishings to ring the perimeter of a hall, if space allows, it is a great idea to place a round table at the centre of the room. When topped with a collection of beautifully bound books or prettily framed photographs, and perhaps a large bowl of dried or fresh flowers lit from above with a downlighter, this can form a stunning focal point and serve as the centre to your ’roundabout’.
The spacious hall can be made to feel more homely and less sparse if furnishings are to scale – that is, as grand as the room – and if lighting is concentrated upon the lower portion of a tall room. A grouping of upholstered seating placed around a fireplace forms colors on the walls and ceiling will enhance the feeling of coziness and intimacy.
If space is a problem – you might possess one of those frequently seen, narrow, rather dark halls – much can be done visually to counteract its limitations. Exchanging a solid door for a glazed one will much improve the availability of natural light, as will the introduction of a fan-light above the door. Mirror, framed or in sheets, will enhance whatever light falls naturally into the area and at the same time will help to open out the space.
To maximize the feeling of spaciousness visually, go for plain reflective surfaces in cool pallid colors and bring interest to your scheme by the introduction of contrasting paint, pale matt stone and polished blond wood, for instance, could look stunning.
The style evidenced in a hall will set the tone for the whole house, so its selection is most important. As always the architectural period/style of your home will be your first prompt, and for your house to have any sort of cohesion the theme you choose should relate to that running throughout the rest of the building. Global (travel posters, suitcases, wall masks) and classic English country house (flagstones, wellies, architectural prints) are just two themes that adapt particularly well in a hallway.
As this room forms the meeting point between exterior and interior, why not bring the outside in? Terracotta pots positioned upright and on their side, a giant urn full of grasses, a watering can crammed with contorted twigs, even a garden bench – these are just a few ideas to inspire you.