Room Guide - Entrance Hall and Front Door

Interior Design Guide ROOM GUIDE - PART ONE
The Entrance Hall and Front Door
Even if your hallway amounts to a space the size of a large pocket handkerchief, entrances speak volumes - and because they have the first say, at the threshold to your home, it is worth taking them seriously. Your entrance hall gives you your first opportunity to express your own style and say 'this is us, this is who we are'.
Every entrance hall starts with the front door and the walls on either side of it. Consider the proportions of the space you have to work with. If your hall is tall and narrow you may wish to break up the wall space to bring the height down. A good solution is a dado rail. Paint the wall space underneath it in one solid colour (a dado rail provides you with the opportunity to use a practical colour on the lower walls to withstand the 'through traffic' and wear and tear that most hallways sustain), and paint the walls above in a much light shade. Thus 'splitting' the walls horizontally effectively reduces height. A wide hallway on the other hand would benefit from careful consideration of the floor colour. A floor colour much deeper in colour than the walls will reduce floor space giving the illusion that is is smaller, cosier and more welcoming. Avoid light coloured floor for practical reasons in a hallway, but also to reduce the risk of giving a large open space that 'clinical', 'hospital-corridor' appearance. If your entrance hall offers the kind of space that will accommodate an area for seating or maybe for a desk or occasional table by a window, then you may wish to consider planning your colour scheme round these objects to create an atmosphere which tempts your visitors to stop and linger for a while.
If you have a narrow hallway, do not make the mistake of thinking that it has to be boring. An entrance hall can make the most effective picture gallery even if space is limited. You need not spend a lot of money or be knowledgeable of art, to hang prints or photographs in your hallway. You will, however, need to conscious of the lighting. Many entrance halls do not have source of natural light from windows, so it is worth taking time and trouble over the lighting in this part of your home. Nothing is less welcoming than stepping into a dim and uninviting hallway. It is worth bearing in mind that many pictures are shown off to their best advantage against a dark colour, so consider this at the same time as your lighting solutions. Ensure that whatever fittings you choose (overhead, wall-lights, spotlights or up-lighters for example) throw out sufficient light to lift the colour of the room as well as showing off your pictures to their best advantage. Pay attention not only to the images you use but the way in which you mount and hang them. Gilt frames can add clever accents to a room,  mirrors and blinds can increase valuable light sources, maximise width, and add space.
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