One of the reasons I chose this house type when buying our home was the welcoming feeling I got from the entrance hall. I’d always loved the idea of having the luxury of space in the hall; space for a chair to plonk down on when you’re putting on shoes, space for outdoor gear for the family, space for a buggy.
All this space without wasting square footage; a tricky balance to hit! This hallway was the perfect entrance and led through to a glass panel door with a view of the family room and kitchen; I was in love the minute I clapped eyes on the space. Its true what they say about you making up your mind about a property in the first 60 seconds!
True to form as with the rest of the house, the hallway started out as a white box which we lived with for 6 months before decorating. Looking at these before shots now, there are hardly any items still in their original places; I do love a good faff!
In the show home the flooring from the hallway went from the front door all the way back into the kitchen and I loved that effect. It drew your eye right the way through the space and beautifully linked the hallway to the home; I knew I wanted the same look for our home.
Initially I wanted ceramic tile flooring, pretty much identical to what I’d seen in the show home. That “show home effect” as I call it is difficult to manage. When you fall in love with a show home, it can feel very strange to veer a long way away from the decorative choices that you see in it and you can become quite nervous of making a design decision that “ruins” the feel of the property. I was forced out of the Show Home Comfort Zone as our choices day did not leave enough lead time for ceramic flooring. We therefore opted for Amtico flooring, and now I am so relieved that we went in this direction. Amtico is kinder underfoot, warmer, easier to keep clean and (for once) cheaper!
We went for a grey stained wood floorboard effect called Nordic Oak. At the time this was because I had visions of the house being all grey (I thought I might be able to have a grown up, sophisticated home, but soon realised that I couldn’t maintain that look!)
In choosing the floor, I also had to consider how the it would work with the kitchen surfaces as I definitely wanted to recreate the flow of the show home by having the same flooring throughout.
Once we had chosen the tile, we had to chose the layout. As I was swayed by the Show Home, I went for a Stripwood layout in a direction pointing from door to kitchen. In my research for this blog post I am amazed how many choices there are for floor tile layout. I do wish now that I’d have looked at all of the options. I would most likely still have the same layout but at least it would have been an informed decision! Those of you who have experienced “choices day” with new builds, I’m sure will empathise with the need to not hear any more options!!
On the whole I am very please with the floor choice; its neutral enough to allow for the different direction we took in the hallway without being the same as everyone else’s. The grey has also been a good choice for disguising wet foot prints so I can just about get away with only scrubbing the floor once per week.
The starting point was the wallpaper which is Cole and Son Palm Jungle. When we lived in London we had the green version put up in our bathroom, but we actually ended up moving 6 months later meaning I didn’t really get to enjoy it so I was desperate to have the pattern feature somewhere in the house.
As we’d never lived anywhere with stairs before, I wasn’t sure what to do with that amount of wall. I had toyed with the idea of commissioning a large piece of artwork, but then was unsure how I’d bring the “personality” to the hallway downstairs. It turned out to be the perfect place for a repeat of the Cole and Son Palm Jungle wallpaper as I liked the idea of the lines making the most of the double height wall. I ordered a few samples from Wallpaper Direct so we could see which would work the best. Their website is fab for visualising wallpaper in the room that you are looking to place it, as you can see from the examples below;
The colours we considered were Blue, Stone and Taupe, and Emerald Green. Mr PHD chose the colour we went for, Blue. I wasn’t sure about the colour way; I was still in a mind-set where I wanted the hallway to be sophisticated greys so was more fond of the Satin and Taupe. I put my trust in Mr PHD and I am so glad I did! The retro colour way looks fab and is much better suited to the decorative direction I ended up going with the house; eclectic, bold and colourful! Well done Mr PHD!
At £100 per roll, this was definitely our biggest indulgence in the house as we needed 5 rolls; gulp! But it’s the best investment we made and I just love coming home and seeing it. It took some restraint not to do it on more walls, but luckily the bank balance kept me at bay! It is a good idea to subscribe to wallpaper direct as they frequently offer discounts and will send you a 10% code when you order a free sample; if you’re investing in pricey wallpaper that saving can make quite a big difference! You can explore their website here.
I had fallen in love so much with the light and space of this area that initially I really didn’t want to put too much colour on the walls. I opted for a neutral cream so that the wallpaper would be the star of the show, not a cast member in an assault of colour.
Paint Colours: Phase 1
My initial colour pallet was to paint the walls in two different shades; mostly a muted mushroom tone from Valspar called Palest Satin and a secondary dark grey that verges on mauve, also from Valspar called Luxe Grey.
Paint Colours: Phase 2
I lived with the neutral tones for about 2 months before deciding the room needed more strength of character. I decided to paint every wall in the deeper Luxe Grey and I’m so glad I did! The colour is still “neutral” enough that it works as a walk through to any room, but has enough strength that is doesn’t feel dull or safe. Also, the space is large enough and well lit so that the deeper colour doesn’t shrink it. I am thrilled with the colour!
My first ever “Ikea Hack” was for the hallway. It was SUPER easy to make and was finished within an afternoon!
- Take two KNAGGLIG crates from Ikea; you could use up to three or just the one if you’re making a bedside table and assemble. You may chose to exclude building the base into the crate. This will mean that you can see through the unit when built. I opted to do this as I wanted the wallpaper to peek through.
- Paint or Wax the boxes in your desired colour; I went for an emulsion paint mixed with water to create a stain like effect
- Attach the two (or three) crates together using wood glue. You can use small clamps to firmly secure while they dry. Make sure you allow the glue to dry completely.
- Attach hairpin legs using wood screws; these can be easily found on eBay
There is further storage under the stairs that really could do with being better organised so no shots inside there! I would like to build better shoe storage into the space and take out the junk that is building up… Its a proper Monica cupboard!
The mirror that sits above the radiator is a favourite in the home. It’s a purchase from Next and I love the Art Deco style. In the winter I wrap LED lights around the spokes for a more festive look. Below the mirror sitting on the radiator cover are dried hydrangeas from our back garden (I’m not a domestic goddess, its really easy; especially if you keep them on a radiator!) alongside a very treasured frame that has ultra sound pictures of our baby who is due this July.
The chair, that I had so longed to have in the entrance space looks exactly how I imagined it. of course we rarely sit on it to put our shoes on as planned, favouring plonking down on the stairs; but its nice to have options! Its an Eames style chair which I bought for the bargain price of £15 on eBay. It was super cheap because it had a small scratch on the back of it making it “non saleable” and making it a total steal!
The statement chandelier (which I cannot say or type without hearing Sia in my head) was a prize I won through an instagram competition for #luxuryinteriorsonabudget from a company called Inscape Design. It is a mid century inspired sputnik design and such an amazing statement in our hallway. It takes 18 bulbs, so is also quite the beacon to the entire neighbourhood when its on!
Lastly, there are two illustrations on the wall that I really treasure. Both of these were designed by Letterfest, who I found through Not on the High Street. One is of our first ever home, our flat in London, and one of our Family home. I totally adore these as keepsakes of our journey together. While Mr PHD has banned a move for the foreseeable future, I pledge to keep collecting these as a record of all the houses we’ve made a home.
I fell hard and fast for this property based on the hallway, and my gut was right! The welcoming feeling that filled me when viewing the show home is only exaggerated in our own hallyway where we are surrounded by so many personal touches that make it our home.
Disclaimer: I have not been paid or sponsored by any brand in this Hallway Tour. These are my recommendations and any links are not affiliate links, just an effort to support small and high quality businesses.