Stairways and Hallways: Maximising the Potential of Often Overlooked Spaces
The hallway, and often the stairway, are the first thing that you and visitors see when they walk into your home. They’re also one of the highest-traffic spaces in the house, being walked through numerous times a day.
Despite the prominence of these spaces, they’re often dismissed as mundane parts of the house that aren’t worthy of attention. Break the mould by making your staircase and hallway a highlight of your house, combining practicality and style to create spaces that suit the inhabitants of the home and impress visitors.
Read these simple tips to find out how.
Make the stairs a feature
If your stairs are enclosed in a narrow walkway with little potential for wall-mounted features, make a feature of the stairs themselves. Stripping the wood down and varnishing it in a warm tone can help give a sense of space as any light is reflected off the varnish. Add a stylish runner, choosing vertical stripes to direct the attention up the flight of stairs, giving a pleasing sense of direction.
Fabrics, plants, and mirrors
Give your hallways and stairways an injection of light and life with well-chosen accessories. If you’ve got enough space for a seat, add some bright cushions for a lift. Placing a well-maintained, leafy plant on a stand or in the corner can give a vitality and freshness to the space, and mirrors are a great way of adding a feature without bulk, while maximising the sense of space.
Choose your accessories and furniture carefully; even a generous hallway and a wide staircase can be made to look cramped with the addition of too many objects. Look carefully at the space before choosing items, working with the shape of what’s there. Select shallow seats and specially designed hallway tables to allow the maximum walking area, and don’t mount photos willy-nilly all over the walls. Have a theme or style which unites the elements, giving the space a sense of unity that makes it pleasant to step into.
Use a statement piece
If you’re lucky enough to have a large hallway and/or stairway, you can play with adding a striking statement piece. Choose something that will arrest people’s attention when they walk in the front door or reach the landing; it should reflect the style of your décor, or even your own personality. Choose carefully to avoid it looking garish, rather than fabulous.
As with almost every space in the house, the hallway and stairway are first and foremost spaces that you live in (or in this case, pass through). They should reflect the needs and interests of the people who live in the house, and work with them, rather than being impractically designed.
If, for example, you have three young children in the house, don’t plump for a starkly minimalist hallway that has to be completely free of clutter to look good. Instead, make a feature out of creative storage like coat and shoe pegs. If you’re a dog owner, buy a nice wicker basket for the dog with a matching basket for his toys. Work to the strengths of your and your family’s characteristics to make the space welcoming and genuine.
For stairways and hallways that shine, be innovative and practical with furniture, stick to simple accessories that match the inherent potential of the spaces, and create a genuine and welcoming effect that works with the needs of the inhabitants.