Make an entrance
Because there's never a second chance to make a first impression, it's important to pay attention to detail in your front hall. By covering the basics, we'll show you how to design a welcoming entrance that's both practical and beautiful.
Invest in a hard-wearing surface, especially for high-traffic entrances.
• Hardwood is warm and inviting and can be laid diagonally or horizontally to enliven an entranceway.
• Stone -– limestone and marble are two possibilities. Unglazed or tumbled surfaces are warmer than glossy ones
• Ceramic tile offers variety and durability.
• Linoleum is warm and comfortable, but may show wear in such a high-traffic area.
• Area rugs add pattern and colour and can help deaden noise.
Combining different types of lighting will help contribute to an entrance's appeal, making it feel more like a room.
• Lanterns –- a traditional favourite.
• Brass, silver and glass add sparkle.
• Crystal is grand and dramatic.
• Wrought-iron or tin fixtures provide relaxed charm.
• Wall sconces –- flanking art or a mirror.
Mail and keys
No matter how small, every entranceway needs a handy surface to place keys or mail.
• A nine- by 15-inch surface is sufficient to accommodate larger envelopes.
• A chest, table or console can display lamps and photos.
• A narrow shelf mounted to a wall adds convenience to a tiny front hallway.
Every entranceway should offer a convenient place to hang coats and other outerwear.
• Where no closet exists, use an armoire or freestanding coat rack.
• A wall shelf with coat hooks is a convenient small-space option.
• A boot tray tucked into a closet creates a hideaway home for wet boots.
• Hooks mounted on a closet door can hold coats, scarves and hats.
Hard-wearing wall finish
Because it's not self-contained, a front hall should harmonize with adjacent rooms.
• Multilayered paint techniques such as colour-washing hide wear best, while higher-sheen paint cleans up easily.
Whenever possible, choose accessories that are both decorative and functional.
• Artwork -– transition spaces are excellent for bold, bright pieces of art.
• Fresh flowers or plants are a must. In Italy, fresh basil is sometimes displayed.
• Wall mirror –- for last-minute touch-ups.
• Umbrella stand –- use a deep porcelain vase, wicker basket or large hook.
• Doormat –- coir and jute are durable and affordable, while Persian rugs are hard-wearing and elegant.
• A small bench, chair or stool offers comfortable seating when you're removing shoes or boots.