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12 Design and Space Hacks for Your Hallway

Let your small hall reach its full style potential with these clever ideas that will also help it feel spacious

Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance sub-editor with more than 15 years’ experience… More

It’s the space everyone sees first so you want to make a good impression, but it’s also usually tight and titchy. So how do you make your hall feel big and look chic at the same time? Here are a few ideas – from substantial architectural changes to simple DIY tweaks – to get you started.

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Put up a mirror
And not just any mirror – ideally you’ll want a made-to-measure floor-to-ceiling design to really make a difference in a compact space. It will add depth, plus, if you have natural light – as this hallway does, thanks to the glazed door – it will add brightness, too, by bouncing the daylight around the space. If you’re on a budget, a full-height freestanding mirror will have a similar effect.

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Turn to the bright side
The reason this modern hall looks so big and inviting is all down to the doors that lead from it into the living space. If you swap standard doors for glazed ones, it will open up both your hallway and your sitting room in one fell swoop. Here, the bright yellow feature wall also contributes to the entrance hall’s bright, chic vibe.

Tour the rest of this quirky country home

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Remove a wall
This is a big house, but the hall was cramped before the owners decided to take out part of the wall that divides the living room and entrance. Not only does this mean that light can flow freely everywhere, but the new open-plan design also makes the entire ground floor of the house feel larger.

Always get professional advice about how Building Regulations may affect your design before committing to remove a wall. The now-spacious hall looks stylish thanks to that statement pendant.

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Play with proportions
Don’t have the budget for major structural work? You can use paint to alter how people perceive the size and shape of your hall. Here, one wall is painted in a very sophisticated dark grey and the wall opposite is kept white. This immediately widens the room as the grey wall appears to recede.

10 ways to bring order to your hall

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The same tactic was used in this space, but instead of paint a statement wallpaper was employed to trick the eye into thinking the hall is wider than it really is. This space gets extra style points for not being afraid to accessorise the wow wallpaper with stunning framed photos.

See more photos of eclectic hallways

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Add a window
This pared-back but chic modern-country hall looks more spacious for two reasons. First, the small window opens up the space by providing a clear view of the outside. Second, the built-in storage ensures everything has a place so there will be no clutter to cramp this hall’s style. The clever cabinetry even provides a place to sit when putting shoes on or taking them off.

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Here’s another example of a window bringing a feeling of space (and style) to a cramped hall. The round window is a clever and unexpected touch, which also raises the style credentials of this space. The spherical pendant needs a mention, too, as it helps to distract attention away from the narrowness of this hall by drawing the eye upwards. Finally, just look at that stable-cum-front door.

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Keep up the art of distraction
This striking hallway has an amazing mural at the top of the yellow-painted stairs that grabs your attention and takes focus away from the narrowness of the space. And the paint effect on the left-hand wall also helps to widen the space.

Ways to enliven dark schemes with colour

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In this hallway, it’s the front door with blackboard paint that shouts out in order to distract from the narrow proportions of the hall. And the DIY chalkboard will keep little ones busy when you are gathering everything up before heading out for the day.

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Think about finishes
A sophisticated Venetian plaster (or polished plaster) finish works wonders in this long but super narrow hall. How? It reflects light so the space feels bright and open and adds a sense of grandeur. If you can’t stretch to new plasterwork, a paint with a reflective finish could also work. Many paint brands do metallic paints. These have a wonderful sheen that will bounce light around. Credit should also be given to the frosted-glass door at the end of the hall, as it brings in plenty of natural daylight.

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Be consistent
As seen in some of the previous halls, a neutral scheme can look chic and, more importantly, it helps to create a sense of space thanks to its light-enhancing abilities. Maximise a neutral scheme’s potential by sticking to white on all surfaces – walls, ceiling and on the floor. If you don’t have a dark floor breaking up sightlines, your space will feel bigger. In this neutral space, a few slimline vintage pieces add character but not bulk.

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Raise the roof
This may not be possible in many homes, but just look at how this sloped, glazed roof makes this compact entrance hall feel big. During the day it floods the space with light and at night you can come home and gaze at the stars. If it’s not possible to achieve something like this in your home, would a single skylight be possible or even an oversized fanlight over the door?

Do you have a compact hall? What design ideas have you used to make it feel big and stylish? Tell/show us in the Comments section.

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