Display vintage finds, repurpose existing treasures and revamp those pre-loved curios for a welcoming, characterful entrance
UK based Houzz contributor and freelance property and interiors journalist with experience… More
The hallway often gets relegated to the bottom of the list when it comes to makeover projects in the home. But you can easily transform a bland corridor from a boring thoroughfare into a standout space with just a few clever upcycling ideas. It’s the perfect place to experiment with pieces that might feel a bit over the top in the living room, so let your creative juices flow and take inspiration from these fabulously quirky schemes.
Exploit under-stairs space
The space beneath an open stairway can be awkward to fill. So why not use old wine and fruit crates to piece together a storage unit that will fit the space beautifully?
If you want to add even more quirkiness, fit mirrors to the inside of three or four crates and display your favourite, most eye-catching pieces in them.
Consider reclaimed glass
Visit any architectural salvage yard and you’re sure to find some beautiful examples of stained glass from churches and other period buildings. As hallways can sometimes be lacking in light, why not create an opening to a neighbouring room to steal some extra rays?
Using a stained-glass panel will retain privacy between the two rooms, as well as creating a stunning feature that can be enjoyed in both spaces.
Slot in slim seating
If you have the space to squeeze in some seating, what better place for a church pew than the hallway? Cinema seats or interlocking school assembly chairs would work well, too. As it’s only likely to be used for putting on shoes, it doesn’t have to be super comfortable.
Tuck handy storage baskets underneath, or why not use vintage suitcases instead? Finish the eclectic look by spray-painting vintage frames in an array of vibrant colours, and upcycling old clothes or fabric offcuts for cushions.
Commission a local artist
Make the most of the upcycling trend by asking an artist or illustrator to personalise a favourite piece of furniture, like this characterful chest of drawers. Track one down through a vintage furniture shop, search on Etsy or ask your local Arts Council to point you in the right direction.
Pack in more storage
Tall vintage lockers reclaimed from offices make great storage for books and paperwork. If you like the battered look, keep them rusty, or give them a distressed paint finish. Upcycle the door fronts with chicken wire or wallpaper, or try stencilling on numbers or letters.
See 10 ways to bring order to your hall
If you’ve collected every issue of your favourite magazine, perhaps now’s the time to put your vintage collection to good use by creating a decoupage wall. Use a mixture of water and glue to fix down the pages and then cover with several coats of polyurethane mixed with varnish to give a hard finish.
You could equally use vintage comics, book pages or sheet music instead.
Showcase your shoes
Glass-fronted shop display cabinets are ideal for storing shoes. Even units that weren’t originally intended for footwear can be transformed with poles or shelving inside.
Alternatively, you could use painted wooden ladders or look out for old gym benches, from which you can hang wire pigeonholes for shoes.
Check out more creative ways to store your shoes.
Add an umbrella stand
Track down a milk churn as a quirky alternative to the typical umbrella stand. Other vintage items could be re-purposed for umbrella storage, too, such as 1960s knee-high boots for a retro look, or a giant spring coil for an industrial feel.
If you’ve upcycled anything – for the hall or any other room – we’d love to see photos in the Comments below.