First Impressions: 6 Entrance Hall Ideas

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Check out our list of 6 great entrance hall ideas that will help you make the best possible first impression on your house guests!

We’ve all nipped out for groceries looking like a scarecrow and run into somebody we were hoping to impress. There’s no point wishing it never happened – because when it comes to first impressions, there are no second chances.

That old truism applies to your personal appearance, and it applies to your home too. And when someone visits you for the first time, their first impression starts to form as soon as they walk through the door. That’s why your entrance hall – so often overlooked in our interior design masterplans – needs to be a decor statement in itself.

We’ve put together 6 entrance hall design ideas that will make anyone – new business partner or romantic prospect – want to stride on in and explore further. So check out our entry hall decor tips and make your hallway a haven.

Idea #1: Create a Link with the Outside

First Impressions: 6 Entrance Hall Ideas. Gallery wall featuring photos of plants.

Your hallway is where inside and outside meet. And a few decor features playing on this relationship can create a sense of continuity and flow as people enter your home.

Putting some plants in your entrance hall can be a welcoming touch when guests arrive – it’s a nod to the natural world outside that can make your home feel more universal, less like a fortress of personal space. And plants give off oxygen, so they’ll lessen the risk of your home feeling stuffy in comparison to the street.

Wall decor featuring plants (try making a photo canvas print featuring lush greenery at My-Picture.co.uk) can be a witty complement/alternative to the real thing.

Idea #2: Create a Link with Connecting Rooms

First Impressions: 6 Entrance Hall Ideas. MIXPIX adhesive photo tiles featuring family photos.

Your entrance hall should create a sense of flow within your home too. As we don’t spend much time in the hall, the temptation is to settle for a utilitarian design scheme. But there’s no reason why your hallway shouldn’t be as homely as the rooms that lead off from it.

Displaying personal photos in the hallway seems like an obvious idea, but you’ll see them in surprisingly few homes. A couple of photos showing who you are and what you love will create a link with the adjacent living areas, helping create a cohesive sense of place. Try a framed photo of you on your travels, or enjoying a meal with your family.

Idea #3: Go Bold with Colour for an Airy Feel

First Impressions: 6 Entrance Hall Ideas. Vibrant entrance hall design.

Picture a summer day. Your guest reaches your front door with their eyes accustomed to the noonday sun, then you usher them into the hall and close the door behind them. Will they feel like you’ve just led them down into a murky cellar?

Most of us aren’t blessed with a grand entrance hall that’s perpetually bathed in light. If your hallway is on the poky side, and has no windows, there are a few things you can do to make it feel as light and airy as possible. Choosing bright colours of paint/wallpaper is the simplest solution here. Be bold and don’t fear playful, zesty shades like a canary yellow or even a lime green.

Idea #4: Use Mirrors to Create the Illusion of Space

First Impressions: 6 Entrance Hall Ideas. Minimalist entrance hall design.

Another classic idea for creating a roomy feeling is to hang a mirror or two. Those walls won’t feel like they’re closing in if you’ve got a decent-sized mirror doubling up the space you’ve got available. And if your hallway doesn’t get much light, you’ll really appreciate having a reflective surface that can make the most of the meagre supply.

Needless to say, a conveniently placed mirror also gives you the chance to have a last-minute spruce-up before you head out into the world. (Full-length mirrors are best for this purpose of course, though a classic circular design usually has more impact as a design feature.)

Idea #5: Choose Seating You’d Want to Sit On

First Impressions: 6 Entrance Hall Ideas. Rustic style seating in entrance hall.

Many of us have no seating at all in the entrance hallway, leaving our guests to struggle in and out of their shoes balancing on one leg. And when we do keep a chair or bench by the door, too often it’s of the most utilitarian (read: neither attractive nor comfortable) design.

This is a mistake, as it’s the little details that can change a home from a collection of rooms into a coherent, appealing whole. So choose a chair/bench that’s actually pleasant to sit on, and that integrates fully with your hallway decor scheme – i.e. colour scheme, design, and period.

Idea #6: Punctuate a White Colour Scheme with Black Accents

First Impressions: 6 Entrance Hall Ideas. Modern entrance hall design with black accent.

If the rooms leading off from your entrance hall have been decorated to fairly contrasting designs, you might need to keep to a more neutral scheme in the hallway so the palettes etc don’t clash. But neutral doesn’t have to mean bland.

If you choose a pure white colour scheme, for example, you can still make a great visual impact by including crisp touches of black on the doors, staircases, floors, and wall decor. The clean contrast achieved by black accents gives the eye work to do, without becoming oppressive. Meanwhile your hallway can still integrate with a wide range of colour schemes in the adjacent living spaces.

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