When it comes to advice for decorating a room, look to Rita Konig's columns. For hallways, she has the following wisdom to disperse: 'It is easy to forget that an entrance hall is a room. It often receives corridor status, but it is, in fact, an important space. As the place for arrivals and departures, it sets the tone for the rest of the house, so it needs to be welcoming. The furniture here should be good. The hall table can be quite magnificent – just as it is in many of Robert Kime’s projects, and in William Yeoward and Colin Orchard’s house in Gloucestershire. It is all about inviting you in, whether you are in London or the country. And traffic is a consideration when you are decorating. The floor, for example, has to be practical while remaining in keeping with the style of the house.'
The right paint colour or wallpaper can brighten and lift the darkest or smallest of spaces. Include elegant storage to cut down on clutter, enliven your floor with a vibrant rug or runner or use the walls to display an art collection. If your hallway receives a daily bashing from your kids, why not consider hardwearing tiles or wall panels? We've found the most enthralling halls and corridors from our archive for design ideas to inspire you.
Narnia-like surprises abound in Susanna Swallow's enchanting cottage, located in the unlikely urban setting of Shepherd's Bush. She inherited this Wedgwood dessert service on display, although you can still sometimes find pieces from this eighteenth-century pattern in antique shops or on eBay. Create a similar effect with Wedgwood 'Renaissance Gold' plates. Prices start at £25 for an 18cm plate. The shelving was made by AJA Brothers, who also carried out the building work.
Leading into the family room, the front hall in Edward Bulmer's Herefordshire house has a chandelier from a local antique shop and a carpet from Roger Oates. In the hallway of Alidad's opulent house, walls in pink suede with gold braid work create a bold backdrop for the designer's collections of prints, artwork and antiques acquired over the years, including an English neo-gothic chair upholstered in green chenille. The striped wool carpet is by Roger Oates Design.
An elegant hallway in an Arts & Crafts house by Ben Pentreath. A ‘Sussex’ bench by William Morris and a linocut by Edward Bawden stand out against the panelling, which is painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Shaded White’.