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Byline: By Andrew Durham

Make a grand entrance by giving your hallway a makeover says Andrew Durham

They say that first impressions count and there's no better way to make one in your home than creating a hallway that both excites and invites.

Hallways are often bottom of the "places to decorate" list and are the forgotten room of the house. But with creative thinking and a bit of planning you make a grand entrance with even the smallest of hallways.

So, if your space is at a premium you have to look at how you can make the best of what you have. Often in a narrow hallway you forget to notice the space you have above and below eye level.

Glass shelves can be fitted and are ideal for creating an illusion of space and to add height use tall, slim line vases with single stem flowers. Freesias are perfect for the hallways, as their distinctive perfume will make a welcoming impact.

Again for a small hallway mirrors can play an important role. A large floor to ceiling mirror will give an illusion of brightness, opt for one with a plain edge to enhance the illusion, gilded ornate mirrors don't do the required job as well.

If you are lucky enough to have good, natural daylight then the use of mirrors will double the effect.

If however your hallway does suffer from a serious case of gloom then you need some ways of making it more inviting.

One obvious way of lightening up the area is to use pale colours but

for a more dramatic effect try something a little darker.

Rich reds, Mediterranean oranges and opulent purples are fantastic in small hallways especially at this time of the year; a hearty welcome is what's needed after a cold journey home.

Add some further opulence by using some ethnic influenced accessories. An Indian rug hanging on the wall, Moroccan lanterns and artefacts picked up on foreign travels will create a warm, vibrant entrance.

Lighting plays an important part in the hall. Too bright lights will make a stark impact while too little lighting is not that useful when coming in on dark nights. Subtle lighting placed at different levels will give you the opportunity to create varying ambiences.

Wall lights, uplighters, downlighters, candles and for the ultimate in extravagance chandeliers, all have their own distinctive style of light and they all benefit from the ability to create a feeling of warmth.

The flooring in the hallway should be considered carefully too. Personally I have no favourite material for floors of a hallway but for sheer practicality perhaps a hardwearing surface should be chosen a especially if you live in the countryside or have a clutch of children with a tendency to forget about wiping their feet!

Floor tiles are a good option, tough, easy to clean and very stylish. Both laminate and wood are a popular choice but perhaps cream carpets should be forgotten!

After all that hard work you should now be confident of opening your front door and showing off your grand entrance with pride and invite the neighbours round for coffee!
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 15, 2005
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