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​10 needless hallway mistakes you can easily avoid

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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They say never to judge a book by its cover. Yet they also say that first impressions are everything. And shouldn’t a guest’s first impression of your house be a positive one?

Exactly! That’s why we thought we’d dedicate this article to the first space people see upon entering a house – the hallway. Most of us tend to focus on other areas like the kitchen or bathroom (which also need to be beautiful and functional, mind you) and then simply treat the entry hall to a quick dusting. That’s a no no! 

Yes, the hallway isn’t a space where we tend to linger long, but it still needs to look pretty decent (at the very least) and be practical. 

So, to help you (and your poor, forgotten entry hall) out, find herewith ten mistakes relating to entry hall design and décor that most of us are guilty of – and how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Not spending enough time on decorating

In the majority of cases, the entry hall or hallway is seen as a mere link between rooms (or between exterior and interior areas) – which is true, but that does not mean that it doesn’t deserve the same attention and style that your other rooms are treated to.

Take into account what your doors look like (material, colour, etc.) and how that will influence your entry hall’s look.

Mistake 2: Not making the most of the space

Private Residence, Surrey Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by Nice Brew Interior Design Modern
Nice Brew Interior Design

Private Residence, Surrey

Nice Brew Interior Design

A lot of entry halls tend to be quite spacious, yet can look severely underdressed if not fitted with the right furniture- and décor pieces. If there is space for a bookshelf or cupboard, then by all means put one in there, even if it goes underneath the staircase – anything that helps out with storage is welcome. 

If your entry hall is more modest in size, opt for smaller floating shelves and perhaps a bench which can help with seating and storage.

Mistake 3: Forgetting the scent factor

How would you feel when walking into someone’s house and being hit by the smell of wet dog (or something equally underwhelming)? 

Make sure your guests don’t experience something similar. As an entry hall tends to have a lot of feet, pet, food, smelly shoes, and who-knows-what travelling through it, you need to get on the scent factor ASAP. 

Scented candles, fresh flowers and house plants, and air fresheners can all make a massive difference to how your entry hall smells.

Mistake 4: Not placing a door mat

Upper Park, Loughton: modern  by Boscolo, Modern

Upper Park, Loughton


Feet and shoes that travel indoors tend to take some of the exterior ground surface with them – how would you like some sand and grass on that plush carpet of yours? 

Always ensure you have a decent door mat in your entry hall, and that it’s treated to decent cleaning on a regular basis.

Mistake 5: Opting for the wrong flooring

Trampled mud on a carpet is no picnic. So why would you place carpets in your entry hall?

An area rug can add some colour and pattern, but focus on tiled or wooden/laminate flooring for the overall area, as they are much easier to clean, considering that it takes only some mopping or sweeping to rid your entry space of the mud/dust/grass that were trampled indoors. 

Interior designers, flooring experts, and much more – we have them all here on homify. See our professionals page for more info.

Mistake 6: Not using the right paint colours

If neutral tones float your boat, more power to you. But a jovial tone (think warm orange or seafoam blue) can be the colour equivalent to a friendly greeting for your guests. 

Whichever colours you opt to splash on your entry hall’s walls, make sure they complement the rest of the interiors’ look, and don’t make the entry area stand out like a ripe pimple. 

We have the low-down when it comes to: Painting Your House Like A Pro (And Not Die Trying).

Mistake 7: Choosing bad lighting

Bad lighting involves more than just people knocking over flower pots just because they can’t see properly at night. It can also mean the difference between a room looking like a badly lit motel, or a fresh and clear space. 

Ensure your entry hall’s lighting illuminate the area both sufficiently and beautifully – warm lighting is the key, as it helps to make one feel more relaxed. 

If you must, opt for a wall mirror to enhance the brightness factor.

Mistake 8: Leaving shoes strewn everywhere

Mish-Mesh storage: industrial  by Loaf, Industrial Metal

Mish-Mesh storage


Those muddy boots need a storing spot, and it needs to be a location that’s neither a tripping hazard nor an eyesore. 

A shoe rack is one option, and a simple shoe basket is another, which will allow everyone in the family (and even the guests, if those are the rules) to leave their dirty shoes in one designated spot before entering your house.

Mistake 9: Leaving out hooks and stands

modern  by homify, Modern Wood Wood effect

Withnail coat hook


Apart from leaving dirty shoes at the door, people will need a spot where they can take off their coats, scarves, and hats as well. A hat stand is an oldie but a goodie, and wall hooks can also help out (and clear up some extra floor space).

homify hint: Allocate each family member his/her own wall hook, and add an extra one or two for visiting guests.

Mistake 10: Not making it personal

E2 PAVILION ECO HOUSE, BLACKHEATH Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by E2 Architecture + Interiors Modern
E2 Architecture + Interiors


E2 Architecture + Interiors

Your entry hall is part of your home, which means it also needs to flaunt some personal touches.

Framed family photos against the wall (or placed on a side table), your favourite wallpaper, that vintage bench you love so much – these are all elements that can add a unique and beautiful touch to your entry hall.

Just make sure not to place something that will make opening or closing the door a challenge.

Did we nail it? Or did we forget any crucial hallway tips?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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