First Impressions: Decorating your hallway or foyer

At first glance, it might not seem like decorating your hallway or entryway is the most necessary thing. Hallway furniture seems like it might just lead to clutter and blockages. But what that point of view neglects is the importance of other first glances, most notably those of your guests. A well-decorated hallway or entryway can set the tone for a house, providing an appealing first glimpse. What’s more, hallway furniture can actually end up saving space in situations where space is at a premium.

There’s a range of options for hallway furniture, from decorative mirrors and wall hangings to chests and tables. All of them, when chosen right, can both enhance your space aesthetically and make the last-minute rush out the door easier. Store your keys, your purses, and any jewelry you don’t want to forget in a small chest near the door to your house, freshen up in a wall mirror, and head out to work or a party without worrying about a thing. Encourage guests to do the same with a table for purses or a shoe rack and make sure that they can feel welcome right away.

The key difficulty, of course, is space. With such limited space, it’s important to choose things that are sure to work in your home without risking bruised shins at night. With a larger foyer or entryway, these concerns largely disappear, but even with a larger entry space you want to preserve its sense of size and avoid clutter as much as possible. Measure the spaces you’re fitting things into many times and make sure you leave plenty of room to move and breathe. Placement is also part of this – even if your mirror fits the space perfectly, consider putting it off-center from doors and entrances to avoid startling guests. Similarly, avoid putting dressers and tables in places where people will have trouble avoiding them.

If you want furniture that’s functional as well as stylish, storage space also becomes a concern. With so little room for depth, wide, deep drawers become the ideal. Different heights of cabinets and dressers can give different impressions – one might be for shoes and another for small trinkets, and choosing cabinets of different heights ensures that it will be clear which is which.

Style is a key concern with hallway furniture. In a smaller space, there’s much less room for error – any clashing or incongruous piece will make itself obvious. Most modern hallway furniture should work well together, but it’s key to make sure that you establish the impression you want your house to give. Warm colors might give a more welcoming impression, while cooler tones might lead to a more elegant tone overall. Figure out what you want guests to know about you the moment they step in the door.

With the right furniture, the most neglected rooms in your house can become the most pleasant and useful.

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