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Creating a warm welcome
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Creating a warm welcome

Your entrance hall may well be one of those 'lands that time forgot' in your home. All too often, practicality takes over; this may well be where you keep shoes, coats, buggies, dog basket and other household essentials. You get the picture; there’s a good chance it’s cluttered and the last room on your list to be decorated. You walk in to the house, dump your keys somewhere, chuck your shoes on the floor and carry on through into the house.

But think about it as someone else’s house. What impression does it give visitors? Even the less house proud among us probably don’t want people stepping over piles of shoes and a sleeping dog. Space is definitely going to be an issue for many, and few people have a grand, double height entrance hall with a sweeping staircase and enough room for a game of tennis. However, there’s no reason your entry space can’t be stylish and beautiful no matter what its size.

A clear out is probably a good place to start. Chuck out any odd shoes and gloves. If you keep shoes and coats in the hall, have a good think about storage. Plenty of high street and online retailers sell storage solutions to suit every budget and a shoe cupboard will look a lot neater than a pile of footwear.

You can never have too many coat hooks it seems, so put up plenty of them. Each person in the house probably has at least two coats, plus bags, rucksacks, PE kits etc., and you’ll be very glad of any extra hooks when you have visitors.

Somewhere to put your keys is really important. If space is limited, then a slim line console table is perfect. It looks good and you can slide extra storage boxes underneath if you want. If space is really really limited, then put up a couple of shelves or a shelving unit.

Carpet is warmer and quieter, especially if you have neighbours to consider. But it can be a real pain to keep clean unless your family is scrupulous about wiping their feet. Wooden, tiled or laminate floors are hard wearing and easier to keep clean.

Finally, think about the décor. There’s nothing to stop you painting it white of course. But what a great opportunity for a splash of colour, or a stunning wallpaper. Don’t worry about ‘making the space look small’. Get the lighting and storage right and cosy halls can look welcoming. Throw away the rule book and let your hallway reflect your personality.

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