Stepping through a front door for the first time is always filled with anticipation for what lies beyond. Am I going to be disappointed or pleasantly surprised? Are all those preconceptions about the owners and their taste justified? You may not be able to tell a book by its cover, but the hall is like an introduction and usually gives a flavour of what’s to come.
One of my most recent shoots, was a house in Kensington, which truly had a grand entrance. As well as setting the scene, a hall should be about connectivity. This is achieved here by means of a dramatic staircase, weaving in and out of slender arches.
Linking one space to another helps to orientate yourself, with views up, down or through, and can provide bold contrasts from one space to the next, as in this house, designed by Shaun Clarkson.
Even the smallest entrance can have a dramatic impact, with a splash of colour and some well chosen objects, such as this one in a Victorian flat conversion by Sally Dernie.
Equally dramatic is this pristine white hall by Susan Quirke, showing that bright colour is not the only way to have an impact.
Many a well intentioned hall is overcome by the practical necessities of life, but as these 2 images show, coats and clutter needn’t be eyesores.
Meanwhile clean lines and simplicity needn’t mean dull. The neat red post box, matching the chimney breast in the sitting room, is rather pleasing.
Perhaps because halls aren’t generally used as living spaces, they are sometimes overlooked, but be they grand or tiny, clean or cluttered, they should at least be memorable. Last impressions count too.