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5 hallway design mistakes we're making – and expert tips on how to solve them

From light-coloured flooring to culling that clutter...

When guests enter your home, the hallway is the first thing they see... And, as we know, first impressions count. It doesn't have to be perfect or decorated along one particular theme, but there are many hallway design mistakes you can make in this small but powerful area of the home that can be easily fixed.

See:Hallway decor ideas – to create a stylish first impression

We’ve highlighted the five most common decorating mistakes people make when decorating their hallway and enlisted the help of home accessories buyer Emily Dunstan of Heals.com to reveal how to avoid making them yourself.

EXPERT TIPS TO SOLVE 5 HALLWAY DESIGN MISTAKES WE'VE ALL BEEN MAKING

From dimly lit spaces to lack of storage for coats and shoes, Emily solves our top entrance way issues, and has put together 10 clever interior design tricks to make the most of this under-valued space.

1. USING LIGHT-COLOURED FLOORING

Even with a strict ‘shoes off’ policy, there’s no escaping the fact that the hallways floor is where dirt arrives and can be easily trodden in. Depending on how much traffic your hallway gets, there are a few different things you can do.

Forget light coloured tiles or laminate and opt for patterned tiles or dark wood floors. They won’t show marks as easily and are simple to sweep, mop and vacuum.

Don’t forget to add a hard-wearing hallway runner and doormat to finish off the look.

hallway design mistakes

(Image credit: Heal's)

2. TOO MUCH CLUTTER OR LACK OF STORAGE

Not only are disorganised shoes unsightly, they can also be a trip hazard. Ensure you have enough storage for everyone in the home to have a couple of pairs of shoes in the hallway, plus room for guests to leave theirs when they arrive.

Add bench seating as a further incentive for shoes to be left at the door. Why not opt for an option where the bench is also the storage?

hallway design mistakes

Rather than letting coats pile up in the hallway, add as many hooks as you can so you can comfortably hang and retrieve coats. If you have little ones in the house, why not create a special coat hook just for them? Then they get into the habit of hanging their coat up neatly in the hallway.

hallway design ideas

(Image credit: Heal's)

See:Decorative console tables to pair up in your hallway

3. THINKING SMALL EQUALS DULL

A small hallway doesn’t have to mean a dull hallway. Nor do you have to stick to white paint to make it feel brighter and bigger.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour, especially in a light-starved space. Confident use of a bright colour such as yellow creates a welcoming and vibrant space.

If you don’t want to go all out and paint your walls bright yellow, try adding a few bold accessories such as hooks or benches to get a similar feel.

Hallway ideas

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore.)

4. POOR HALLWAY LIGHTING

Transform a dark and dingy hallway with carefully positioned lighting. Directional wall lights can highlight a beautiful ceiling, and pendant lighting can be really effective in making a small space feel much bigger.

A single pendant light can have the opposite effect, leaving too many shadows and patches of darkness. Instead, opt for multiple pendant lights running the length of your hall. This will draw the eye into the space and feel much warmer and inviting.

hallway design mistakes

(Image credit: Heal's)

5. USING WALLPAPER OR HARD-TO-CLEAN MATTE PAINT IN HIGH TRAFFIC AREAS

In this high-traffic area, it’s worth investing in a quality scrubbable or wipeable paint. This way, any muddy splashes or little fingerprints can be easily wiped away.

Alternatively, wood panelling can help to keep your walls in good condition. Try to opt for panelling that suits the age and history of your property.

Hallway ideas

(Image credit: Pooky)