First impressions: Jenny Allan, founder of luxury interior design company JCA Interiors offers advice for making the most of your entrance hall.
An entrance hall sets the scene for the rest of the home as it is the central core of the interior and it gives the opportunity to make a statement with the design. Consider what will be seen the moment the front door is opened and what elements will be the main focus of attention.
Choose a style or concept that can be continued throughout the property but perhaps add a little more drama than in other rooms. Statement lighting such as chandeliers make a great choice and can be incorporated to enhance the staircase and complement the architecture. A beautiful, stylish chandelier will never fail to impress and can be used as a focal point, making a powerful first impression.
For welcoming, ambient light, include decorative wall sconces to add to the luxurious, inviting feel of the entrance hall. Place them either side of artwork or a mirror to add symmetry and create balance within the design. There are other ways to use lighting to make a dramatic, impactful design and there really is a chance to be creative, particularly in smaller city hallways. For example, spotlights can be used cleverly to enhance certain features or could even be built into the floor to lift light upwards and create interest.
When choosing flooring it is best to select either wood or stone as these are the most hard-wearing materials and are easy to keep clean for this highly used area. To add warmth and reduce echo, add a centrally placed rug or perhaps use a carpet runner on the stairs with the addition of stair rods.
The staircase is often a dominant feature in entrance halls and the design should be built around this element. If designing a new build home, there is the chance to create something special and the staircase should be given much consideration. Many types of staircases are available, from spiraling “helical” versions to floating treads. Just ensure the chosen staircase suits the architectural style of the building and does not jar with the property’s aesthetics.
Furniture is another key consideration when designing entrance halls as its absence will make the space feel cold and uninviting. However, as hallways are sometimes narrow be sure to choose pieces that are streamlined and compliment the design concept. Console tables are ideal for entrance halls as they are useful as well as elegant. Try placing near the front door with a mirror or artwork above the table to create a beautiful, functional feature. In addition, if space allows, it is preferable to have a stylish seating area which will further enhance the homely feel.
Entrance halls have the potential to “wow” and it is important to make the most of the space you have. They are an area of the home that every visitor will see, so really go to town and create something special. As they say, you’ll never have a second chance to make a first impression!
JCA Interiors and Jenny Allan – Where and how
23 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1JB