The place where home begins, the first place you see when you return and the place that welcomes your visitors. So start here when getting to grips with your home!

  • Minimise clutter, try to accommodate coats, bags and shoes elsewhere. Your under-stairs may be required to work hard to facilitate this! Regular culling and editing of jackets season by season etc will help.
  • Provide somewhere to drop keys and post near the door.
  • Place the alarm control panel here too if possible.
  • Maximise natural light with a strategically placed mirror.
  • It may help light levels also to paint the back of your front door where this is natural or stained timber.
  • Allow for welcoming soft light at night, with dimmer switches or a table lamp.
  • Ceiling lights can oppress what is often a restricted space. Consider recessed downlighters as an alternative.
  • Think dirt management! Provide a recessed mat well with removable mat where you have a timber or tiled floor, then a rug/runner along the length of the space. These will help soften the acoustics also.
  • The radiator frequently poses a visual problem here. Consider replacing it with, say, a contemporary school-house type radiator as an alternative to a radiator cover, which can be bulky in this space.
  • A wall mounted console table over a radiator can provide storage for keys etc as well as minimising the effect of an existing unsightly radiator.
  • Where coat storage elsewhere is not possible, consider  a narrow shelf with hooks below. Hooks at about 1.1m above floor level will accommodate most jackets and coats comfortably.

Our Hall…

Hall houseology

  • Faces West, measures 1.34m wide  x 1.47m deep.
  • It’s a small space, functioning more as a draught lobby than somewhere to linger.
  • The white terrazzo floor has a recessed mat well with removable coconut hair rug. This is the first part of our dirt management system.
  • A wall mounted console table has drawers for keys, hats, gloves and dog things. The table is 134cm wide x 15cm deep with the top fitted 76cm above the floor level. The table and walls are made of birch ply.
  • Lots of plants and pictures prevent clutter gathering.
  • The Guest Bathroom is off this, where we store coats and shoes. An informal shoe-free policy for residents and visiting children helps keep dust and dirt levels down.
  • Glass doors to both the exterior and the living room allow maximum light. It’s a mews house, so there are no privacy issues.
  • It usefully functions also as the dog’s bedroom at night.

Some things I would change!

  • The alarm panel is in the main part of the house, not the hall, so it can be a bit of a scramble to get to it before the alarm goes off.
  • I’d add a socket for plugging in a welcome table lamp or even special lights at Christmas.
  • The coconut hair mat only absorbs surface mud, not wetness, I intend changing it for something more absorptive.
  • It’s actually our only west facing space so we are considering lowering the console table to bench level so we can enjoy a cup of tea there in the evening sun!