When you are doing viewings and you step through the front door of a home for the first time, you are filled with anticipation about what lies beyond. Will you be impressed, or will you be disappointed?

People don’t often spend much time in their hallways – even though it gets a hard life, it’s always the last room to be decorated and is often little more than a dumping ground for coats, bags and bikes. But, remember, first impressions count, and that’s especially true when you are buying or selling a property. Buying decisions are often made within seconds of entering your home, so get the hall right and the battle is already half won. Here are some top tips for making the most of it:



To make your hall feel as spacious as possible, the most important advice of all is to keep it clean and simple. A cramped and cluttered hallway is an instant turn-off. Try not to use more than a single item of furniture. Narrower pieces work best, such as console tables. Mirrors, on the other hand, should be encouraged. If it’s well-placed, it will not only give the illusion of space, it can also help brighten a typically dingy hall. Keep coats, shoes and bags locked away in cupboards, but where that’s not possible, some stylish shelves and hooks can work – the trick is to make it look ordered in some way. Be sure to hide away all those voluminous puffa jackets and muddy trainers. And, if you normally keep prams or bikes in the hall, give them a temporary home somewhere else, such as in a shed or in the back garden (if you have one).


If your hallway feels like you are walking into a cave, and many do, do something about it. This may be as simple as cleaning windows and replacing heavy curtains. If it’s not blessed with any natural light, your light fittings become even more important. So, for example, replace that old light fitting you inherited from the previous owners with a striking feature light, such as a chandelier. Or, if that’s not possible you could introduce some extra light by placing a lamp on the hall table. A more radical option would be to replace a solid wall with a glazed one, allowing you to “borrow” light from a neighbouring room.


Colour and finishes:

Don’t be afraid of using bold colours, as they can add some unexpected glamour to a dingy entrance. Even those forgotten pieces of furniture can be reinvigorated with the application of a striking colour or pattern. A well thought out colour scheme will smarten things up considerably and ensure people are eager to see the rest of the house. Stay away, though, from colour or pattern clashes, as they will shrink the space.


The floor:

When meeting a person for the first time, it’s often said that the first thing you notice about them is their shoes. In a home, you notice the flooring first and, like scuffed unpolished leather, threadbare carpets don’t impress. A hard-wearing surface is your best option, whether it’s tiles, stone or timber, although some carpet is often the quickest and cheapest solution. Remember, though, if your hall is dark, lighter flooring is best but light carpet stains easily, whereas light wood or tiles tend to wear far better.