As a serial London-renter, I surprisingly never had a hallway in my previous dwellings. Therefore when we moved into our new place it didn’t exactly cross my mind to decorate the hallway or give it some TLC. Well, how wrong I was! Walking into an immaculately decorated hallway is like a breath of fresh air (especially after travelling on the sweaty tube).
I’m so thrilled with our rent-friendly makeover and an honourable mention, nay declaration, has to go to Justin! He built the coat rack, bench & shelf and they couldn’t go more perfectly with the pieces I sourced online. We’re a great team, despite the fact he seems to do the brunt of the actual work. Read on to discover some DIY hacks and my top hallway decorating ideas.
Hallway Decorating Ideas
As a Graphic Designer, I’m often influenced by the tenet of Bauhaus aka “form follows function” and when it came to decorating our hallway, functionality was at the forefront of all our big decisions. The hallway sets the stage for the rest of the home and is the area you can quite literally hang up the stresses of your day before reaching for a glass of wine.
We set about finding key functional pieces: a coat rack, a bench (so our guests can take their shoes off comfortably) and a place to store our housekeys so I never have to yell “where the fuck are my keys?!” ever again.
I had my eye on one of those neat hallway units, however, most were simply too deep or too wide for our humble hallway. We decided to go with something that looked more built-in rather than freestanding, while also being rental-friendly. Justin came up with the idea to build a matching bench, coat rack and shelf using pine wood as we wanted a light coloured wood that was inexpensive.
There was an existing coat rack screwed to the wall, so we cut a piece of pine wood that matched the length of this width and rounded the ends with a jigsaw and sandpaper. We then attached these affordable individual hooks from Amazon onto the board which meant instead of drilling 70 holes into the wall – this DIY coat rack fitted into the existing holes of the old one.
For the bench, we used 4 x 16-inch black hairpin legs attached to a 100cm x 25 cm piece of pine wood. Again for the shelf, we cut another piece of pine wood to fit the width of our radiator and fixed it to the wall with these shelf brackets.
The previous hallway light shade was uninspiring, to say the least. Fortunately changing shades is an easy, rent-friendly and affordable way to change up the lighting situation without having to get an electrician involved. We chose this lovely Rattan pendant lampshade from MADE which blends well with the colour of our pine wood bench.
We are blessed with wooden floorboards throughout our rental, however, I wanted to a runner in our hallway to add an extra element of coziness to welcome our tired feet after each working day. We went for an easy-to-clean rug with a contemporary Berber-style design.
While I struggle to pin-point my interior style (mid-century meets boho meets scandi?), one thing that is always a constant in my home is the abundance of greenery. Green is my favourite colour, and since I, unfortunately, can’t paint any of our walls green (renting limitations), I do my best to inject this natural vibrant hue into every corner of my home — the hallway being no exception either.
The shelf Justin built over the radiator is the perfect spot for these matching abstract art prints which add a subtle pop of colour to the hallway. I’m still contemplating whether to have these hung so we can utilise the shelf space more. If I do, I’ll definitely be grabbing some Command Strips as to avoid drilling any more holes into the wall.
Our hallway is such a small space that I wanted to avoid unnecessary clutter. However, there are a few essential items we added for extra functionality. An oval full-length mirror hanging by the front door so I can check my outfit before I leave the house (shallow I know), an umbrella stand (where I also like to keep my beloved shoehorn) and a set of woven baskets to keep our shoes in. And lastly, this adorable welcome mat from Artsy Doormats adds a bit of personality and gives an insight into how I greet my weekly uber eats delivery – “oh hello” pepperoni pizza, we meet again.
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