The hallway—it’s the first thing guests see when they enter our home. Heck, it’s the first thing we see when we walk in the door.

While our hallway may not be seeing a lot of visitors these days, that doesn’t mean we ignore it (or continue ignoring it) altogether. As a matter of fact, with the serious concern for sanitizing our homes, it’s important to pay attention to how our hallway is designed, being mindful of both aesthetic and sanitary factors.

Here are 7 ways to get your hallway design right:

1. Go dark with flooring.

Hallways get dirty, often—even if you have a “Shoes off” rule. Dirt is impossible not to see on light-colored flooring, so choose dark, rich-colored woods or patterned tiles. Finish off the look with a hallway runner and a doormat that are durable and complement your floor color.    

2. Think easy to clean.

Avoid materials that are dirt magnets and a nightmare to clean. This should dictate your decision on every aspect of your hallway design, especially when it comes to flooring. As a matter of fact, your hallway should be as close to sterile as it can get—without you having to expend more than the absolute effort needed to do the job

3. Get creative with storage.

A hallway bench is better if it doubles as storage. It doesn’t take much effort to neatly put away shoes below the seat.

A hallway closet is almost always necessary, but if it takes up space, you can always go for open shelving and cubbies.

No hallway closet? If you look around close enough, you may just find something you can repurpose into a practical and delightful feature of your hallway.

4. Embrace color.

White isn’t always the answer to a small space. Explore the neutrals—dusty or pale blues, sage greens, light grays—as well as the palest pinks and yellows, to find the best shade that works for the rest of your color palette.

For that matter, a burst of bright lemon yellow, for example, can do wonders for your hallway if it gets only a meager amount of light for most of the day.

You don’t have to stick to paint, either. How about a wall stencil? A wallpaper? Using either with a neutral color base may just be the touch your hallway needs to look more spacious and interesting.

5.  Let the light in.

Or turn the light on, as the case may be. Just make sure your lights are strategically positioned.

If your ceiling belongs on the page of a magazine (and therefore highly Instagrammable), use directional wall lights.

Opt for pendant lighting if your space is small. Note, though, that one pendant light is not a great idea: it leaves too many shadows and spots of darkness. Your best bet is multiple pendant lights that run the length of your hallway, to draw the eye into the space while making it feel warm and inviting.

6. Put a mirror to good use.

Mirrors are a well-established trick for making a space feel larger than it is. Hang a good-sized-one (but mind the scale) and enjoy the result.

7. Get your décor act together.

As a transition space, a hallway doesn’t hold our attention for long—not even if it’s our own. This is why it’s easy to regard its decor as an afterthought, and easy to just throw in a handful of poorly considered items.

However, taking the time to think through your hallway décor (what belongs there, where they should go, how the light interacts with the space) can add to your overall enjoyment of your home and to the quality of the time you spend in it.   

8. Give your front door the attention it deserves.

It’s easy to focus on the side facing the street—curb appeal and all that—but what about the other side? That side is part of your hallway aesthetic and shouldn’t be hidden behind coast, scarves, and hats, or just plain ignored.

Paint is the quickest, easiest way to touch up inner-facing side of your front door, preferably a color that complements one or more colors in the hallway. If your front door has glazing, a curtain can make things feel warmer and cozier.

Have you taken a good look at your hallway lately?

If you’re about to list your house, freshening up a taken-for-granted hallway can reinforce your prospect buyers’ good feelings about your curb appeal and increase their interest in your home, resulting in numerous offers.

Contact Team Clancy and tell us about the hallway project you have in mind. Our Concierge Services can help you get this project under way, and we can help you list your home at the best price possible.