The entrance to your home should be like putting on your best dress – it’s the first glimpse people have into your world. When you open the front door to guests, it should scream “Welcome to my home!”
Create some entrance “wow” by defining the exterior of your front door, so visitors use it as intended. Ensure it’s the obvious place to enter your home with a well-defined lead-in from the street. It’s a great place to test out a bright bold colour or, at least, an obvious contrasting shade to your exterior palette. We have so much colour in our interior at home that we opted for a glossy, sophisticated black, which works with our verandah and lush green front garden. Our door is usually adorned with a bright garland, wreath, or neon-pink giant rosette to give a hint of what lies within. Front door decoration is not just for the festive season!
Hallways are often tricky spaces to work with and aren’t always as proportionally grand as we would like them to be, but when it comes to decorating, it’s a space that should be treated as any other part of the house. This transitional area is the perfect place to be bold and confident – to be creative and try things out. Think big statements made with patterns and wallpaper, artworks and lighting. And speaking of which, I suggest avoiding recessed lighting in a hallway. The long oblong shape lends itself perfectly to at least two hanging pendants, which are an eye-catching alternative.
Make practical stuff look cool. A funky coat hanger that is a piece of art, with or without the coats and handbags, and a hall table with drawers or cupboards is a great start. We have two cabinets from Ikea running along one wall, which doubles as a surface to display my quirky collections, along with cupboards to hide things away. Create a place for keys and mail, rather than just throwing them on the kitchen bench – somewhere that’s high enough that they are out of reach from little fingers and you’ll never be rushing around hunting for keys again. Shoes often get out of control, so rather than tripping over them in the hall, give them their own cupboard. You could even use wooden crates with wheels attached, that can easily roll in and out from under a hall table. Take a bicycle, a row of skateboards or a surfboard – they can look striking on the wall, especially with a bright backdrop.
Adorn the walls. Layer with wallpaper and objects. Mirrors are great in small spaces, as they reflect light and give the impression of space. Choose an oversized mirror and paint the frame in a bold hue, or grab a collection of vintage mirrors in all sorts of shapes and sizes and hang together in a cluster. You could also create a gallery space with your favourite art pieces, or build up a wall of your treasured family photos. Start with three or four in the centre of your chosen space, hang them close together, but at different heights. Let the shape build organically as you add new pieces to it. While the frames can be different styles, stick to an overall theme for a cohesive look, such as black or white, or wood.
Watch LeeAnn on the judging panel of Mitre 10 Dream Home, TV2, Tuesdays, 7.30pm.