A redesign of the front of the house (by previous owners) resulted in a very strange entryway here:
A large concrete platform, topped with wood, filled the space. This was the architect’s idea – I’m not sure of the purpose. The floor was tiled in black slate – a completely different material to that used anywhere else in the house: wood stairs lead upwards to a wooden floor. Pale tiles lead off to the other living area.
All in all, it wasn’t really working. There was nowhere to put anything on arriving home, and no space in which to greet guests.
This called for some structural work. The concrete platform was demolished and removed. The floor and stairs were re-tiled to match the other living areas in a lovely pale travertine tile. These tiles are not real travertine, which is porous and stains, but a fabulous ceramic imitation.
The photo below is the ‘after’ of the first photo….
When thinking of your hall or entry to your house, these are the things you might need:
1. A place to put ‘stuff’ when you get home. This can vary from small items like keys – where I recommend an elegant solution like this. You may also need space for coats, shoes, hats, umbrellas.
2. When you walk into your home (or anyone else’s) you want to feel welcomed. One of the best ways to do this is to have the hall as a mini version of the rest of the house. If your house is all in pinks and flowers – ensure the entry has that in abundance. If you’re mad keen on taxidermy – include them on arrival. Too many of us leave the good stuff for the other rooms – whereas you walk in the door every day – and need to see something stunning. It also sets the scene for the rest of the home.
3. Make sure your acoustics are good. In this hallway, it meant hanging a tapestry on the wall as there wasn’t enough room for a rug to blunt the sound. Arriving into an echoing space is too much like entering a gallery. Your ears will not tell you it’s homely.
4. If you have the space, a seat on which to sit and put on shoes is ideal. There isn’t space here so the stairs suffice. One consideration was to put a seat at the far end of the shelves – but it just felt too inaccessible.
This area really reflects both the house and the owners. Books, eclectic ‘objets’, harmonious colours…
So just once again: Before: