In 18th Century homes, hallways were designed to be as restful as possible, to soothe tired travellers after a long journey. Today, in the majority of family homes, they’ve become a place of chaos – a place to kick off your shoes, throw off your coat or run through on your way to a busy day. Although lifestyles change, there’s no reason why you can’t make the most of your hallway. It’s a small space, but it can be highly functional as a family environment if you know what to do with it.


It’s easy to forget that your hallway is the first space that visitors see, so you want it to make a great impression. In a family home, interior design isn’t always the first priority, but there are some simple, child-friendly ways to make your hallway look great. The first is to take advantage of the wall space and create a feature wall of family photos. This could be the wall as you go up the stairs, and it doesn’t have to be photos, you could laminate certificates and display achievements. If you suffer with a narrow hallway, consider placing a mirror, as this will reflect natural light to open up the space. Just remember not to place the mirror directly opposite the door, as this is bad for feng-shui! Lighting is also important – you’ll want something bright enough to see what you’re doing when you’re tying shoelaces, which can also be dimmed of a night to create a warm atmosphere.


Storage is key in any room in the home, and the hallway is no exception. You’ll need somewhere to store coats and shoes so that they’re easy to grab without taking up valuable space. Coat racks are ideal, and you should make them low enough for the little ones to reach, whilst the adults have theirs higher up. Use a cabinet with a sliding door as a place to neatly store shoes, and it can also double as a seating area to take off your shoes. Keep your daily essentials easy to reach, but neat at the same time. If you’re constantly in a rush, keep hair brushes and perfume in a little basket near the door, and store kids’ items in a drawer ready to grab at a moment’s notice. The key to keeping your hallway looking tidy is great storage, so try and be as creative with it as possible, even if you don’t have much space.


With a young family, practicality is so important in the home. As much as you want your hallway to look great, it isn’t the place for a beige carpet and crisp white walls, when you have young ones! For the flooring, consider tiles which are super easy to clean, or timber flooring which is tough and will withstand years of rough and readiness. Even when wooden floor gets a bit tired looking, you can re-stain it and it will look as good as new. If you opt for tiled flooring, make sure it’s skid resistant so that it protects against falls. For the dirt, you’re going to need a big, industrial strength door mat – IKEA have some great cheap ones which you can sew together to create a mat that’s not to be underestimated. Where walls are concerned, it’s best to go for a paint or wallpaper which is sold as being wipeable, so that it’s easy to clean.

Don’t forget the Stairs

The majority of hallways lead onto the stairs, so it’s important not to forget them when you’re thinking of how to make your hallway more family friendly. You’ll need a sturdy balustrade and steps which can withstand a lot of running! The best way to ensure your stairs are child friendly is to buy stair parts from a recognised manufacturer such as Cheshire Mouldings. Buying stair parts is more affordable, as it means you don’t have to change your whole staircase, and it can really make a difference to the stairs themselves.

Have you got any tips on how to create a family-friendly hallway?

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