10 striking looks for hallways and stairs

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As a primarily transitional room, the commonplace hallway can often suffer from decorating neglect – when in fact it’s the perfect place to stamp your style and create a welcoming space for guests.

The floor is a good place to start. Carpet and tiles are an obvious choice due to high traffic, but as it’s the first place visitors will see, take the opportunity to be a little more inventive. Layered rugs will elongate the length of the hall and draw the eye through to the end. You could also add a border to a patterened tiled floor to give it another dimension, or paint the skirting boards in a bright colour to ‘frame’ the space.

Wallpaper can be a striking addition, but be careful to choose a design that isn’t too overwhelming if your hall is narrow or you have a low ceiling.

The staircase is often the focal point of a hallway, so be sure to create a real showstopper. Tailor the finish to suit your style – concrete will create a modern, urban vibe while also being very hardwearing and cold rolled steel is another option that would give the space an industrial edge. If colour is your thing, a bold and graphic stair runner will liven up your stairs while protecting them from the wear and tear of daily traffic. Be bold in your choice of pattern as a runner will not overwhelm the space and is a great way of creating impact.

Decorating the treads themselves with mosaics or tiles will jazz them up a treat – alternatively update plain stairs with a pot of paint and simple stencils in numbers, words or images. Meanwhile, liven up banisters with a lick of paint on the spindles in graduating colours from light to dark from the bottom to the top.

If space permits, a choice piece of furniture can be a striking addition to a hallway. A side table in a statement colour can help pull together a scheme and unite the look.

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