Landing ideas – how to decorate large and small hallway spaces

What to do with the strip of space that links up your bedrooms? Our landing ideas will transform this corridor into so much more
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  • Landings are a woefully underused space in most homes, often treated as area to quickly pass by, not one to spend time in. But every square inch counts in a functional modern home, making a humble landing a valuable space deserving of thoughtful decorating.

    Whether your landing is small and restricted on what you can do with the decor, or large in size and feeling like a wasted opportunity to utilise the space, there’s an idea to suit. From thoughtful feature walls – that make more of a design statement – to using the empty landing for alternative storage, it’s time to capitalise on this unloved space in our homes.

    Landing ideas for stairways of all sizes

    The landing is most likely the last place you consider when it comes to styling your home, but the right hallway idea goes a long way to unifying your decor and making more of the space you have. Making a landing more than merely an area with rooms leading off it, it becomes its own entity.

    Here are our favourite uses of this undervalued extra room…

    1. Welcome a wardrobe

    Landing with built in wardrobe

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith

    Use a valuable landing space to accommodate a wardrobe for extra storage. If the budget allows have a bespoke, bulit-in solution to use the space most efficiently. But moving a bulky freestanding piece of furniture into the unused space is just as good as it frees up floorspace – in fact, it’s the perfect small bedroom idea.

    The wardrobe in this communal space provides storage for out-of-season coats and accessories. Paint it the same shade to match the wall colour to avoid it standing out too much.

    2. Set up a space-saving home office

    Landing home office space

    Image cedit: Future PLC/ Amanda Turner

    Small home office ideas have become the must-have for the modern home, where multiple family members might be trying their own quiet spot to do business. And while working at home is great, it can feel a little bit like you live in the office if you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated space you can walk away from after work hours.

    The expanse of space on this landing is plenty big enough for a small desk, and means you don’t have to work in rooms which feel more personal, such as bedrooms or living rooms. Having the ability to step out of a main living room into a desk area that is detached from where you socialise helps to adjust your mind set to work mode.

    3. Keep it clutter-free and simple

    Upstiars landing with wooden flooring and glass stair panels

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Avoid overcrowding a landing space by keeping the decor simple. As this home shows, you don’t have to do a lot to your landing to make it stand out. We love the statement glass stair panels and complementary globe drop glass pendant lighting. Simple artwork on brilliant white walls provides a chic gallery feel – simple yet highly effective. The vast glass windows adds light and a lovely view as you head back downstairs.

    4. Reflect light with mirrors

    landing with grey fox print wallpaper and mirrors

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme

    When a landing is small and lacking natural light a mirror is the answer. Hanging a decorative mirror helps bounce light around the space to make it feel airy and more open. Multiple mirrors creates an alternative gallery wall, to add a stylish touch to the decor. Similarly a large mirror in the same place, on the wall at the top of the stairs, helps to fill the space with extra light and interest.

    5. Introduce a focal point with a feature wall

    landing with black bird print wallpaper feature wall above stairs

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore

    Make more of a statement of this ‘passing-through’ area of the home by creating a feature wall with a decorative wallpaper idea. The landing is often neglected when it comes to using pattern and colour because we tend to save that for rooms where we feel a closer connection, such as living rooms and bedrooms.

    But when you think about it the landing is one of the most-used ‘rooms’ in the house, albeit one that we’re constantly passing through. Give this space the attention it deserves with a focal feature wall of wallpaper

    6. Turn a landing into a library with bookshelves

    Landing with bookcases and lime green painted door

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    A landing space is the ideal spot to place slimline bookcases, to avoid overcrowding the living room furniture layout. Choose slimline bookcases to line the corridor between rooms – we guarantee the whole household will love this homemade library. Colour-coding books will add a further decorative touch to this practical idea.

    If adopting this idea just be sure not to restrict the width of the pathway too much, in an already small space the key is balance – serving purpose without compromising on needed space.

    7. Create a quiet and contemplative seating corner

    landing with chair side table and mirror

    image credit: Future PLC/ Douglas Gibb

    The landing might not seem like the most obvious space to stop for a sit down, but this set up is a great way to dress the space so it feels more inclusive with the rest of the decor. A statement chair layered with decorative throws, sat beside a small side table dressed with family photos and potted plants does the job. Even if you never sit here it styles an otherwise empty space and creates a homely feel.

    A wall-hung mirror not only adds another decorative element it also helps to reflect light back into the small space to make it feel bigger.

    8. Use the space to store toys

    landing with toy storage and book shelves

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Jonathan Gooch

    Use the landing space off a child’s bedroom to better effect by moving toy storage ideas out, freeing up much-needed space in what is often a small box room. Opt for moveable storage solutions, from baskets to wooden crates on wheels, to transport the toys into the child’s room when needed.

    Storing the toys in this space not only helps free up storage space within the room for clothes storage and more, it helps to keep toys out of sight – handy at nap time, when less distraction is welcome.

    This landing area is purely for storage. We wouldn’t recommend encouraging play beside a staircase – unless there’s a secure stair gate in place.

    9. Set up a small living room scene

    Landing living room area

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Paul Raeside

    Perfect for a cottage-style house, these owners went for full living room comfort with this landing idea. By adding some curtains, a bright rug and two tempting armchairs this otherwise ignored space is transformed into the ideal spot for a social gathering. the window with a garden view beyond helps to add to the ambience.

    10. Give a console table pride of place

    landing with console table and lamp

    Image credit: Future PLC

    When you are looking to make more of the space but avoid overwhelming it with big furniture pieces go for a console table. The very design is so that it’s made for narrow spaces such as landings and hallways, with its half table dimensions. a slim console can be just enough to provide a surface on whihc to place a lamp for ambient lighting and photo frames to give the space a homely feel.

    Choose a design with hidden drawers to for secret extra storage, to use as an overspill for surrounding rooms.

    11. Enliven the space with plants

    staircase with potted plants

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme

    Plants are always a good way to breathe new life into a landing idea. With the help of a few potted plants, this space has been transformed into a lush corner filled with nature. Not only great for the interior, plants are a good way to purify the air too. Just be sure you choose the right house plant idea that can thrive in the living conditions – in a light deprived landing area look for plants that don’t need a lot of natural light.

    If placing plant pots along a staircase ledge, as this example shows, secure them in place to prevent any mishaps of falling plants as you descend the stairs.

    12. Fashion a gallery feature wall

    Hallway framed artwork display

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Take some inspo from your favourite edgy gallery and turn your landing into a post-modern masterpiece. We love the combination of the uniformed prints with colourful cushions on small bench beneath. It may not be a place you’ll want to sit down with a cup of tea, but it definitely makes a statement!

    13. Go glam with a chandelier

    stairway lighting neutral landing with glass chandelier

    Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith

    Dress the landing and staircase with statement pieces to make it feel glam, and not an afterthought. This grand glass chandelier exudes a glam vibe that is then echoed in the sophisticated grey colour palette, to ensure the landing feels well decorated to lead into the rooms beyond. A smart radiator cover helps to enhance the look, ensuring the space feels well curated.

    14. Add a skylight to maximise brightness

    landing with roof light

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Amanada Turner

    Let there be light! Natural light really is the best thing to decorate any living space. Skylight windows above the staircase transform an otherwise simple space into one worth shouting about.

    These owners wanted to draw attention to their landing without breaking the lovely neutral tones of the rest of the house. Keeping the decor stripped back and simple allows the extra sunlight to be the shining star of the space.

    15. Fill a gap with purposeful storage

    Wooden chest of drawers on landing

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes

    Rather than taking up valuable space in an alternative room use an awkward landing space to fulfil a much-needed storage purpose. If your stair return leaves a gap at the end, as this example above demonstrates, look to utilise the space for a sizeable chest of drawers to cater for multipurpose storage. It can hold everything from extra bedding and blankets for the spare bedroom to out-of-season clothes you don’t want taking up valuable wardrobe space in individual bedrooms.

    To prevent the furniture piece from feeling too out of place style it with homely touches, such as a table lamp and mirror. Here a fresh flower arrangement adds the perfect finishing touch. You could also consider revamping unloved furniture – here’s how to upcycle a chest of drawers using stencils and furniture paint for an on-trend design.

    16. Curate a display area

    landing with display cabinet

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Mereweather

    Turn an unused landing area to house a display of curios and keepsakes for all to enjoy. A classic glass-fronted sideboard is perfect to achieve the look, ideal for storing everything from books to beachcomber finds.

    A slimline cabinet will sit flush against the wall, providing valuable storage without taking up too much space. A piece of artwork hung above your chosen unit will help to balance the look, drawing the eye up to take some of the weight out of the furniture piece.

    17. Establish a reading nook

    lading area with bookshelves and storage

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Bridget Pierson

    Make more of an unused space between rooms by carving out an alternative reading corner idea. Simple shelving provides a valuable place to create a library of books, for the whole house to enjoy. Pop an understated seating solution beneath to complete this ingenious landing idea, for some quiet time away from the other rooms.

    What should I put on my landing?

    What goes on a landing very much depends on a number of factors. Firstly, how big is the space? Can you afford to move bulkier furniture pieces out onto the landing to free up bedroom floorspace? If the answer is yes, it’s ideal to use the space to lighten the load on the smallest rooms within the house. A chest of drawers on the landing is the perfect storage space for bathroom or bedroom essentials, such as towels and extra bedding.

    ‘If the space is narrower, you might still be able to fit in some display shelving, or maybe some floor-standing pot plants,’ says Ideal Home’s Amy Cutmore. ‘Do consider, though, the traffic coming through. So don’t display precious ceramics or glass where there’s a danger they’ll get knocked as people rush by.’

    What do you do with a landing space?

    Use a landing space to supplement your bedroom storage needs. Alleviating rooms of bulky furniture pieces where you can goes a long way to improve the use of space. This valuable extra storage can be for any purpose you need, from trunks filled with extra bathroom towels to bookcases filled with archive collections.

    How do you make a landing with no windows feel brighter?

    Suntile makes an inexpensive clear plastic tile that can replace an existing roof tile. It is suitable for all types of roof including slate, clay and concrete, and allows light directly into the house. Suntiles can provide up to 1,000 watts of light and work effectively in period and listed homes as well as modern properties.

    The basic Suntile Kit costs £132 plus VAT, but if your landing is not directly under the eaves of the roof you may need an extension kit. This is a DIY product so there should be no installation costs.

    Alternatively, Monodraught makes the Sunpipe, a tube with an internal mirror finish that reflects natural daylight and pipes it to a room where light is diffused by a ceiling fixture. A small diamond dome replaces a tile or slate on the roof. The dome can normally be installed in a couple of hours.

    How do you decorate the wall at the top of the stairs?

    To give your landing a greater sense of purpose you can create a feature wall at the top of the stairs so it stands out. Decide on a feature wallpaper to inject colour and pattern to the otherwise plain space. Use a gallery wall idea to hang family photos to add a touch of personality to the space.

    A full-length mirror is always a winning idea for the wall at the top of the stairs – not only helping to flood the often dark space with light, but providing the perfect spot to check an outfit choice as you prepare to leave the house.

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