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Style Surgery: How to dress a narrow hallway

We are often asked by vendors for advice on how to style and dress their homes to present them in the best light for sale - in our Style Surgery series we tackle those problem areas that many people struggle with and share our advice on how to make that crucial first impression a positive one.

This month we are tackling entrance hallways. Besides that all-important curb appeal, a hallway can form a potential buyer's first impression in the first few minutes inside a property.

Hallways are more than just conduits to the main living spaces, they can often act as the hub of the home and create a warm, inviting feel to visitors. Here are 7 tips to consider when dressing yours for sale:

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Photo credit: Olive & Barr; Beswick Stone; Katya De Grunwald


Storage
Hallways tend to become the dumping ground for coats, wellies and kit bags (especially if you have 3 small boys!) - seek out specially designed narrow storage that won't clutter up precious floorspace, or perhaps a bench with integrated storage? Under-stairs spaces can be great for 'hidden storage' too. A row of coats can further narrow an already small space, try and declutter and keep personal items in the hall to a minium for viewings.

IMG_4347.jpg#asset:3587Photo credit: @wickendenhutley

Utilities
Hallways are commonly the location of wifi home hubs, utility meters and the nuts and bolts of a home. Boxing in or creating clever storage that conceals these amenities will help make the space feel more homely.

Staircases
If your main staircase leads up from your hall, as it does in most homes, how can you create a feature of it? Statement stair runners are popular, or if you're lucky enough to live in a period property, perhaps they boast some original features you can highlight? Stairs are another common culprit for clutter, ensure they are kept free and tidy for viewings to maximise the feeling of space.

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(Image credit: Nigel Rigden)

Lighting
Hallways can often be dark spaces, relying on borrowed light from the main rooms they lead into. Table lamps, wall lights and mirrors to reflect all available natural light can all help brighten up gloomy corners.

Decor
If you have a narrow hallway, a broad horizontal stripe can trick the eye into thinking the room is wider than it actually is, conversely, steer clear of vertical pinstripes as they will accentuate the tall/thin feel (unless low ceiling are a problem - in which case, pinstripes would help create the illusion of height!).

Choose paint colours that are light and bright (and scuff-proof if you have a busy household!) - painting the walls one wash of colour (rather than picking out areas above or below a Dado rail for example), can help improve the feeling of space.

IMG_4348.jpg#asset:3588Photo credit: Lucy Marsh Interiors

Flooring
Picking a flooring that is obviously practical and hardwearing, but that you can run through into other rooms will help improve the flow of the house and draw buyers through the space. Choosing paler woods or tiles for the floor and avoiding chunky pieces of furniture will all help add an airy feel. Similarly, if you can, create a far-reaching sight line from your hall - through a doorway out into the garden beyond for example - this will help trick the eye into thinking the space is larger than it actually is.

Finishing touches
Adding a posy of fresh blooms, a reed diffuser or candle to a console table can create an inviting impression and welcome buyers to your home.

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