Seasoned interior designer Yvonne Jones of Chameleon Interiors, Pontcanna gives her expert advice on utilizing our hallways and front gardens to give an ever lasting first impression to any home.
First impressions are so important. On arrival visitors immediately see the front garden so try to make the design elements (hard landscaping and planting) all work from this perspective. Use planting to enhance the front of the house; a pair of potted evergreens can look smart on each side of the entrance or group seasonal pots for colour, scent and interest. Ensure that every aspect is well kept; neat, tidy and, above all, clean.
As a general rule try to match your doors and windows to the age of the property. If you do this you can be adventurous with the shade you paint them. However, a bold colour choice (one that you might not consider using indoors) can be effective, especially in outdoor light.
Your front garden and planting should also play a part in your decision, taking into consideration seasonal changes plus the wider landscape of the surrounding properties. I am very particular when it comes to door furniture; be bold, but simple and buy the best quality you can afford.
The Hallway – Come On In
A hall should be a warm, welcoming environment. This is the start of your home so should have impact and set the look of your home. Again, when it comes to furnishings a small table or console is a good choice, allowing you to display pieces, even a vase of flowers, as well as a surface to deposit items in transit (your keys or daily post). A small bench or chair with similarly slim dimensions can be a useful place to take off shoes.
The best ceiling lights for hallways are either lanterns or chandeliers.
Outside lighting is largely a question of safety and security, but take care to create a romantic, soft, welcoming glow and avoid harsh lighting that can look stark. Box wall lights, a swan neck lamp, lantern or exterior bracket lights will give a welcoming impression by the front door. Natural materials such as weathered bronze, copper, galvanised zinc and brass are great choices of outdoor styles and weather beautifully.