I have read many times that the hallway, being the first room to be seen in a home, must set the tone for all other rooms, and besides being cozy and inviting, should be a reflection of the house's interior design, shedding light on what style to expect from the rest of the home, and sharing a conductive line, a theme, with the other divisions.
No such thing happens in my house, as I have such an eclectic taste when it comes to decorating. Whilst my kitchen has a definite cottage feel to it, with rustic elements and countrified accents, my bathroom is set on a maritime look, with hues of blue and black and white, aided with touches of boating life, being as far from the kitchen decor as can be. My son's room shares this maritime thematics but on a very slight scale, the main colours being blue and red and white, with a wardrobe that is quite evocative of a boat, and with scotch bedding to make it look cozier. When we come to living room, there's a very marked influence of the roaring twenties and brittish imperialism. Tiffany lamps, persian rugs, indian noble woods and furniture, wrought iron, antique elements, greys and dark blues and burgundies, and a deep red accent wall on the living room side of it... think Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries meets Mr. Selfridge. The main bedroom follows on that line, but with a certain country feel to it, having the same light grey walls, certain furniture items in noble woods, a wrought iron bed against an accent wall in a deep tone of purplish blue, and a touch of white in the form of a wicker chair, a small sidetable and a chest of drawers, all in the same corner.
My hallway strays from all these. There's a very definite coastal feel to it, in the colours I used and certain elements of decor. There's always a marked rusticity, with enamel touches, and a country look in the form of the rugs I used, the flowers, the prints. As it is the first place one sees as one gets home, I really wanted it to be quite focused and recognizable in its influences. The first step, as it is a rather dark division, was to paint the walls in an off white hue, that reflects light but is not as cold as pure white. To avoid its feeling rather like a sad entrance, we decided on yet another accent wall - I swear that every main division seems to have one! - this time in a colour called "Amazonian green" which is just a fancy name for a hue between turquoise and mint. I had some bookcases in honey coloured pine that I simply detested - I cannot bear yellowish wood - and that I painted turquoise, distressing it in white. The hallway immediately felt and looked brighter and happier. The rest was just a question of adding certain touches, both personal and decorative, as a colletcion of tiny dolls, crystals that we have gathered on riversides and beaches along the years, shells in mason jars, pieces I have painted myself, wicker baskets, books, a sign I made by painting words onto a piece of driftwood I found on the beach, all touches that add interest and warmth, keeping truthful to the colours that in the end, are the ones that will be found all over the rest of the house, as the deep blues, the dark reds. And there's your conductive line, if one is needed! All in all, I must say I am quite happy with the end result of the hallway, as I go along from season to season changing certain elements only to bring this space into a new light, without ever changing its basis. I find it makes for a cozy entrance, cheery and always season evocative - you should see it at Christmas time!