We are often rushing around, going to work, to the shops or gym and hardly noticing just how much we are popping in and out of the house. This is why the entrance to your home is so important. As they say, ‘first impressions last’ and styling your entrance just right can make a great difference to your mood when you leave and enter the house each day. Not only does the entrance or hall space need to be inviting and uplifting it also needs to be versatile and practical, as this is where most of the traffic flows through the house.
As we all know, the entrance is also the space which family and visitors first experience when they enter your home- so why not leave a lasting impression? Historically, however, the entrance to the home has served many different functions. In early medieval houses, entrances were more like grand halls which were versatile and capacious spaces which served to welcome and protect guests from outside weather, but which also changed their function depending on the occasion or time of year. Sometimes parts of the entrance hall would be partitioned off using fabric and this would create extra sleeping quarters or a private space where the lord of the house could sit down and relax, perhaps before a dinner.
During the sixteenth century, halls became smaller and of an evening, it was were the servants of the house would sit to eat their meals. Later in the seventeenth century, the hall and entrance became one in the same thing, much like it is today. By this time, many of the earlier additional functions this space allowed for were not utilised and the entrance hall became more of a waiting room. Nonetheless, the desire to make this space inviting, warm and welcoming has always remained important to home owners and interior designers alike.
The entrance or entrance hall doesn’t have to be elaborate or overly luxurious in order to make a lasting impression. Instead, simply choosing a rustic or antique hall table or shoe cabinet can bring a lot of charm to the entrance space. Mirrors in the entrance are also a great idea as they reflect more of the light and can really help open up the space. A vase of flowers or a pot of lavender and some hanging paintings help create a homely feeling and an individual sitting chair, perhaps lightly gilded or hand painted, also helps to create a relaxed atmosphere and it’s practical, as well. A rich rug, chandelier or hall lamp are also great ways for helping to make your entrance space rich, warm and inviting for both you and your guests.