10 WAYS TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DARK ENTRANCE HALL
The entrance hall is the first room that welcomes you home at the end of the day, and it is the first room that your guests come into when they visit. The room needs to make a good impression, and showcase some of your style. But what if your entrance hall is a bit, well, dark and dingy? The secret to brightening up a dark entrance hall is to make the best use of the light that you do have available, and to trick the eye into looking at the good bits, and away from the bad. So if your entrance hall is a bit on the dark side, worry not- we have 10 top tips to help you to brighten up your space. Here's how to do it:
#1 Keep the walls light
Black and dark colours absorb light, making your room appear even darker, so to lighten your entrance, try painting everything in pure white, or choose other neutral or pale colours. This entrance hall has the walls and floor painted white, which means that light is bounced around the room. Pure white can be quite glaring though, and you don't want to go from one extreme to the other, so if this is too bright for you, try pale or pastel colours instead. Farrow & Ball have a pale blue colour aptly entitled, "Borrowed Light" which is ideal for dark hallways.
#2 Keep the floor neutral
If you are starting from scratch, install pale-coloured flooring. I adore travertine-style flooring tiles like this above. A stone floor is incredibly stylish and has quality written all over it. Flooring like this doesn't come cheap, however, and if budget is more of an issue, try pulling up your carpet and painting the floorboards white. If you live in a rented property, or you are unable to change the flooring, opt instead for a neutral coloured hallway runner to distract the eye from a busy floor.
#3: Use bright artwork
If you are stuck with dark walls and unable to re-paint them, install a piece of bright artwork like this above. Because the colours on the canvas are so strong, it prevents the dark walls from appearing too gloomy or oppressive.
The human brain is drawn to order and symmetry, which is why clutter and mess is so jarring on the eye. Often an entrance hall is at risk of becoming a dumping zone for everybody's outdoor clothing and shoes, keys and post, which makes people focus on the mess, not the lighter aspects of the room. So be ruthless with your entrance hall, de-clutter and if you have to store shoes, coats and nick-nacks, make sure that there are simple storage solutions for everything on hand.
#5: Use Mirrors
Mirrors are a quick and simple way to brighten a hallway. Because of their reflective surfaces they bounce light around the room and bring light into dark corners. Situate a mirror directly opposite a light source to make the most of its reflective quality. If possible, situate mirrors in several places around your entrance hall so that the light bounces not just from one light source, but between each mirror.
#6: Use Shiny Furniture
For the same reason as using mirrors, installing furniture with light- reflective surfaces in your hallway keeps the room bright and fresh. A simple mirrored console table like this one above doesn't take up much room, doubles as great storage for keys and small items, and will reflect light around the room beautifully. There is a whole range of mirrored furniture available on the high street at the moment, but if you don't like the mirrored look, any shiny surface with light reflecting properties, such as gloss or laminate would work well.
#7: Distract the Eye
The eye is drawn to novel items, and so if you are stuck with dark walls, another way round this is to add a gallery wall of art and interesting objects. This leads the eye away from the dark walls, to focus on the pictures. Use pale-coloured and white mount boards and light reflecting picture frames to increase the light.
#8: Install Plenty of Lighting
A really simple way to inject some brightness into your room is by the use of lighting. Don't just think in terms of one main pendant in the middle of your ceiling. Think about how you can layer your lighting in the room. Consider placing a matching pair of lamps on a console table, put a floor standing lamp in a dark corner, use wall sconces to light up a dingy spot and scatter candles or fairy lights on any available surface. If budgets allow, think about investing in some floor runway lights running the length of the hallway. Make sure that you maximise the light by making use of your mirrors too- a candle placed in front of a mirror will bounce that light across the room.
#9: Borrow Light from Other Rooms
Installing doors with glass panels is another good way to get light into your hallway. Choosing a glass panelled front door will drop some light into the entrance, but swapping all of the internal doors leading from your entrance hall for glass panelled doors will ensure that your entrance hall is flooded with light. As well as doors, you can also install glass panels into the walls to drop borrowed light into your hallway. If privacy is an issue, you can get stained glass, frosted or translucent windows, which allow the light in, but mean you cannot see through the glass.
#10: Install a Sun Tunnel
My final top tip for today is to re-direct light from outside the house by using a sun tunnel or sun tube. These clever pieces of kit take the sunlight from outside your house and divert it along a tunnel into your room by use of mirrors and reflective surfaces. The advantages of this are that it is natural light and once installed, there are no maintenance costs. In a dark entrance hall, this can save you money on your energy bills as you won't have to be keeping lamps and bulbs on all day.
So there we have it. Ten Top ways to get some light into your dark entrance hall, and to brighten things up. Let me know in the comments below what tricks and tips you use in a dark space. If you'd prefer these tips in a downloadable document, just fill in your details below. For existing members, you can find this in the resource library.