Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Warm Welcome - Hallway Design

As many of my friends know, alongside crafts and textiles, I am also very passionate about interior design and furniture. After studying it for nearly 5 years, not only do I enjoy the design element of it, but I have also become extremely fond of the 3D Visualisation side. My mum and dad are currently in the process of re-modelling the hallway and it was up to me to choose how it was to look once decorated. So, today's post is all about my design concept and the 3D visuals I created to explain it.
Okay, so this is what the hallway currently looks like - a mess right! But actually, I'll have you know that a whole lot of work has already been done on it. The doorways you can see in the above image were either never there or completely different, the lighting is in a new location, there has been a new ceiling put in, and all of the walls have been stripped of wallpaper, re-plastered and painted.
Even though I am re-designing for my own parents, it was never to be an easy project. The budget is very limited and the client (my lovely mother) can be quite picky - which there is nothing wrong with by the way! She needed it to be simple, give a good first impression, and appeal to most tastes (to make it saleable).

I started by surveying (measuring) the entire hallway, stairs and landing so that I could draw up an accurate plan. In my opinion, this is the worst part - but it is also one of the most important parts, which is annoying! Once I had drawn up the plan, I imported it into my model space so that I could start creating the model of what it would look like. It is this part of the process that I thoroughly enjoy, as I love watching the space progress and seeing what it should look like once finished. It was also important to my parents that I created visuals because, as with a lot of people, they find it hard to visualise the finished area when it is still such an empty shell.

I have recreated the photograph above with a visual of what the hallway will/should look like when finished. The house has fairly high ceilings and I wanted to include more than one texture and pattern on the walls so that they wouldn't feel so vast. I did this by choosing two wallpaper deigns and separating them with a dado rail. I went for green purely because it is a favourite and looks lovely and fresh.

Before I reached this decision, I actually started to design the hallway how I would have liked it myself - just to see what it would look like (not quite my mother's taste)! It included a lot of warm grey tones and pops of daffodil yellow. I adore these colours together. I also left the stairs bare, had the handrail and treads painted black and left the balustrades, newel posts, stringers and risers painted white. I think staircases can actually be an interesting way of showcasing your taste and personality. This is useful as the staircase is usually the first thing guests see when entering your home. I have seen a lot of really cool photos including:
Rainbow Steps - the overall design creating a fun 'play area' feel
Contemporary Balustrades - sophisticated and enjoyable
Reclaimed Materials - creating an edgy and rustic look
To list just a few.

Even though I had to 'play it safe' to a certain extent, I still didn't want to make the design too expected, beige and samey. I knew my mum definitely wanted wallpaper and texture - so I gave her both, in feel and design. I opted for a textured, plain wallpaper for above the dado rail and a smooth, geometric print wallpaper for below. The reason for the geometric print is, I wanted to add pattern to the space that was different to large floral prints that tend to be everywhere within households now (including my own bedroom!). I added further interest by choosing a striped carpet for the stairs in earthy tones to ground the green on the walls. I felt the stripes would have been a bit too much for the entire hallway floor, and so decided on wood (Oak) for this.

I wanted to keep hold of the high skirting board that the hallway had before as it is in-keeping with the features around the rest of the home. I think that the dado rail decision fits in with this plan quite nicely as well. When re-designing a room in your house, I feel it is really important to think about the style of the skirting, cornices, architraves and any other molding for that matter. When they compliment each other and the style of the house, it really brings harmony to the overall design.

I still managed to keep hold of my beloved grey and yellow palette within this design. As seen in the images above, I plan to have the curtains, accessories and lighting fixtures in the two colours. Although I have chosen a fairly mixed colour palette and selection of patterns, I feel they all compliment each other to form a fresh, contemporary and welcoming hallway.

When it is time for a change in your home and you are reaching for the paint charts and fabric swatches, it is important to remember that even though the colours and textures play a large role in the design, you also need to take into consideration how the space is used. 
After living in this house for around 17 years, I know the hallway pretty well. It is quite a peculiar shape which is why the furniture had to be thought through properly. In the end I opted for a small stool for guests to quickly perch on when removing their shoes, and a slim console table for displaying various items. Knowing the house (and the people who live in it) well, I know that the console table will need drawers for post, papers and other small items that can be a messy eyesore. The table will also be a good place for guests to put their shoes under out of the way. For this particular home, this is all the furniture the hallway required.

After receiving samples through the post, both myself and my parents fell in love with the wallpaper choices. 
To the left of the image: Beka in pale green. To the right of the image: Ling by Steve Leung in green. Both from Graham & Brown.
It may sound like common sense, but when wallpapering a high-traffic area, always make sure it can be easily cleaned/wiped or it is labelled as 'washable'.

I was determined to find a lovely striped carpet for the stairs and adored Chiswick Stripe in Stone from Carpetright.
Again, make sure the flooring is up to withstanding high volumes of traffic if it to be used in such an area - particularly on the stairs.
What do you think of my choices? What would you have chosen or done differently?

I know it has been a little more long-winded and bit different to my other posts, but I do hope you have enjoyed the read (and the visuals). I would love to know your thoughts and please share any recent projects you have worked on around the home - hallway or not!
Once it is all done I will be posting 'before' and 'after' photographs, and I really can't wait to see how they compare to the visuals.

Keep watching this space!

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