When visitors first enter your home, what is the thing that greets them? Your entrance hall is the first area of your home that anyone gets to see, and is vital for making a good first impression. Not only this, but a beautifully designed entrance hall can also make a huge style statement too.
As a Cambridge based interior designer, I love nothing more than transforming people’s homes and making them something that they are proud to live in.
I was recently asked to undertake an entrance hall project for a customer who wanted to create a welcoming and stylish space. I opted for a light and polished stone floor as I knew that this would reflect all of the light that shone into the hall, making it appear all the bigger. This was also combined with traditional Victorian tiles in black and white.
For the walls, we went for a bold stripe wallpaper made by Nobilis, making sure that it was matched by stunning console wall lights and an extra stylish round mirror by Porta Romana.
The overall look that we aimed for with this particular home was one of luxury and high end, with a welcoming atmosphere that flowed through the rest of the house.
But what about for your own home? I have put together some top tips on how I think you can make a statement in your entrance hall.
Hallway interior design by Alicia Zimnickas
A different take on the feature wall
Do you have a rather impressive collection of hats? Perhaps handbags are your bag. Why not use your hallway as a space to display them? Often hallways are long and narrow, which means that a feature wall can have plenty of room to make an impression.
Rather than using art or colour. You could create your feature wall by popping some hooks in the wall and displaying your very own personal collection!
Use mirrors to create an illusion
How often do you see mirrors in hallways? Not only are they great to check how you look before you leave, but they also make a space appear bigger and lighter. This is because a mirror will reflect any light that shines on it, giving the illusion of a bigger room.
Hallway interior design by Alicia Zimnickas
Bigger is better
If you are blessed with a slightly larger entrance space in your home, why not make the most of it with a large cabinet, bench or table. Not only is this great for storing things, or sitting down to put on your shoes, but you can also use it to display items such as flowers or lamps, brightening up and giving colour to the space.
Think it is time to give your home a makeover, why not get in touch with me? I am an expert interior designer based in Cambridge and I love taking on home makeover projects that give my clients the rooms that they crave. Whether an entrance hall, living room or a bedroom, I am on hand to help you create a space that you are proud to live in.
We’re here to help you achieve your home goals.
Whether you are decorating, accessorising, renovating or planning to sell, we provide a bespoke personal interior design and styling service that will help you pull a look together and express yourself in your home or ready your home should you be selling. We’ll guide you through the entire design or decorating process, from mood and concept boards to space plans and furniture selections, through to styling the space.
Read more about it here. Here’s a few of our favorite interior design projects from last year.
How to have a small wonderful Indian home in 14 Karm!
Homify India by SUCHETA MEHRA, 31 May, 2016
If you wonder how families can live in living spaces as small as 30 or 40 square meters, remember that in Japan, where space is at premium, this would be considered as a luxury. In third world countries entire families live in a room that is not more than 10 square meters in area. 40 square meters, in comparison to Japan or Asia, is generous. It can appear even more roomy and spacious by smart use of space. Most people are used to viewing space in two dimensions: length and width. By considering the vertical dimension too, you can optimize use of space and pack in a lot more without the interior seeming crowded and cluttered. Here we show you how you can make use of the right materials and make the right use of space that will help a family live in comfort in a space as small as 40 square meters and never feel uncomfortable.
Use the walls effectively
Using the walls in a small apartment makes the interiors look roomy and spacious. Make sure your walls are white or a light shade of tan, ivory or beige. Use white for the furniture. If it is wooden furniture, lacquer them or paint the wood in a white shade. Pure white may seem dazzling so ivory is just perfect. Of course, if you are using stainless steel furniture it will also look trim and slim, enhancing as well as optimizing spaces. Glass complements steel and gives a modern look to compact living spaces.
Your apartment or house probably has some open space in the shape of a veranda or a balcony in the front or some open space at the back. Consider ways to cover this open space in your balcony and use it as a sleeping or study area for a family member, possibly your teenage son. Open space at the back can have a simple overhead cover. You can store less used items in a cupboard under this covered space at the back.
Look around in your house. There is plenty of open space. Any space above head height can be considered open space. You can line walls with cupboards running the entire length of the wall above head height.
You can create a temporary loft with a pull down staircase. The loft can serve as sleeping quarters. Or better still; create a mezzanine floor if the ceiling of your house is high enough. The extended balcony space shown in the picture above has been designed by Leivars, interior designers and decorators from UK.
A loft can partition vertical space but, it also gives a rather closed look. A mezzanine floor extends only part way across the room and lets it retain the open look. Wood is certainly a good material for homes but it needs to be thick to have strength. Stainless steel tubing can be thin yet it is strong enough to support weight. Besides, the gleaming or dull finished stainless finish adds to the décor, especially when married with glass. The floor of the mezzanine partition can be hollow PVC profiles or wood. Curtaining off the mezzanine portion can transform the portion into a cosy bedroom that a family member can retire to when others are busy working or studying in the regular space below.
Making maximum use of natural light gives a cheerful, open impression to your interiors. For instance, when you build a mezzanine floor, build it across the room facing the window or along side one wall but never across the wall that has the window. If you must use curtains, then use a pair. One could be the light gauze type curtains that lets in plenty of light. Heavier drapes are the other option, allowing you completely shut out light when required. Enhance the natural light by the use of light colored vitreous mirror tiling on the floor. The reflections create interesting light and shadow patterns in the room. If you are partitioning off the balcony or the verandah, do so using steel channels and translucent glass or translucent fiberglass, possibly with bold colours. It will have the look of stained glass and will create a wonderful colourful lit area inside with a charm, perfectly offsetting the use of white for furniture.
Glass in the interiors
You would have selected folding furniture to maximize use of space. In that case, glass for use as table top does require some care in design and execution but the effect is just magnificent. Glass and metal are made for each other. It is easy to get fabricated metal folding table frame with an arrangement to hold the glass securely. However, glass plays a more important role elsewhere and that is in the shelves. You could have wooden shelves but making more use of glass endows living spaces with a transparent, open look. Besides, you can use thinner glass. Where you would use 15 mm of wood, just 8 mm of glass is sufficient. Fixtures for glass are also available in a slim, trim contour. Your kitchen and living room can do with a couple of glass shelves that will look absolutely gorgeous and add to the feeling of space inside.
40 square meters may not seem much but, if you make use of your mind to create and optimise spaces, you will find that it is sufficient for a family. Here's an architecture ideabook you wouldn't like to miss : A sublime modern family home!
Do you know?
Cambridge Open Studios first started in the 1960s and is one of the oldest Open Studios events in the country
What is Cambridge Open Studios?
In July every year artists open their houses and studios, providing art lovers the chance to browse and buy original artwork direct from the artist. Cambridge Open Studios it’s part of a countrywide movement, provides visitors and viewers an engaging and inspiring experiences. Cambridge Open Studios has been going since the 1960s and is a great way of finding out about the wonderful creative work being produced in our area. It takes place every weekend throughout July.
Visitors can see a wide range of art including jewelry, ceramics and textiles, paintings, sculpture, printmaking, photography and many other media whilst also having the opportunity to chat directly with the artists. The Cambridge Open Studios is free for visitors and open to everyone who interested in art.
Alicia's Zimnickas' and Betka's Milligan Open Studio weekend July 2016
Thank you for all who visited our Open Studio.
Painting by Alicia Zimnickas, acrylic and oil on canvas
Alicia Zimnickas (left) and Betka Milligan (right) during they Open Studio weeknd in Cambridge, Trumpington
At the artist studio. Preparations for the Open Studio weekend.
Betka's Milligan ceramics and Alicia's Zimnickas paintings
I’m Alicia Zimnickas founder of AZ INTERIORS. I'm interior designer and artist. On AZ INTERIORS blog, I share decorating ideas, interesting and inspiring interiors, interior design trends, beautiful objects and places - those worth mentioning. Welcome to my creative world.