Let's start with the flooring.
If you're lucky enough to have an old Victorian or Edwardian house you may still have the original tiles hiding underneath that tired carpet. If so you've hit the jackpot! A patterned tile creates instant drama to this trickiest of rooms. All you need to do is give them a good clean and you will have a fabulous floor that will provide instant character to your grand entrance.
It is possible to lay your own tiled floor if you don't have one already in place. Ebay is a great source for reclaimed tiles or look for a local salvage yard as that should save you a lot on delivery and you can check the quality yourself.
For new tiles there are lots of options. Encaustic cement tiles come in many wonderful designs. How about a modern twist on the traditional designs? Maria Starling designs wonderful tiles like the Oasis pattern shown here.
Spain and Morocco are great sources for encaustic tiles. Dark, rich colours with bold patterns will add a real impact.
Beautiful and hard wearing as they are, Encaustic tiles are not cheap. For a more affordable solution that creates a similar effect there are vinyl floor tiles with wonderful designs.
in warm grey tones or Rose Des Vents
in blue or red are affordable vinyl floor tiles that would offer a fresh and inviting welcome to any home.
Moving on to the walls...
The hallway is the perfect room in the house for bold designs. It is a room that you pass through so you want to create an instant impact but you don't need to worry about finding it overwhelming as its unlikely you will be relaxing in the space for hours at a time.
A bold wallpaper such as this one called Riad by Sian Elin would make a dramatic statement, it could also work well below a dado rail with a simple white or grey paint scheme above the dado and lots of pictures.
The hallway is an excellent space to create your own art gallery for family pictures, prints and postcards.
This hallway shows how effective white walls can be with a stylish and dramatic pendant light. Add an oversized decorative vase, a beautiful plant or a designer chair to add a focal point and it will spring to life.
Most importantly, remember to have fun with design in this area. It could be a great space to experiment with typography. Why not announce your welcome in huge lettering or count the way up the stairs?