Stylish hallway storage is essential if you want a beautiful hallway. And why wouldn’t you? Your hallway creates the first impression of your home. And first impressions tend to stick. So – the theory goes – it wouldn’t matter that your living room was Elle Decoration-worthy; if your guests have to navigate through a detritus-strewn midden first, you’ve probably killed the wow.
But life tends to make beautiful hallways a challenge. The difficulty stems largely from their function as a repository for the vast collection of stuff we need for any encounter with the outdoors. This issue is particularly acute if (a) you share your hall with other outdoor-venturers, and (b) you live in a region of varying climate. (In Scotland that would be anything between a bit chilly and subarctic.)
I am still in the (long) process of making over my hallway. While it is now beautifully decorated, it is definitely not yet beautiful. Part of the problem is I have failed so far to take control of the “stuff”, aka shoes, coats and bags. So when John Lewis contacted me about their newly expanded storage range I was keen to check whether they offered any solutions that might help me reclaim my hall.
On the Bench
I’ve been obsessing lately over benches. As furniture goes, benches are the ultimate in versatility. You can style them like a console table and make them pretty, sit on them if you want but – crucially – you can shove shoes, bags and other stuff under them creating the illusion of order, even though essentially all you’ve done is dump the stuff. This, as far as I’m concerned makes them the perfect hallway storage solution.
It is unlikely I will ever have a pair of pristine white tennis shoes as the sole item of footwear occupying my hallway. However I suspect that this rack would enable even a collection of scuffed and muddy footgear to look tidy. Its simple understated design would see it meld unobtrusively into any style of scheme too.
For a more contemporary option, how about the Scandi? With a minimalist, gently industrial aesthetic, its height and flat table top design offers ideal styling potential for creating a cool vibe in your hall.
The Brooklyn is a black alternative and would make a discreet solution in darker halls, or a striking contrast in a pale scheme.
The Imelda is a budget-friendly solution that doesn’t skimp on style. Judging by its slender legs, parking your bum on it would be ill-advised. But it’s still a flexible bit of hall kit that you could just stack shoes on as here, or style up on the top shelf to create that on trend bench feel.
But if you thought the Imelda was brilliant value, check out the Wenko.
At just £20 you might be expecting something purely functional, but I think the Wenko is rather beautiful too. And my favourite bit: it’s stackable. You could go two or three high, using the bottom shelves for shoes, the higher ones for, well, you know, other stuff, AND have space for some pretty things too. All with the potential to reconfigure them as your needs evolve. Genius.
So now you’ve got your bench vibe going on, your hall’s looking pretty cool and shoes are neatly stashed. But hang on, what about the gazillion other shoes and boots?
Kate Watson-Smith on Mad About the House recently explained how to create the perfect hallway. When it comes to keeping shoes in hallways, Kate advises discipline, dispelling the notion that you can keep all your shoes in the hall. I know she’s right (about this as well as most things interiors related), but discipline is going to need a helping hand in our house. If shoes can’t simply be dumped on the rack on returning home, then the alternative needs to be immediately accessible. Any degree of effort will be a fatal disincentive, since putting the shoes away properly will be in direct competition with sitting down.
A solution which involves no more that opening the downstairs cupboard door could work.
This clever over door organiser holds an astonishing 22 pairs of shoes and could be the perfect strategy. I’m not even sure I have that many. (Hmmm, could this also justify a spot of shoe shopping?! I’m in.)
With shoes taken care of, that leaves those other bothersome creators of hallway clutter: coats and bags.
For the purposes of researching this post, I counted the number of coats stored in my hallway: 18. (Five of them belong to my youngest which is ironic because he insists he has no requirement for them, despite even a recent encounter with a sleet storm in nothing but a football strip.)
Again editing and discipline are undoubtedly the answer. Massively overloaded pegs and hooks will never look stylish, nor be conductive to zen-like exiting/entering of the home.
Installing an eye catching piece of design as your coat and bag solution will incentivise good coat and bag practice because you will want to ensure that it can actually be seen.
I am lusting over these Umbra hooks.
Arrange these vertically or abstractly for a thoroughly modern solution.
I’m also a bit in love with the Oliver Hrubiak rack.
It’s a beautiful piece of statement design for any design-conscious home.
A coat stand is a brilliant addition breaking up the corridor feel that so many hallways suffer from. The difficulty though is that most stands take up more width that we can afford. With a stylishly skinny design, this Umbra one could slip into narrower spaces.
I’m feeling inspired to get to grips with my hallway clutter. With storage options as stylish as those it’s not even a chore. And with a comprehensive range of clever solutions for every part of the house, John Lewis might have spurred me into a full Spring home-organisation campaign.
Have you nailed storage in your hallway? Please share your tips for keeping a well ordered entryway. No, really. Do!
This post was written in collaboration with John Lewis and contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own and, as always, I have only selected products I love and think you will too.