How to make your hallway feel happy by interiors expert Michelle Ogundehin

Add happiness to your hallway with Michelle Ogundehin's expert decorating tips

hallway artwork decor
Hallway featuring work of the artist Anastasia Savinova
(Image credit: Michelle Ogundehin)

‘A happy home is one in which the occupants can feel rested, relaxed, balanced and enthusiastic about seizing the day in hand,’ says interiors expert and TV presenter Michelle Ogundehin, author of Happy Inside: How to Harness the Power of Home for Health and Happiness. ‘Decoration is the surface treatment given to any space – how you feel within that space is what I'm interested in, with the goal being a state of calm and considered wellbeing.’ The best hallway ideas, therefore, are ones which instantly boost your spirits as soon as you walk in the door.


(Image credit: Future | Paul Massey)

‘The way you design your home can absolutely change your life, which is the central premise of my book – what surrounds you is as fundamental to your wellbeing as good food and exercise. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it was more important because your environment affects everything you do.’

‘Mood maker or mood breaker, the hallway is where the story of your home starts, and first impressions really do count. It's also the main artery of most homes with every room spinning off it. Unfortunately, they are often Cinderella spaces, left until last or overlooked in favor of larger rooms. And yet the opportunity to affect your senses starts the minute you cross your threshold – we should never miss a moment to give ourselves an emotional boost.’ 

Kit Kemp design tips, lighting in a hallway, sideboard and art in entrance to house

(Image credit: HOMMÉS Studio)

‘How to design a happy hallway? Don't underestimate the power of the flooring. Hallways are often narrow, so the floor is a major surface with which to create impact. Why not go bold or bright to add a dose of fun to greet you every time you come home?’

Dark Brunswick Green, Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

‘Also consider the first thing you see when you open your front door. Be it a much-loved picture, a run of wonderful wallpaper, tidy coats and neat shoes, it can lift or deflate your mood in an instant.’

‘Remember that the entrance to your home starts from the outside, so pay attention to your front door. Is it in a good state of repair? Do you like the color? Could you add some potted plants to spruce it up? According to Feng Shui, your front door is akin to the mouth of your home, so it's important to keep it clean!’

Michelle Ogundehin book

(Image credit: Michelle Ogundehin)

Order a copy of Michelle's book here.

Amy Moorea Wong

Amy Moorea Wong is a freelance interior design journalist with a decade of experience in contemporary print and digital editorial, previously News Editor at Livingetc. She writes on a broad range of modern design topics from news and interior zeitgeist to houses, architecture, travel and wider culture. She has a penchant for natural materials, surprising pops of colour and pattern and design with an eco edge.