From cool and minimal to bold and ostentatious, these clever ideas will make the right first impression this Christmas
Hallways and staircases lend themselves perfectly to festive decorating, as these gorgeous spaces below demonstrate. From wow-factor wreaths and traditional baubles to wild foliage, fancy feathers and trails of fairy lights, there’s no shortage of festive hallway decorating ideas.
Why not think beyond traditional decorations and welcome guests with a colourful light installation? Or light the way with curtain lights trailing down the banister to create a wall of twinkling lights. Go for versatile gold for plenty of pizazz, go wild with foliage for a more natural look, or add drama with feathers.
Wreaths and baubles offer a more traditional take; usually hung on front doors and in windows, a festive wreath can be just as effective elsewhere in the home. Whether hung individually or clustered together to form a display, heavily embellished or strikingly plain, indoor wreaths are a simple nod to traditional Christmas decorating, but with a modern twist.
Or Keep your hallway floor clutter-free by suspending decorations from the ceiling.
Prefer the paired-back, Scandinavian winter look? For a clean look, use just a small spray of greenery across the mantelpiece, or a single branch in a vase. After all, sometimes less is more.
Easily overlooked at other times of the year, the wall beneath a flight of stairs is an ideal backdrop for a wreath display, which makes an all-important impact on entering the house.
Get the look: Simple hoops of rattan or cane work as frames for some fir fronds, or find similar ready-made at The White Company. Be sparing to achieve this understated result.
Keep your hallway floor clutter-free by suspending decorations from the ceiling. Retro-style honeycomb lanterns create dynamic focal points. Try iridescent decorations, too – they’re very effective at picking up the light, creating shimmering, cloud-like formations.
In this cheerful hallway, traditional Edwardian detailing has been brought up to date through the use of aquatic wall paint shades.
Get the look: Hung from the ceiling and echoing the hues on the statement chandelier are a collection of large tissue paper honeycomb balls, £4.75 each, Pipii. The walls are painted in Arsenic and Cook’s Blue estate emulsions, both £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball.
Turn the decoration volume down a notch and choose something simple. It can be just as effective as going all out at Christmas. Be it a small spray of greenery across the mantelpiece, or a single branch in a vase, the minimalist route brings a stylish air of Nordic simplicity to the festivities. Less really can be more.
Another space that’s often ignored during the rest of the year is the landing or turn in a staircase. Such spaces can be used to create displays that are ideally positioned at eye level.
Get the look: This young Christmas tree in a simple jute bag is crowned by a star fashioned from pipe cleaners. Potted tabletop trees by Clas Ohlson are £19.99 each, while Trouva offers jute baskets.
Gold provides a great welcome to the home. It’s warm, luxurious and twinkling, making every visitor instantly feel special. It's also super versatile – from crackled, old gold with an almost copper
tint, right through to bright, sparkling, virtually white gold. The opportunities to create different moods are endless.
Take a no-holds-barred approach for show-stopping results. This made-to-measure gold eucalyptus garland cannot fail to impress. But don’t stop there. A giant disco ball,
white and gold balloons, tassel garlands and silver paper chains together add an extra layer of impact. No need to try this one at home. Commission a florist for a similarly elaborate garland.
Get the look: Try eBay for giant disco balls. Metallic orb balloons in gold are £4.50 each at Talking Tables and glitter paper chains are £9 each from DZD.
Colours and displays that might overwhelm other rooms can be just right for the space that you spend the least time in. For a playful option, think beyond traditional decorations and welcome guests with a colourful light installation.
A group of vibrant character circus lights and other ephemera creates a theatrical effect and a conversation point here – great fodder for getting the Christmas party started.
Get the look: The Letteroom sells similar Hollywood letter lights, from £340 each. Find the arrow LED light at Partyrama.co.uk, £10.99.
Kick-start the party and create a few wry smiles with tongue-in-cheek decorating. Dispensing with a traditional tree has become de rigueur for those who want to make an anti-trad statement this season. So get on board!
It’s bonkers, but it works. This Tex-Mex-inspired scheme combines the customary festive colours with modern results. Saguaro cacti stand in lieu of a tree and a zebra head is swathed in lights.
Get the look: Blooming Artificial has a convincing faux Saguaro, £105.49.
Embrace the festive foliage trend for immediate impact – on the eyes and the nose. Bannisters make a great framework for a statement garland. This birds of paradise-themed arrangement lends an element of fantasy to this space.
Get the look: Philippa Craddock’s new faux garlands, from £75 each, have a neutral base, so you can customise the look every year. The Farthing has a similar vintage-style metal trolley, £175.
There’s something regal about decorating with feathers. They’re like costumes and there’s no better time than Christmas for a splash of the dramatic. While peacock feathers have ruled the festive roost, delicate swans and strutting partridges are elbowing in this year. Don’t be shy: feathers are meant to wow, so be extravagant.
Create a winter wonderland look for the staircase by looping a garland of delicate feathers in cool wintry hues around the bannisters. Lest the effect be too icy, vamp up the glamour and dress a chandelier with silk roses, tea lights and goose feathers. This bannister is adorned with ostrich feathers. You’ll need lots to recreate the effect.
Get the look: Try mixing in spadone, £3.70 each, and mini plumes, £10 for five, from The Feather Factory. The chandelier’s embellishments include goose nagoire feathers, from £7.20 for 10. Get the look with feather boa garlands, from £5.99 each, UK Christmas World.
Render decorations down to a single focus: lights. The advent of energy-efficient LED lights has brought many advantages with it, not least the ability to go to town with guilt-free Christmas lighting, safe in the knowledge that they’re not burning up precious fossil fuels. Net lights are a case in point and a beautiful way to give the hallway a touch of sparkle.
Curtain lights have that unmistakable wow-factor, which is ideal for a high-impact entrance hall. If the staircase won’t accommodate them, think about hanging one against a wall for a similar effect.
Get the look:These are 288 LED curtain lights, £60, Lights4fun.
Candles make wonderful hallway accessories. Both functional and decorative, candles can be used to light pockets of darkness, creating a welcoming atmosphere. Display candles in differing shapes and sizes within hurricane lamps in larger spaces. For smaller rooms, try arranging a cluster in front of a mirror, which can give the illusion of more space.
The warm glow of candles is a charming addition to this monochromatic scheme. Embrace the trend for alternative Christmas trees and use a simple tree-shaped candelabra instead, for a minimalist effect.
Get the look: Try Wayfair’s Christmas tree metal candelabra, £36.99.