Entrance halls, being transient areas of the home, are often overlooked and become the dumping ground of handbags, shoes, keys and small change. But they are actually the most essential area of our homes as they are the spaces where we, and our guests are welcomed.

Here are a few tips to help you create entrance halls that are warm and hospitable, and that reflect the style and overall design intention of your home.

• Ensure that your entrance hall design is consistent with the overall design of your home. Entrance halls need to make a striking first impression of the look and feel of your home.

• Consider practicality. Entrance halls, being high traffic areas, need flooring that is able to stand up to wear and tear. A patterned tiled floor makes a powerful opening statement and real wood, laminate and tiles are durable and easy to keep clean. If you prefer carpeting, choose stain resistant carpets that don’t show up dirt- such as carpets with tight patterns. Entrance halls also need good storage so, where appropriate, include a coat rack, shoe rail, and umbrella stand. A console table with draws is handy to keep your hallway as clutter-free as possible.

• Create an entrance hall that is a room in its own right. To achieve this, install a piece of furniture such as a narrow console table, or a beautiful round display table- depending on floor space. Upholstered chairs, or settees offer warmth and comfort and pendant lights or table and floor lamps create ambience. Dramatic wallpaper, statement rugs and art help to make a space feel inhabited.

• When designing entrance halls in small spaces choose a white or neutral paint shade to create a feeling of space and use lighting for dramatic effect, warmth and ambience. Make optimum use of wall space for storage with cubby holes and shelving and make a statement on the walls with art, mirrors, photo galleries and wallpaper. If there is space, install a narrow console table for practicality or a single piece of furniture such as a beautifully upholstered chair as a focal point.