The details may differ by country, but country style at its heart is an open, comforting, natural look. Vintage pieces and natural materials conjure images of life out where there is more land than people. English country style features neutral and pastel colours, in combination with the bare wood.
Hallways by nature are transitions. They serve to link together the various rooms of a house and are usually given only a passing thought. With hallway decorating less is more, but function and fashion can go hand in hand to achieve a comfortable inviting look.
Colours and Materials
Country style favours natural materials like wood and stone. If the function of the hallway necessitates some sort of easy to clean material like vinyl or linoleum, pick some that has a natural stone pattern. Metals should be used as accents only and kept dark and simple, like tin, iron, or copper. A little rust or patina is welcome and adds to the timeless vintage look of the room.
Hallways need to tie the rooms of the house together, and colour plays a big part in this. If using colours other than white, keep them muted unless they fit with the colour schemes around them. American country style uses reds and blues, but natural earthy colours also work. Leaving wood bare works well, and distressing the wood gives anything a nice vintage look. If the hallway or stairwell is small and closed, light colours will open it up and give it the illusion of space. Dark colours will likewise pull the walls and ceilings closer for a cosier feel.
Furniture and Decoration
The country style hallway is a functional space. For a front hallway key holders, coat stands, and hangers can add decoration as well as provide a lived-in look that will make visitors instantly feel at home. Go with wicker baskets rather than clunky wooden shelves. Slim open leaning ladder bookshelves will also help to keep the space light and airy, serving as an elegant and attractive storage solution.
Interior hallways that are large enough would do well with a bench or wicker chair in a corner or off to the side. Some seating will help to make the hallway feel like a room in its own right. Baskets can also be placed underneath for more storage.
Barn stars are also a great piece of decoration. Made of tin, they come in all sizes and look very good on a wall or hung on the sides of furniture. Add a little rust to age them up, and what was once on the side of a barn will look right at home on the wall of your hallway.
Candles make wonderful accent pieces. A nice scented candle on a simple dark metal or wood stand can fit in anywhere. A bit of potpourri to add more scent while the candle is out will keep the hallway smelling pleasant. Candles come in a variety of colours wide enough to fit into any scheme, and always add a bit of country charm.
Proper lighting is important for real country style. Artificial lighting can throw a harsh glare through the hallway and ruin your hard decorating work. Use natural-looking incandescent bulbs instead of gas-based lighting like halogen and fluorescent. If the hallway has a window, use drapes instead of blinds to keep the window as unobstructed as possible. Let the outside light fill the hallway as much as possible. Keeping the wall and window frame white or a light colour will help shift focus to what lies beyond.
With a bit of paint and a few decorative touches here and there and perhaps some hall furniture, any hallway can become the warm heart of a cosy country home.