Reception rooms all need seating and, whether you are furnishing a dining room, a family room or a traditional living room, seating tends to take the lion’s share of the budget. If you have a reception hallway that is large enough, choosing some suitably proportioned chairs can make the space into an additional living area.
A genuine reception hallway is not just a corridor, a means of getting from the entrance to the interior rooms, but a place in its own right. Think of a hotel lobby, where all the comings and goings are carried out in a space that is still comfortable and relaxed. There is no good reason that the same effect cannot be created in a domestic situation. Only the very smallest of reception hallways should have nowhere to sit. A simple bench or even a stool is enough to create the right feel. It is more a question of how to arrange your choice of seating so it doesn’t get in the way.
A Pair Of Matching Chairs.
A classic look that creates a sense of a lived in room in an otherwise bland hallway is to arrange a pair of matching occasional chairs. Make sure that if they are both occupied that it is still possible to pass by and that there is also sufficient leg room for the seated party. If your hallway is long and thin, the best thing to do is to arrange them at 45 degrees to the wall and at right angles to one another.
In larger reception hallways and entrances, placing them side by side, but apart, creates an impressive and formal look. Split the room’s longest wall up into thirds to get a well-planned effect. Alternatively, set a chair either side of another piece of furniture to frame it. This could be a sideboard, a chest of drawer or a simple table. The matching pair of chairs look works very well in a room which has few other features to compete for your eye’s attention.
If you don’t have sufficient space for a pair of chairs, then you can still create living space in your hall by a well chosen single chair. If you go down this route, choose something that makes a statement – an accent chair. A good start is to go for a vibrant color that dominates the space. If you can fit one in, a larger than average chair is a good idea and one that looks like you could curl up in with a good book is even better. But whatever chair you go for, it should stand out and not be the sort of seat you would have in your living room.
Banquette seating suits a narrow room. Given that many reception hallways are little more than corridors they can be most suitable choices. Of course, a banquette seat cannot be moved around like a chair, but remember to add a few cushions so that the seat is as flexible as possible. Banquette seats, set in the recess under a window are ever popular and fit in with many types of hallway.
The One Off.
If you have found a vintage rocking chair or a distressed Queen Anne seat but don’t know where to put it, then put your reception hall to good use. Rather than redesign a living room to fit a much loved one-off item put it in your hallway. Halls are the best place in a home to try out some quirky seating.
The Mix Up.
If you have some eclectic style, but rarely express it, use your hallway to mix it up a little. After all, chairs in a hallway don’t have to match. And who says that you cannot mix up old and new styles?