The secret to creating the perfect entrance way: A case study of a Victorian home 

The staircase at Victorian manor Mulberry Lodge in Cheshire

"The entrance is where you welcome guests, so you want to design a space that makes a statement and gives a good first impression." - Credit: Interiors by Ingrid

Are you struggling with a narrow corridor, limited lighting or awkward space in your home’s entrance way? 

Interior designer Ingrid Sirova faced similar issues with her recent project in a Victorian property. We caught up with the designer from Cheshire-based Interiors by Ingrid to discuss tips and tricks to help you create the perfect entrance in your home.

“Mulberry Lodge is a stunning manor building which deserved a grand entrance, and after some renovation and carefully chosen décor for the entrance hall, hallway and staircase, we were able to provide the homeowners with an entrance they could be proud of. 

"After all, this is where you welcome guests, so you want to design a space that makes a statement and gives a good first impression,” says Ingrid. 

Below she outlines the challenges faced in the home and how they were resolved.

Renovation of a Victorian manor Mulberry Lodge by interior designer Interiors by Ingrid in Cheshire

Opt for light-neutral tones in the entrance way to create the illusion of an open, bright space as you enter the home. - Credit: Interiors by Ingrid

Lack of natural lighting 

Lighting is a significant factor to consider when designing any space within the home, and darker toned walls can give the illusion of a smaller area. “The biggest challenge at Mulberry Lodge was the lack of natural lighting due to the elongated, narrow hallways,” says Ingrid. 

She advises opting for white or light-neutral-coloured walls to create a brighter entrance way as you walk through the door. “We chose to redecorate the walls white, creating a soft, yet bright colour and clean canvas to design the space. Large, format porcelain tiles were chosen for the floors from a stunning collection of antique limestone, which complemented the white-washed walls.

“Being particular about where you place your light fittings is also important,” she says.  

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“We positioned the architectural lighting in strategic positions to accentuate the artwork and sculptures, ensuring the design reached its full potential.” 

For Mulberry Lodge’s panelled walls and narrow hallways, Ingrid selected solid glass drop wall lights with antique brass arms, adding feature lighting to the walls as well as the ceiling. This not only added extra light, but also created the desired luxurious feel.

The entrance way of Victorian manor Mulberry Lodge, a renovation project by interior designer Interiors by Ingrid in Cheshire

Ingrid selected solid glass drop wall lights with antique brass arms, adding feature lighting to the walls as well as the ceiling. - Credit: Interiors by Ingrid

Modernising whilst retaining the home’s character 

Whilst a modern home is desirable, Ingrid emphasises the importance of character within the home. “Particularly with older buildings like Mulberry Lodge, it’s advisable to utilise the existing period features in your home and incorporate them into the new scheme to create the perfect balance between new and old.  

"More contemporary wall moulding was specified to compliment the existing architectural details, and to give the walls more personality."

“We were very keen to keep all of the original Victorian features, including the stained-glass skylight above the stairs, which meant the chandelier we wanted could not be installed in the traditional way. Instead, we designed an exquisite, bespoke chandelier displaying two rows of 100 bronze buds. Each one carefully handcrafted by skilled artisans in an organic swoop cluster design, adding a luxurious focal point,” says Ingrid.

Bespoke artwork created to decorate the hallway at Mulberry Lodge by Interiors by Ingrid in Cheshire

Displaying artwork in the hallway will help make the most out of a narrow space in your home. - Credit: Interiors by Ingrid

"We used mirrors to add depth to the space. We sourced one which offers a softer feel to the harsh new mirror glass and adds a sophisticated finish.  The mirrors in Mulberry Lodge were made by using traditional Victorian techniques to create the authentic glass, adding character to the space,” Ingrid tells us. 

If you’re struggling to find light fittings, furniture or décor pieces which work with the space or features of your home, she advises contacting an interior designer who will be able to design and create a bespoke feature piece that’s tailored to you.

Working with a narrow hallway 

Ingrid explains how using artwork or having bespoke pieces created that work with the colour scheme, style and theme of your home décor is the perfect way to transform your long and narrow hallways into a unique and stylish art gallery. 

“We appointed an artist to collaborate with and create a limited collection of artworks to be displayed in the hallway, turning it into a private gallery,” she explains. “The colour scheme was based on the materials used in these areas, with the addition of the luxurious gold leaf to add an elegant and classy touch.

"The size of the art was the only limitation Rosy (the artist) had to work with. The sizes of the individual panels were designed with the art pieces and wall light positions in mind.” 

Ingrid is a qualified interior designer who can help transform any space into a place you’re proud to call home. 

To see more of Ingrid’s projects or the services she provides, visit interiorsbyingrid.co.uk/. To make an enquiry for your home, contact ingrid@interiorsbyingrid.co.uk or 07718286938.