Hallway Furniture: from Doorstops and Stick Stands to Lanterns, Consoles and Mirrors

A Pair of 20th Century Red Tole Hall Lanterns

The Hallway is defined as a slender, elongated, walled and roofed structure towards the entrance of a dwelling. Once used to live in, hallways nowadays function as a means to arrive at rooms that are partitioned from this part of a home. More than just a windbreaker to its adjoining rooms, hallways have a functionality about them that is not to be underestimated and it is important that they be integrated with the decor and schemes of the entire house? A few well chosen pieces of furnitures, pictures and objects will assist this part of the house in providing a sense of welcome upon arrival.

A “House and Garden” Hallway – Ray Main

To keep open a heavy front door, the Victorians, heirs to the Industrial Revolution, reinvented perhaps the most simple hallway accoutrement: the Doorstops. This eccentric and very British vehicle for decoration proves that it is possible to elaborate even the most mundane of functional objects. The 19th century brass Doorstops listed below are not only practical, but sophisticated. The two are very different in design (one being rather elaborate with scrolling Rococo decoration, the other much purer and less adorned) which gives a good indication of the variety of styles from which to choose. Foundries such as W.S. Tonks and Sons specialised in the production of brass Doorstops and examples such as these continue to hold open doors in the grandest houses.

A 19th Century Rococo Style Brass Doorstop
A 19th Century Tall Brass Doorstop

The same can be said for Stick or Umbrella Stands. To declutter your hall, why not try  a useful and traditional Stick Stand, another very English feature. In Britain people always need to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions and on entering a home you will typically fine at leat s few umbrellas by the door. In Victorian times, the walking cane was an essential accessory for any gentleman that needed a home in the hall. The below pictures illustrate that these, too, come in various different forms and designs and indeed materials.

A Mid-19th Century Square Brass Stick or Umbrella Stand
An Early 20th Century Bamboo Stick or Umbrella Stand

To illuminate the hall, a couple of well placed lanterns, exuding soft lighting, certainly seem more inviting than a fierce ceiling lamp. The examples below, while similar in construction, are very different in appearance; one offering a pop of colour; the other a softer feel.

A Pair of 20th Century Red Tole Hall Lanterns
A Pair of Early 20th Century Patinated Bronze Hall Lanterns

On a structural level, when there is room, hallways  will always benefit from a Console Table. On a practical level, this is the ideal place for a welcoming bouquet of flowers or  a bowl or tray with all your daily essentials such as keys, change or Oyster cards.

A 19th Century Rococo Console Table
A Pair of Late 19th Century Adam Style Console Tables

The Classically inspired tables above certainly act as an eye catcher in any hallway, whilst providing a useful and much needed surface by the door.

And finally, when putting your coat on before heading out you might consider a Mirror in which to check yourself over. The carved, gilded Swedish Pier Mirror featured here is not only useful, but has a sculptural appeal, providing form and function.

An 18th Century Giltwood Pier Mirror

When designing your hallway, there are many other items that might prove useful or decorative, plenty of which can be found at and sourced through Timothy Langston Fine Art & Antiques on Pimlico Road.