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Hallway makeover

Now our hallway is both practical and looks great!


The Sjåstad family were chosen to receive a hallway makeover. Find out how they went from gritty chaos to an elegant and functional entrance, with the help of our very own Storage Expert Christine Dalman and design personality Jannice Wistrand!

By Charlotta Flinkenberg Photos Isak Sjöström

Storage and Feng-Shui experts save a family hallway!

We were looking for a family with young kids and a messy hallway, to see if our Storage Expert Christine could fix some of their everyday chaos. To bring it all together, with both smart storage and harmonious design throughout the room, we contacted design personality Jannice Wistrand. With their expertise, Christine and Jannice took on the challenge of making a difference to a family’s everyday life. Of the entries received, the Sjåstad family were chosen to receive a full hallway makeover. “The biggest challenge was that their hallway has a lot of doors and windows, and the space isn’t of a standard size. Giving the family a practical flow and adapted storage solution was something I wanted to help with,” says Christine Dalman, Elfa’s Storage Expert. As the house has varied ceiling heights (which are lower in the hallway), a static storage solution doesn’t work. “But with our click-in system and made-to-measure sliding doors, everything can be adapted to each individual space,” says Christine. Jannice Wistrand, certified designer and Feng-Shui consultant, immediately saw the chance to build a cabinet around the dreary radiator and create a so-called “seasonal shelf”. “With four white walls and disparate storage solutions, the hallway didn’t feel pleasant or welcoming. My priority was to create a calm and coherent style through Feng Shui and a harmonious choice of colours and materials,” Jannice reveals. The design team, which consisted of Christine, Jannice and some carpenters, wallpapered the hallway, put up shelving and storage with sliding doors, hung a mirror and added a seat and other nice details to create a real dream entrance.


”…and the hallway got a little left behind”

Camilla Sjåstad

The Sjåstad family recently moved into their new house, and thought the hallway looked “just fine” in the images of the property. In reality, it was a pretty depressing space in the large former mission hall. “When we moved in, our renovations and decorating really focused on the other spaces, and the hallway got a little left behind,” Camilla Sjåstad explains. Skåne’s often-slushy autumn and winter weather turned the hallway into a gritty chaos of misplaced shoes, with no organised system for storage – pretty much how most young families’ hallways look! “I saw on Instagram that Elfa was looking for a family with a messy hallway in need of a makeover and thought it was just what we needed! We made a video one evening when the kids were asleep and sent it in.”

However, Camilla and Robin didn’t dare hold out too much hope, so they found temporary solutions by way of haphazard clothes horses and an old wardrobe that they got from a neighbour who was sympathetic to their hallway situation. So they were especially delighted when Storage Expert Christine called and told them they would be getting help to decorate their hallway. “It was like being at a funfair and finally managing to get all the cans in the tin can alley. Yes! It felt completely unreal and really exciting.” 
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Did you have your own idea of how you wanted the hallway to look?  
“No, not really. Zero inspiration. All of our energy had gone into the other spaces in the house. When it came to the hallway, we didn’t know where to begin. The hallway has kind of just been this dreary part of the house, while the other social areas in the house are lovely.”

You gave Elfa and designer Jannice Wistrand free rein to do whatever they wanted with the hallway. Were you ever concerned about how it might turn out?
“No, not at all. Between Elfa’s brand and sterling experience in storage, and Jannice’s excellent design skills, we felt in safe hands.”

How did the actual makeover process go, practically speaking? 
“We sent all of the hallway dimensions, and pictures and a video of the space, to Elfa. And we explained our needs, that my husband really wanted to avoid bringing gravel into the house, and that our kids should feel like they had their own storage spaces for their things in the hallway. After that, we had to check into a hotel and stay away for a day, while Elfa’s team got the keys to the house for the makeover!”
"The reaction when we got home to our new hallway was ‘wow!’” says Camilla. “Not at all what I had expected, but a thousand times better! Now our hallway is both practical and looks great! I could never have pictured this solution at all.”

”It was a thousand times better than I imagined!” 

Camilla Sjåstad



As the sliding doors open to the side, they save space in the room. And with the right choice of colour and material, they can help to create a harmonious overall impression.


Make use of the full depth of the wardrobe by placing shallow shelves or crates behind clothes on hangers or high boots.

”It was a thousand times better than I imagined!” 

Camilla Sjåstad


Plan storage for other things besides clothes and shoes. For example your post, keys, umbrellas, bags, sunglasses, or anything else that can easily end up strewn about the home. 

”So flexible to be able to adjust the heights as the kids grow”

Camilla Sjåstad


What about the storage and design solution surprised you most? 
“My first thought was to have mirrors on the sliding doors, as that’s what many people do. But Jannice explained that it’s poor Feng Shui, because then the first thing you see as you step inside is your own reflection in a big, ugly puffer jacket. She had placed a mirror to one side instead, which is more calming for the soul."

"On the right, the kids’ section is so lovely, with hooks that they can reach and cute drawers. As the kids’ area is right next to the front door, they can take off their shoes straight away and we avoid bringing in a lot of dirt. As a whole it turned out so beautifully, even though the space is so limited,” says Camilla.

Feng Shui and smart storage are beneficial to your mood

The family appreciated the fact that the Elfa team paid attention to both the look and function of the room. And as we know, functional thinking is in Elfa’s DNA, with the philosophy that interiors should be able to cope with the everyday demands a family with young kids may have.
“They have really put thought into all our needs. As soon as we started fiddling around with the bars, we saw how flexible it is. It’s great to be able to adjust the heights of the hooks as the kids grow and we want to re-arrange the shelves. You can tell that the materials are sustainable and high-quality, and that this is a storage solution we’ll be able to have for the rest of our lives,” Camilla concludes.

Jannice’s mood board for the Sjåstad family’s hallway.

- Remember to meld the look of the hallway with the décor in the rest of the house. Use the same colours, woods and metals to create a harmonious whole. 

- Avoid placing a mirror opposite the entrance. That throws energies back out the door. Instead you want to guide the good energies further into the house. 

- Include a seasonal table to welcome you as you enter. Alternate between tulip bulbs in spring, summer bouquets, blazing autumn leaves and winter hyacinths. If you don’t have enough space for a table, a windowsill or the top of a radiator cabinet will do.

- Don’t forget to make the outside of your entrance pleasant, too, with an LED light on a timer, or a little pot with an illuminated plant. That’s where your welcome begins.

Jannice Wistrand, certified interior designer and Feng Shui consultant

Jannice is part of our panel of experts here at Studio Elfa. Find out more about Jannice’s thoughts on the importance of harmonious design in the home at Studio Elfa.

- The hallway isn’t just about clothes and shoes. Consider storage for post, keys, shoe care, school books and other things that can easily end up strewn about the home. 

- Give kids their own drawers and compartments from a young age, as this sets them up well for being able to keep their own shoes and clothes in order. And invest in storage that can be adjusted as the kids grow.

- Plan additional storage for things like shoe care and umbrellas, behind clothes on hangers or high boots in the wardrobe. This gives you more space over a small area.

- Sliding doors don’t take up unnecessary space (compared to normal wardrobes) as they open to the side. Free-hanging doors also make it easier to clean the floor, as they don’t require a floor strip.

Christine Dalman, Elfa’s storage expert

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