Passageways, corridors, hallways. Often ignored, they can be long, narrow, dark, featureless. According to the National Association of Home Builders, about 8% of a typical home is hallway. However, you don’t have to be stuck with a boring, utilitarian hallway. A little design magic and you’ll wonder why you waited so long to make your hallway be a standout.
HALLWAY DECOR SOLUTIONS
- Add architectural interest to the hallway. Hang bead board wainscoting capped with a chair rail for an extra oomph. Or, just add a chair rail – a simple molding will add interest.
- Frame out any untrimmed doorways so they look finished and give the eye a stopping place.
- Add a couple of wall sconces for light other than the ubiquitous dim ceiling fixture. If you don’t want to cut holes in the wall to hide the wiring, get wire covers and paint them the wall color.
- Use an area rug. Make sure it is long enough to cover most of the length of the hall (multiples if the hallway is really long). If you’re laying over hardwood or tile floors, have the rug be several inches narrower than the hallway so the wood/tile border adds extra interest on the floor.
- Paint. Paint a chair rail stripe (at least 3″ wide) with a light color on top, darker on the bottom. Paint the base and door frame mouldings a contrasting color. Paint or stencil an edge design on a wood floor instead of a rug.
- Add a bold wallpaper pattern.
- If there is no door at the end of the hall and it’s just a blank wall facing you, turn it into a feature. What would you like to walk toward? The family? A beach or woodsy scene? Hang a fabulous piece of art with a picture light. Paint it a dramatic color or use a faux technique. Hang a large mirror (flanked by sconces?) to reflect the light back down the hall.
- The hallway has become a default location for displaying family pictures. Since I believe family photos should be kept to a minimum in the public rooms of a home, it’s a perfect place for creating a wall of memories. The problem with those kinds of displays is that they are often added to randomly and if they ever started with a plan, it’s quickly lost. Have a plan – all frames will be black (or silver or whatever); all pictures will be black and white; all mats will be tan, etc. Also, be ruthless in your editing so that viewers aren’t overwhelmed with a huge volume of tiny little snapshots. Hang only your favorite pictures so that it will be a pleasure to walk that hallway every day.
- If you have a little more width in the hallway, add a narrow console or demilune table for additional display and to break up the expanse.
- Is there a corner created at the end of the hall where you could tuck a chair, a bookcase, a window seat? Create a little vignette that will make you smile each time you walk down the hall.
The pictured hallway used many of the points above to make an ideal hallway: shelving at the end for a focal point, a dark runner rug to anchor the hallway, candle sconces hanging on the wall for some dimension in such a flat space – all combine to make a hallway more than just a pass-through area.
ART AND SHELVING ADD INTEREST
These types of shelves are readily available online or at your local home improvement store. They are shallow so using them in a hallway doesn’t take up much space but adds much needed architectural interest. The bonus is you have created an instant focal point for your family photos. If you have high ceilings, consider hanging the shelves a couple feet from the ceiling and displaying plants and vases and pots up high.
Don’t let your hallways become the neglected part of your home. Even though it’s a small space, it can have a big impact with little effort. If you’ve got a tried and true hallway success story, we’d love to hear from you.