Hallways are given short shrift when it comes to decor and design. Rethink these spaces as more than one way to get to another area of the house by giving them their own style and some design attention. If you have some decorating bravado, you can make your hallways elicit more than a yawn as you pass through.
Hallways are notoriously dark, and those standard flush-mount ceiling fixtures never have enough wattage; they look as dull as the light they give off. Pack your hallway with plenty of light.
Pick a pair of fabulous lamps and place them on a thin console to notch up the lighting. Then, select an interesting ceiling fixture to anchor the hallway.
If space is an issue, and there’s no room for a console, have an electrician wire up some sconces. Whether you add lamps or wall sconces, having two sources of light makes the hallway better lighted and better looking. If your hallway is long, consider more than one large ceiling fixture.
One way to add interest in the hallway is to add interest on the walls. Your hallways don’t have to be the bland water cracker to your decorative appetizer in the rooms beyond. Try a wall of dramatic color to pump up the style. Wallpaper in a graphic pattern also tells anyone passing through to take notice. It will also pique visitors’ interest from other rooms if they can catch a glimpse of the hall. Accent molding and trim work are easy ways to create a posh look and freshen up the hall. They also make your hallway look like a bona fide room.
Dress up your hallway with an eye-catching piece of furniture. A sparkling mirrored console adds light, drama and panache. Top that console with an oversized accent piece in between the lamps. You’ll mimic the style so often seen in top tier hotels as you pass from your hotel room to the lobby. The contrast of the small space of the hallway and the luxuriously large accent piece will give your hallway that touch of decorative flair your old hallway didn’t have. If your hallway is large, turn it into a mini-study or library. Add shelves, a chair and a rug to delineate the space.
Hallways have long been the runway strip of family photos; one photo stacked up next to the other like planes waiting on an airport runway for takeoff. Instead, create a destination gallery that shows off your family in an artsy way, or capture the charm of your local area with oversized photos or artwork that speaks to where you live.
Of course, if you have genuine paintings, don’t think they always have to go over the sofa or fireplace. Hanging one very large or special painting in the hallway actually makes it look like it’s cloistered away from prying eyes and makes it look and feel more special. Any bold statement piece will make an even stronger statement when it can stand out on its own in your hallway.