By Kathryn Weber
There’s no reason a hallway has to be a pass-through room devoid of decor. This hallway features illuminated artwork on one side and a console of collectibles on the other.
At first glance, hallways appear as little more than pass-through rooms, but in fact they present the opportunity for bold, concentrated decorating statement. A hallway is often one of the few rooms in a house with uninterrupted wall space -- and that creates more decorating possibilities. Like powder rooms, hallways are terrific spots to display your decorating daring. Here are some principles to keep in mind.
Light it up
Besides being long and narrow, hallways are often poorly lit with only a single ceiling fixture. Update your lighting and you'll find it not only brightens the hallway but opens it up as well.
A row of can lights is one way to brighten up a dim hall. Another simple and efficient option is track lighting, which comes in a variety of styles that fit well in most décor. Some of the new curved track lights offer both illumination and interest. Select lights that can be moved to highlight artwork or dark corners.
Another option is the chandelier. They've shown up lately in bedrooms, kitchens and baths, so why not put one in a hall? A chandelier provides an unexpected touch of elegance and sparkle to a dark, uninviting hallway.
Create passing interest
After lighting, design interest is the second thing that's notoriously absent from hallways. But their small, defined space and large open wall space make it a perfect place for eye-catching style.
Whether you use paint or wallpaper, a punch of pattern or color enlivens a lackluster space. Apply to the entire hall, or, for a more creative approach, create a single feature wall using a pattern or pop of color. Next, layer in more design style by adding a large piece of artwork or a grouping of photographs. A hallway is the perfect spot to round up all those stray family pictures and create a gallery, or to creatively display a collection of travel post cards. If you've installed track lighting, be sure to turn the individual lights to illuminate your feature wall.
Make it useful
Don't forget that a hallway should be functional as well as pretty. A narrow console can be used to place keys, mail or a purse on the way in or out the door. It can also be used to assemble a collection of attractive accessories. Other features to make your hallway useful include a row of hooks to corral coats, leashes or book bags; a shelf that can hold knickknacks or keys; and a mirror to check your appearance as you head out the door.
A little inspiration and design attention is all it takes to make a once-drab and dimly lit hallway command attention -- and make a statement for the rest of the house.
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Copyright © Kathryn Weber, Living Space. All rights reserved.