I am in the processes of changing my hallway, again. I did it fairly quickly when I first moved in as I couldn’t cope any longer with the existing burgundy and pink pinstripe wallpaper. However it was always one of the spaces I had to complete, as was never quite happy with it and guess what I don’t have the funds to make massive improvements. So it got me thinking about how to make your hallway or entrance something special but on a budget.
Paint is the obvious, however think outside the box. One suggestion would be to paint the architraves and the doors a different colour to the walls, see below. This is the fantastic Paris apartment of Sarah Lavoine she has expertly experimented with a limited palette to create interesting combinations that highlight the architectural details and at same time create cohesiveness throughout her apartment. Such a refreshing way to apply paint colours that look like giant art works in their own right.
Because hallways are transitional spaces it is an ideal opportunity to be a bit bolder. It is the first space people will see when visit your home and you want to set the tone and style of how the rest of your home will look. It is a space that takes on many rolls: links adjoining rooms, place to meet and greet, place to store all manner of things (keys, coats mail etc.) So it Needs to be practical to cope with the daily demands but this doesn’t mean it should be devoid of and personality and humour. Most importantly treat it as you would do any other room in your home, it needs colour, pattern and texture.
Another important element is good lighting, the key is to strike a balance between being functional – so you can see what you are doing – and creating atmosphere. You achieve this by layering lights. By layering I mean, don’t just go for a single pendant light, combine floor lamps, wall lights and table lights.
If you are lucky enough to have a separate cloakroom for coats, bags and shoes etc then make a feature of it and hang a statement wallpaper and add an interesting light source. If don’t have a big hallway, you will still need storage. I like this idea below of the vintage mirror fronted cabinet, practical but also has a great narrative to it. Or simply group hooks on a wall and add a rail for shoes. The image on the right has been styled to work with the monochrome colour scheme. Hence the colour co-ordinated coats, shoes and bags! I appreciate this is unrealistic, however it still a good idea if you have no other choice.
Hallways are great places to house a Library wall, especially the image below, you wouldn’t need to bother with a ladder to reach the books. This isn’t eating into the open plan space, the book shelves only need to be 300mm deep. This is not a budget suggestion, but got me thinking about displaying books in a unit I already have, it could even just be on floating shelves or the bookcases from Ikea (painted same colour as your walls.) The image on the right is a really simple detail by stencilling numbers onto the risers. This is great if both renting or own a property as it is a cheap and quick fix. I can just imagine the stair carpets in some rented accommodation will be hideous or worse still beige berber carpet that you see in every home, bland and so impractical.
I Hope that has given you some ideas, as hallways are not easy due to their many roles but remember you want to make a statement. Figure out what you want from your hallway, no matter what size it is make it work for you and try something different. I hope to see some of your hallways posted up on my Facebook page Sooz Gordon Designs
I have a previous post on door accessories click on the link and it discusses the importance of door accessories to complete your new look hallway.