The Anatomy of a Thoughtfully-Designed Hallway

My second spot to share with you in my month of talking about the transitional spaces in a house, is the hallway.  By the time you decorate the rest of your house, who has time to think about what is going on the hallway?  But, simple little touches can make a big difference in this small space.  I picked a pretty hallway designed by Anderson Studio of Architecture & Design because I thought it was so carefully designed to make the most of what is essentially a white box.  Check it out!

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A series of objects hung along a hallway really helps to draw the eye down the hallway and move people through a space.  The graphic shape and dark color of the lanterns hung overhead helps them stand out as a unique design element and captures the eye’s attention.  Lighting isn’t the only way to achieve this effect…try a row of picture frames hung at eye level down the hall, a series of mirrors, a collection displayed on a long shelf.  I think the key is to space the objects at the same intervals along the wall.

Rather  than just let the hallway be a place to hurry through to the next room, add interesting layers to slow everyone down.  The built-in-bench, wall sconce,  and interesting textiles hanging on the walls invite people to stop for a minute and enjoy this space.

I love the patterned ottoman in the room at the end of the hallway.  It’s bold color and pattern provide an instant focal point and pull your eye forward.  You can use a variety of things to create a focal point at the end of a hallway…try a painted accent wall, a table with a pretty vignette, a bold piece of art or pretty mirror.  And, if you have a room at the end of the hall be thoughtful about what will be visible from the hallway.

The matching draperies and throw pillows are a fun little detail in this hallway, but they aren’t suppose to be the main focus, so their small pattern is perfect.  They add a little bit of interest, without overwhelming the small narrow space.

Rather than just treat a hallway like a hallway, consider how you can make that square footage work harder for your family.  The built-in windowseat takes very good advantage of such a small space that’s full of natural light.  Not all of us have hallways wide enough to accommodate an entire built-in windowseat, but maybe you have space for shelving for storage or display, or perhaps a spot at the end of the hallway for a small desk.

Hallways are almost exclusively long skinny rectangles, so to make them very pleasing, work with their shape and not against it.  The long rectangle rug on the floor mimics the shape of the room…it just makes sense to the eye.

Did any of the ideas in this hallway spark ideas for yours?  I’d love to hear!

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