Hallways are for getting from one room to another and we don’t spend most of our time there so they often go overlooked when you are designing your home’s Decor however because they may offer some of the largest available wall space there are ways to make use of them.
Hallway Design Considerations
The the most important thing when deciding to add style in your hallways it to remember their function.
Hallways in most homes are designed to be wide enough to allow one person to walk easily from room to room with packages or other items so adding furniture or other items that obstruct your traffic pattern is really not a great idea.
This is also a safety concern because most hallways do not allow enough natural light during the day and at night you could introduce trip hazards or if you were to install something like coat hooks or pegs you could wind up with a trip to the hospital.
With this in mind there are some things that you can do to improve the function and look of your hallways.
Hallway Specific Furniture
Furniture makers specifically design different types of cabinets and tables that can fit in your hallways and entryways. Often they are used for storing things you need just before you walk out the door but they can also be attractive.
Shoe racks are a good idea so you and your kids can change out of wet or snow covered boots and shoes.
Umbrella stands and coat racks are also a nice addition especially if there is not a closet near the entrance.
Slimline lamps are available in both free standing and tabletop versions. They can provide that extra light in a dark hallway or entrance. Remember to keep cords short and out of the way of foot traffic. Extra heavy weight bases will help freestanding lighting stay put and not fall if bumped
Night lights work great in hallways no matter what your age. If your hallway has an available electric outlet you can add a decorative light or a motion sensor light that will only be activated when someone enters the hallway.
There are also motion sensor light switches that will turn on overhead lights in your hallway then turn them off after a set time. They are good when you can not reach for a switch if you are caring packages or in the night when you don’t want to be hunting for the switch.
Long hallways can benefit from cornice molding lighting that can hide behind a molding washing your ceiling with light.
Adding Pictures To Hallway Walls
Hallways are a good place to hang artwork and photographs. The long open wall space can provide more room then most people will ever use for this reason.
When choosing artwork you should select frames that are low profile and angle in towards the wall rather then out to cause snag hazards when people walk by.
Use plastic not glass in your frames if the artwork needs to be protected. Plastic will provide a very similar feel but not shatter if hit.
Place the artwork so the top of the frame is above your normal head height and the bottom allows you to pass by freely. Between the heights of 4 feet and 7 feet are best.
Adding Decorative Molding
If your home has cornice molding you can add molding to your hallways relatively easy. Some molding is now available in a flexible urethane to match your current designs and can be attached with adhesive and caulk without the need for extreme carpentry skills.
Moldings at the bottom of the wall should be angled in at the top to reduce dust collection.
Hallway Paint Colors
Since hallways are often the darkest spot in your home you want to keep the colors as light as possible. White is a good selection for ceilings and also for your walls when appropriate.
You should stay away from darker paint colors and complex wallpaper patterns that can be distracting.
Shell or Semigloss paint is great for hallway walls especially if you have kids. The higher gloss will allow you to clean walls faster. If you do not live in a home with kids you may find that a lower gloss paint is more attractive because it will reflect less light.
Adding Mirrors In your Hallway
Mirrors are sometimes placed at the entry way of your home to allow that final look over before you head out into the world.
Only if you have a safe amount of room should you install a full length mirror in your entryway. If you have smaller children or animals this area can be a place for chaos so make your decision with that in mind.
In this howto we have placed an extra amount of emphasis on safety and function because this is more important then any other factor in your home.
Never place items around stairways which could cause problems and remember your design needs to meet the needs of everyone in your family.
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