Consider your hallways as an extension of any room in your house, be it your dining room,
kitchen, living room, bathroom or bedroom. Small spaces with plenty of foot traffic should not be left bare.
For most homeowners, it’s important to make the most of every room and wall, even those transitional spaces that are sometimes troublesome to work with. Often, I get called in to consult with clients about their living room, kitchen or other key spaces and find they’ve completely neglected to think about their corridors. Yet when guests come through your home they use these passages to get from one room to another.
Hallways can sometimes be challenging to decorate simply because they are often awkward, narrow and don’t lend themselves to typical furniture. Nevertheless, it is essential that you make the most of these spaces and also try to make a decorating impact while
you are at it. Here are some design tips for tackling your hallways.
STORAGE: When it comes to entryways or hallways leading to a front or side door, it’s always great to make the most of your space by installing custom built-ins or even free-standing cabinets, bins or cubbies to stash your bags, shoes, scarves and accessories. Use
hooks, racks and shelves to maximize storage, and stow and hang items along the wall space.
If the space is awkward and requires some more planning, don’t hesitate to call in a designer to draw up a floor plan and provide some sketches of cabinetry options. You will find this investment worthwhile once you’ve see a solution for properly storing all of your belongings and making your home clutter-free.
WALL DECOR: Liven up your hallway walls with artwork, prints or family pictures. Be sure that your pieces are framed using the same types and colours. Using multiples of small-scale art pieces with an average size of 24×36 inches is usually the best way to go. Oversized works of art should be reserved to grand entryways or main rooms, since they are hard to appreciate in narrow or awkward spaces. Mirrors are another great way
to give the illusion of space in hallways and to refl ect light into dark or narrow corridors.
FLOOR RUNNERS, RUGS AND MATS: Add colour, texture and warmth to your floors by dropping a runner down that will help define and cheer up your hallway area. Runners also help define an entryway and create a welcoming path into the home.
LIGHTING: Make lighting a priority. Corridors need proper lighting to ensure your family and guests are passing through a well-illuminated transitional space.
BRING HEIGHT TO YOUR HALLWAYS: Use tall plants, twigs or branches to accentuate the vertical space. A lean and long item in a small space adds drama, character and attention.
ADD INTEREST: Use an interesting wallpaper, paint technique or paint colour to define these spaces. For hallways that have less foot traffic than others, consider a beautiful console, ottoman or bench. Look for artistic pieces, vintage pieces and antiques to add a unique spirit to a hallway.
Remember that every wall counts. Take some time to look at the spaces that you’ve got around your house and you’ll see that with a little bit of planning, you can make every space – even hallways – that much more practical and attractive.
Article courtesy of Toronto-based designer Dvira Ovadia, principal of Dvira Interiors, has appeared on various HGTV shows. You can read this article, and others in Home Digest Magazine, Fall 2015, Ontario Edition