We often neglect hallways when we come to decorate and improve our homes. We generally see them as a corridor that connects our more important rooms and a place to hang our coats, but rarely as anything more. The word ‘hall’ has connotations of a long, bare, echoed area. However, hallways are usually the first and last space we see when we enter our homes. They are at the centre of our household. If you live in an apartment in a densely populated city, then what space you have is precious and it seems illogical not to use every last inch. For these reasons, I believe it is important that we reconsider how we are using our hallways and visualise them as rooms in their own right, rather than a mere passageway.
Paintings and pictures
Add a bit of intrigue and interest to your hallway by hanging up some personal photos, your artwork or paintings. If they are hung correctly, pictures on the wall look good in any space, so it doesn’t matter what shape your hallway is. If you have a small, box-like hall then use a lot of pictures, all with different frames and in different sizes, and hang these together. It may sound messy and uncoordinated, but this look is very fashionable at the moment. If you have a long corridor then, you can use this space to tell a story with your pictures. For example, you could use pictures of your child growing up, starting at one end with a photo of them as a newborn and ending with a recent picture. Alternatively, you could use photo editing software to add a different effect to the same photo and hang these up along your hall. Another way to add interest to your hallway is by adding a vinyl wall sticker. These stickers come in all different styles and sizes from small butterflies to intricate woodland scenes.
Hang a mirror or two in your hallway to brighten it up and to make it feel like a larger space. If you have a long hallway, an elongated mirror works well to open up the space. If you have a smaller area, hang lots of mirrors of different sizes and shapes for an interesting use of space.
Your hallway may not see much natural light so think carefully about the best way to illuminate this area so that it appears bright and open. Have a look online at what type of lighting would suit your space. You may wish to try a website such as Wattlite for this. If you already have a ceiling light, try adding a dimmer so that you can adjust the amount of light depending on the time of day. You could also add a floor lamps, table lamps, lanterns and candles for softer and more ambient light. LED spotlights work well in a long modern style hallway. If you have paintings in your entrance space add some LED strip lighting under or around them to create a simple and elegant effect.
Sofas and Armchairs
If your hallway is big enough, it could be used as another living area. If you have space, add a small sofa or armchair and perhaps a small table, a TV and a lamp to create an area that you can sit and read in. You could even use this space as a study by adding a desk and strategically positioning shelves to create partitions for privacy. For some, it might seem uncomfortable sitting in this area. It might be cold and noisy if your front door leads on to a communal stairwell. If this is the case, make the area as comfortable as possible. Draught excluders work well to prevent cold air coming into the hallway from under your front door, and will also reduce the noise levels. Rugs are also a good idea to make the space look and feel warmer. If you do not have a radiator in your hallway you may wish to introduce a portable heater to the area that you can have on while you are reading, studying or entertaining.
Your hallway is also a great space for storing items. If you have enough room, you could add shelves, sideboards, cupboards and bookshelves to this area to place linen, books, ornaments, etc. If you have a hallway with high ceilings, tall bookshelves will look great. Have a look online and in interior design magazines for some neat and stylish ways of using your space for storage.
Perhaps this is a more unusual idea, but if you do not have access to outdoor space, your hallway could be transformed into an indoor garden. Why not add some indoor plants to this area and decorate them with fairy lights for Christmas? If you have an indoor cat, you could dedicate this area to them and help satisfy their natural instincts. Not only would an indoor cat appreciate a garden in the hallway (especially with a catnip plant) they would love some shelves at different levels to climb onto and to run along. If you want to go all out with your hallway, a fish tank or small aquarium would work well in this area, especially when the lights are turned off.
If you have the space, you could use your hallway to host dinner parties. This will work especially well if you have a long hallway and a long collapsible dinner table. Add candlesticks all the way along the table and dim the lights for a dramatic effect.
Instead of taking up space with clothes drying racks you could install a clothes drying ‘pulley’ in your hall. If you have not heard of this before, this is a drying rack which can be installed into a long space and which is manoeuvred up and down using a rope. These are useful mechanisms all year round but especially during winter when you cannot air dry your clothe