Hallways—those oft neglected strips of space that connect one room to another—may perform an important function, but, especially if you live in a small dwelling, you may resent them for the space they take up on your floor plan. To turn that irritation around, we're taking a look at ways you can recapture your hallway space for other uses—or just take it from a boring, in-between sliver of your home to one that feels like a place you'd really like to linger.
Above: If the width of your hallway permits, adding a long bench or very securely wall-mounted shelf (like the one in this room from Marie Claire Maison) can provide you with a perfect place to store the books and magazines that are overflowing from your bookshelves—and to display a few treasured objets d'art.
Books stacked casually on the floor: some people love it, some people hate it. If you're in the "love" camp, we give you permission to do this in your hallway. Leaning some art on top makes the look more intentional, and gives your hallway a nice sense of place, like this one seen on Whistles.
If you have the space, and you own your own home, built-in bookshelves (like these in a home by Whitten Architects) are a great way to turn your hallway into a miniature library. A runner adds even more character to the space.
For hallways of average width, like this one from House and Garden, rows of picture ledges can be just the right thing to add a little excitement. Use them to store and display books, if that's your thing, or for a rotating display of your favorite art and family photos.
This home featured on The Way We Play instantly turns a regular hallway into a gallery just by hanging art all over the walls, as if it were a 200-year-old British manor.
IKEA's Trones shoe storage boxes are only seven inches deep, and are a great way to add a little storage to a hallway (or very narrow entryway). In this space from Planete Deco, wall hooks mounted above the boxes add even more utility.
A wall-mounted shelf, hung just above head height, is a great way to turn a hallway into a useful storage spot like this space spotted on Planete Deco.
From Whistles, proof that nothing transforms a space like plants. If your hallway has a window, it's a great spot for a little indoor garden.
Char and the City provides another entryway solution that would also be a nice addition to any hallway: a low wall-mounted shelf with a full-length mirror above. Think of it as a way to turn your hallway into an extension of your closet (if you don't have the room to turn your hallway into an actual closet).