Elements Inspiring a Hallway Transformation

Elements Inspiring a Hallway Transformation

Kimber Watson
Mar 17, 2011

For many, decorating the hallway is probably the last stop on the list. Most of us don't spend much time sitting and admiring our hallway. In my house, the hallway is still a very active space. It's flanked by bedrooms, leads you to the bathroom and adjoins to the laundry closet as well. Thanks in part to the large skylight straddling our stairs, our light-filled hall makes its current drabness even less tolerable. While I'm filled with ideas — until money and time permits — I'm left drooling over photos of inspiring hallways; making mental notes and lots of bookmarked pages. Here are some of the images that will be influencing my impending hallway transformation.

  • Black Doors - This first image is what started it all. I knew I wasn't going to have crazy, striped walls or anything (albeit cool!) — but this picture alone is what sold me on painting all my doors semi-gloss black and I haven't regretted it yet! The stair banister which leads into the hallway is also black, which makes for a smooth transition between the spaces. (Images 1, 2, & 6)
  • Picture Rail - Lisa Congdon's hallway (image 7) gave me a great solution for my very similar long, blank wall. I knew I wanted to make it a gallery for artwork and photos, but since it's a plaster wall, I didn't want to ruin it with numerous nail holes. Installing a picture rail the length of the hall will allow me to display, rearrange, and change out my art and photos. (Images 2 & 7)
  • Bold Runner - Without a doubt, I need to get rid of the two hand-me-down throw rugs that grace the floor of my hall. Even with rug pads, they are constantly sliding around and just swallowed by the narrow hall. Instead, I want a bold striped or graphic runner that extends the entire length. This will anchor the space but also lend it some much needed pizazz. I'm still debating between a typical runner (will probably need 2-3 that I will sew together) or Flor tiles like these. (Images 4 & 8)
  • Console Table - Adding a console in my hall to the left of my laundry closet will give me a place for a table lamp, a mirror and a quick place to rest items that need to be put into the closet. Choosing one with an open cubby underneath, instead of a shelf, will give me room for the dog bed that currently seems to glide up and down the hall. My beagle will also be thrilled to have his resting space become more den-like. (Images 3, 4, & 9)
  • Decorative Molding - This element is going to be a bit trickier than the rest, but I tend to be pretty handy so I'm convinced I can pull it off. I have spent many months sorting through images trying to decide if this is truly the way I want to go... and I have to say, I've decided yes. Unless it was over-the-top, almost every example of decorative molding I came across, definitely added to the space. (Images 4, 6, 7, & 8)
  • Modern Lighting - This is one area I feel slightly guilty about, which is why it's last on the list. The guilt is because I had 2 flush-mount lights installed just a few years ago. While I liked them initially, once they were in place, their shape ended up reminding me of two breasts standing at attention. While I didn't drop much money on the lights, I still feel it's wasteful — which is why I try to not purchase items until I'm sure they are exactly what I'm looking for. The Jonathan Adler light in image 10 is one I've had my eyes on for awhile, but it's also way too expensive since I'll need two of them. I do like this modern, graphic light and think it will complement the future rug nicely, but will need to do my best to find one similar at a lower price point. (Images 4, 5, 10)

So there you have it. This is my detailed mock-up of what features I want to include in my future hallway. My question to you, readers, what elements do you find essential in a well-executed hallway? And what is your thought-process like when planning to makeover a room?

Images: 1, 9; Domino Magazine; 2, Elle Decor via

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