4 Smart Hallway Redos That Show the Hidden Potential of Pass-Through Spaces

published Jul 3, 2023
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Before: stair landing with beige carpet
Credit: Alice Kuaban

Don’t assume a hallway or nook is just a place to walk on through, or a spot to plop a console table and a few wall hooks in an attempt to tidy up a mess. With a smart design plan, this area can be more than an afterthought or a merely functional locale — it can be somewhere unexpected to show off your personality. 

Take these , for instance. After some thoughtful changes, these DIYers and designers have a place to curl up with a book, kick back with a drink at a home bar, or work from home. Now look around your apartment or home’s empty corners with fresh eyes. Which blank spaces are underutilized, and what can they become? Answer that question with these four smart ideas below.

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Bold wallpaper helps turn a blank hallway into a home bar.

Tropical-landscape wallpaper (from Burke Décor) chosen by Rushika Patel Gill of Holos Design turns an otherwise blah space into a home bar fit for a vacation. She was inspired to add this nature-inspired nook in her home as a place to unwind after a long day or entertain friends. “I tried to create a multi-sensory experience that takes inspiration from the deep dark rainforest and applies it to the design of the bar space,” she says. Although there isn’t seating, a gold mesh-front CB2 credenza and brown liquid glass sconces provide plenty of style.

Decluttering and bringing in boho decor made this corridor a design focal point.

As artist Birgitte De Paepe puts it, the corridor in her home was merely an access point between the living room and the bedrooms. And despite the butterfly-style white wicker chair to help dress it up, this corridor eventually turned into a dumping ground. That was, until she had an aha moment: Why not go full-on jungle theme and sprinkle in some boho?

Swapping out the uncomfortable and bulky chair for a wicker rocking chair was one hack. Another was this removable wallpaper emulating an Amazon jungle scored on Etsy. Potted plants, rattan mirrors, and a seagrass rug brought the vision home.

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An IKEA PAX wardrobe creates a functional hallway home office.

After she turned her home office into a nursery, DIYer Lauren Carlotto was desperate for a nook to sit down with her laptop. So she created one herself, pairing an  IKEA PAX wardrobe with open shelves crafted from Lowe’s lumber and a small set of drawers found on Wayfair. The bold red color (Sherwin-Williams’ Fireweed) and herringbone wallpaper give it some extra personality.

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A stair landing becomes a practical drop spot.

Swapping out the old beige carpeting for new wood flooring was the first step to this hallway transformation from Oddessence blogger Alice Kuaban. Without the carpet, it was revealed that the stair landing had the potential to be more. Alice found a mid-century dresser with lots of drawers that fit perfectly in the space and provided all the storage of a linen closet. A side chair offers a spot to set a laundry basket while putting things away. But what makes this space beautiful is the collection of art and other decor on display, with a pair of candle sconces to call attention to all of it.