Just Say No (to Boring Hallways)!

How many homes have you been in (perhaps yours included?) where you walk through a plain, boring hallway?  You may have not even noticed the hallway or passthrough space at all.  Maybe it had a picture or two on the wall.  Most likely it had little more than typical recessed can lighting.  Yawn.

I consider hallways (no matter how seemingly inconsequential) to be as worthy of good design as any other space.  Every hallway presents opportunities.  How about an art “gallery” where fabulous pieces are displayed?  Or a family photography hall (I’ve designed many of these and what looks stylish is to have the frames all be the same color for consistency).  Have an interesting collection?  Perhaps it can be displayed in little niches in the walls.

Notice all the interesting elements in this hallway: decorative track lighting, art niche and wall art. Designed by Peg Berens Interior Design. Martin King Photography.

And don’t forget about lighting!  Instead of just having typical recessed can lights in a hallway (giant yawn), I almost always specify either decorative track lighting which can be adjusted to highlight wall art, or decorative ceiling fixtures which are beautiful to look at and provide dramatic lighting and reflections in the evening.  Just simply designing interesting hallway lighting alone can really take your space to the next level.

Don’t have fabulous art?  Not to worry.  You can achieve an amazing look using prints or other inexpensive pieces.  Don’t let the quality or value of your art collection prevent you from displaying.  Mirrors also make excellent hallway display pieces and can be very affordable.  On one project years ago, I hung framed art along one side of the long hallway and hung mirrors along the opposite side.  The mirrors were aligned so that they were directly across from the framed art.  This gave a really interesting effect when walking down the hallway.

What could have been a typical (and boring!) long plain hallway is transformed with the repeating arches and the mirrored niche at the end. Designed by Peg Berens Interior Design. Robert Naik Photography.

Sometimes simply designing in an alcove or two makes all the difference.  A console table, beautiful armoire or other cabinet can be used in the alcove to not only provide visual interest, but functional space as well.

Why go to all the effort and cost to dress up a hallway that no one but family will ever see?  Because you and your family are more important than anyone else, that’s why.  Think about how often you walk the hallways that go to private areas of your home.  You deserve to feel good in your home, your retreat, your refuge, and something simple like a well designed hallway can elevate your mood and put a smile on your face.  That’s why!

In this hallway where niches or alcoves couldn’t be used, notice how the addition of fine art and decorative track lighting makes the space intriguing. Designed by Peg Berens Interior Design. Dale Hanson Photography.

I’d love to hear your comments below or contact me at peg@berensinteriors.com to discuss how we may work together in the future.


XO – Peg

Interiors. Redesigned.