Hallways and Corridors
Hallways are an important hub in the décor of your home, connecting the rooms together and representing your attention to detail. It’s rare to come across a stylish and unique hallway, all the more reason for you to throw in that extra 10% and display your dedication to the cause!
The nature of the hallway makes it difficult to decorate, with narrow passageways and un-interrupted wall space along long stretches. As the entrance to your home, it gives you a blank canvas upon which to let your design juices flow and welcome guests into what is the beginning of a beautiful house. With the varying shapes and sizes of the modern hallway, addressing the specific design problems as they arise is key to perfecting the décor.
The combination of narrow hallways and low ceilings can be an imposing characteristic, counter it by using wallpaper at a height of 36 inches from the rail of the ceiling. The wallpaper should be reinforced using a narrow char rail strip, which should be painted the same colour as that of the wall.
Remember that you have a significant advantage when you’re choosing wallpaper for your corridors and hallways as you don’t have to contend with a room full of furniture and existing décor. Exercise your liberty and creativity – but that doesn’t mean going for those polka dot designs you’ve had an urge for!
Like any other part in the house, the hallway must benefit and enjoy adequate lighting through a well-planned lighting scheme. A good entrance hallway should have an ambient lighting system and a cool atmosphere which is welcoming on opening the door. The best source of light for this system is the natural light which comes through any hallway window or door window. The hallway windows should be fitted with light material curtains which will allow light in as well as providing good opening for fresh air in the hallway. For good and efficient lighting, the windows should be without curtains and in case of privacy, frosted glass windows should be used. Blackout curtains are a real no-no!
Whereas hallways are primarily at the beginning of a house or apartment and have grown out of the traditional lobbies and entrance halls, corridors within homes are using primarily to link rooms and have a very different feel and structure. Much narrower, they present unique problems in choosing the right wallpaper and the designer’s main aim will be to try to ‘expand’ the space by manipulating the décor. Complex patterns and close knit designs will have the opposite effect, along with vertical lines and dark, blocked colours. Using horizontal patterns which don’t repeat regularly and optimising light, pastel colours will help to give the space a larger feel. Mirrors can also help, but nobody wants to see 30 reflections of their face in a ten foot corridor – so use them sparingly.
Dado rails might be a natural feature of your home, but don’t be tempted to split your wallpaper design. Continuation is best in the corridors but if you must split the design, don’t go for a darker colour beneath the rail as it can make your walls appear shorter and thus the ceiling lower.
When the corridor is still resisting your efforts and the narrow cramped feeling is hard to shake, look onward and upward. Specifically upward and to the ceiling of the space – make sure that you’re not using dark colours and don’t have any low hanging light fixtures. Spotlights and recessed lighting are in your arsenal here, avoid wallpaper unless it’s very simple and straightforward and never be tempted by the chandelier.
The more ambitious decorator might consider indulging in some renovation work if the wallpaper simply isn’t cutting it. Lowering the ceiling arches can help alleviate the pressing atmosphere, lamination of floor tiles gives a better impression and recesses help to display ornaments without infringing on the space. Last resorts as they might be – you might discover a DIY bug within yourself and unearth your new favourite hobby!
Simon Calvin is the creative drive behind UK Christmas World – having been a carpenter, decorator and handyman in a previous life. Pushing toward the festive drive, Simon has had to hang up his hammers and drills to make way for the Santa hats and Christmas trees.