Hallways and lighting

Hallway1aThe hallway dilemma made easy.  Every home has a hallway and many homes have 5-6 hallways.  If you think about it, getting from one room of the house to another creates a hallway, unless you live in a warehouse.  The importance of hallways cannot be overstated. After all, they are utilized many times each day. While we may give them little attention relative to other parts of the house, they deserve consideration. Even if we quickly pass through them, they can provide opportunities to showcase artwork, emphasize focal points or play with light. Whether your hall is wide or narrow and you have tall or standard size ceilings, you can take advantage of shapes, details or color to get more pleasure from your house.  One of the most important parts of a hallway or any part of the house you live in is the lighting.  Lighting is everything and for your hallway, it’s no different.

Creating a focal point at the end of a hall draws you forward and surprises you at the end.

At first glance, the hallway seen above may seem secondary to the beautiful staircase and foyer furnishings. However, take a closer look at the arch at the end of the hall and the room beyond. The arch defines the focal point and fraHallway3mes the scene in the dining room, where the table is centered to the arch, and a mirror hanging on the far wall reflects light and movement. The hall itself is simply decorated but they did a wonderful job of creating interest. The runner contributes movement and direction, while the artwork and sconces on the wall opposite the stairs complete its confident statement.

Hallway1In the home at left, where the walls and contoured shapes create interest.  The composition, molding and the wood floor and tile combination create a subtle contrast. The table in the center define the focal point with dynamics emphasis.

Halls can be delightful places to create your own art gallery as seen in the image to the right. Since you frequently pass through these spaces, they are ideal for displaying collections of your favorite artwork and photographs. You will want to place artwork at eye level or slightly lower. Eye level is about 62 in. for the average adult. In general, oversize art is better placed in large rooms, where you can stand back from the work to appreciate its composition. Hallways are ideal for a collection of smaller pieces.

Once again, lighting is everything – from simple to extraordinary, but great lighting implies alignment and defines movement and interest through the space. The proportions are modest, and the baseboard and trim details are common. The light fixtures add enough punch to give the space more individual character. You don’t always need a high ceiling to achieve great lighting and all you need is attention to detail. The plethora of lighting fixtures is incredible and often your decision is made easier but the kind of house you have. Look for fixtures that complement your architecture and are well scaled to your circumstances. As mentioned above, allow at least 84 in. for head clearance.