Deck the Halls

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Think back to the last time you redecorated your home. Remember how much thought and time went into each step? From a complete kitchen overhaul to a mini bathroom upgrade, a mountain of effort is spent making sure your renovation dreams become a reality.  So, what happens when the dust settles and you’ve finally completed the project? How do you make sure your beautiful new space flows gracefully into the rest of your home? Our solution? — Utilize the hallways.

Even though they might not be your first consideration when thinking about redecorating, the passages of your home have more of a purpose than just connecting the rooms together. Thoughtfully curated, they can serve as a transition space that unifies different styles, adds light and warmth, and changes the feel of the home. By utilizing different design elements, you can create stunning drama, visually widen a space or incorporate aspects of rustic or modern charm. Let us show you the best way to make your hallways something to remember.

There’s no better way to unite the different zones of your home, than by using these simple techniques:

First look at the walls.

warn wood flooring in gallery style hallwayIt might seem obvious, but hallways are all about walls. These partitions section off space, provide privacy and shape the way visitors perceive portions of the home.

In traditional builds, plaster and wood materials often make up the bulk of hallway construction. Walls have a smooth or rough texture and may incorporate different custom architectural elements; like curved ceiling alcoves, corbels or decorative woodwork.

Try Color Therapy

If you feel a hallway in your home is too dark or narrow, before taking a more drastic approach, try some color therapy instead. Choose a luminous, warm tone in a neutral shade to deck your halls. Light tones make a space feel more expansive than their darker, richly hued counterparts and updating the color is the simplest way to visually expand a room. These tones can be incorporated in a number of different ways. Light paint, modern wallpaper — like grass cloth or linen — thoughtful wainscoting and accent molding all add visual appeal that ups the interest without bulking up the space.

Warm Up the Space

If your home skews toward the modern, there are additional factors to consider. Homes built of mainly concrete, steel and glass components can often come across as cold if not properly balanced with other materials. If you wish to bring a feeling of comfort to your modern space, consider adding textural contrast. Organic elements like burnished wood, natural cedar and raw cut stone break up polished or hard surfaces and add visual and tactile interest. These differences in texture add warmth and keep a sleek, futuristic environment from slipping into the realm of the austere. A splash of color, a fiber art piece or a show-stopping statement wall are all great solutions to add interest. With this solid base to work from, it’s time for the next step.

Then check out your floors.

Carlisle Floors in Nantucket Home

Beautiful walls deserve to be paired with a gorgeous floor; and hallways are the perfect place to showcase unique choices. Bounded on both sides like a picture frame, hallways funnel the eye along a direct path. Flooring typically runs in a straight line from the front door through the home, but interesting design elements can turn this expectation on its head. From custom patterns, to luxurious materials, floors can act as a roadmap that leads visitors from room to room. In order to create something sleek and pleasing to the eye, decide first on what best fits the theme of your home.

For traditional residences, we love the look of hardwood. The best part about beautiful hardwood is that there are so many options. From texture to color, width and stain, there is literally a world of choices at your fingertips.

Make a Statement

When it comes to sizing, wide plank wood floors can’t be beat for making a statement. Typically, wide planks are anything larger than 3-inches in width. These larger boards visually expand the space because the floors are less complicated and have fewer joints and creases. Larger planks also allow the organic beauty and natural character of each plank to really shine. They provide a greater surface area for showing off knots, whorls, grain and color variations. Not to mention hand scraped hardwood is known for its durability, water resistance and ability to withstand warping over time. Choose wide-plank hardwood when you want to instantly open up a room and create a warm, welcoming environment.

But wood isn’t your only choice. Stone and ceramic are also great options for durable, high-traffic hallways where you still want to make a statement. Stone flooring can skew into both rustic and contemporary sectors based mainly on its finish. Flooring with a high amount of sheen looks more modern. Matte, roughhewn pieces can create a rustic look. Tiles can be flamed, cross cut, tumbled or bush hammered to give off an old-world vibe. Sleek, contemporary pieces can even be polished to a high mirror-like shine.

Stone is typically laid square with the room and will make small spaces look large. But if you have the space and want to add more interest to your hallway — think diagonal! For those who truly want to make a statement consider hiring an artist to create a custom mosaic for your home.

From color to texture, no matter what material you choose floors play just as big a part in shaping the feel of your hallway as the walls themselves.

For the finale, light the stage.

Modern hall wall with a wall of windowsWith the walls and floors duly considered, it’s time to add the finishing touch — lighting.

Light always plays a major role in home renovation and with hallways it’s no different. Imagine the feeling of walking down a dark corridor, does it feel inviting? How about cozy? Does the hallway seem cramped or is does it stretch on to reveal a row of open doors? Once you have identified the shortcomings of your hallway, you can identify which smart solutions to use.

Utilize the Right Light Fixtures

To make a short hallway feel longer, utilize the trick of repetitive light fixtures. Using the same fixtures over again draws the eye up instead of right at the opposite wall. If your ceiling height allows, choose hanging fixtures that drop down into the space to create additional interest. Wall sconces are also a great choice if you crave balance. By placing similarly spaced sconces on opposite walls, you add symmetry to the space. Also, by selecting sconces that bounce light up, rather than out you further elongate the height of your walls without any major architectural changes.

If you want something a little more low-profile, recessed lights are a great choice. From an entryway to the bedroom hall, recessed lighting can be utilized everywhere. All you need is the right bulb. While this option needs to be installed directly into the ceiling, it can provide either diffused or directed beams of light. More modern than track lighting, can lights never go out of style. Not only are they a great investment but they make ceilings appear higher, are energy efficient and take up less visual space than other overhead fixtures.

Finally, a little something for the night time wanderers. How often have you found yourself stumbling in the dark during a night time trip down the hallway? Artfully installed strip lighting doesn’t have to feel dated. Toe kick lighting is installed under the stairs or below cabinets to provide, soft diffused light that safely guides the way. LED light strips are energy efficient as well, since they use less power overnight than a regular phone charger.


All things considered, hallways are a vastly underrated part of the home. Next time you find yourself looking to complete a renovation, don’t forget these finishing touches. With a thoughtful design and minimal effort, you can make your hallways feel like a space unto themselves. Using light, wall decor and flooring, connect your style throughout your home.

And if you have questions, call in the experts and let us help.

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Exceeding Industry Standards One Plank at a Time.
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