This hallway lacked interest, style, and storage. It's also a high-traffic space linking the living area and bedrooms of a small condominium.
The homeowner discovered unused potential in her hall. A hole had been cut into the wall and concealed with an unsightly piece of plywood; it was removed easily. A new return air vent was added. In the unused space, a recessed bookcase was built to give the hallway some architectural substance.
Shelves provide storage and display decorative items. Two slightly recessed glass shelves--which allow light from the recessed fixture to filter down to the lower shelves--were used at the top to highlight cherished pewter pieces, a gold-framed etching, and a porcelain bowl. The lower ones contain textured baskets, which are practical and portable enough to hold mail, magazines, and books.
Tip: It's good to include an electrical outlet on a shelf.
Safety in numbers is an important decorating principle. Grouping similar items together on a wall will make a statement.
Nine inexpensive etchings, found at a secondhand store, were matted in simple black frames and arranged on two corner walls. Four other etchings, placed in gold-carved ready-made frames, sit in the bookcase and above a bedroom door. Strategically placed trays with gold detail add more visual interest and punctuate the etchings.
Custom carpeting enhances the hallway by adding softness and color. Architectural fragments hung next to the bookcase and above one of the bedroom doors tie the space together. The black-and-white color scheme is inspired by the toile wallpaper in an adjacent bath.
Carpet Shopping Tips
• Consider where the carpet will go. Is it a high or low-traffic area? Use different densities for different rooms.
• Take along color chips of wall and trim colors, as well as samples of wallpaper and fabrics from upholstered furniture.
• Once you have narrowed down your selection, take sizable (12-inch-square) samples home. Look at them during the day and at night.
Here's a simple project: Add elegance with decorative patterns and stamps. These tole trays were purchased with gold-trimmed edges. A design was added by using a gold stamp pad and wooden block stamp. Place the stamp in the pad to ink, and then apply to the center of the tray. Use a steady hand when applying to avoid smearing.
Tip: A stamped tray or plate should only be used for decorative purposes, not to serve food.