September SMART Design Tips

Before you “deck the halls” for the holidays, why not try to “deck the hallways”? Here are some SMART tips to make those overlooked spaces instant stand-outs!

Stripe or Stencil it:  Stripes can be a bold but classic choice to accent a hallway. High-contrast colors will add drama; soft shades create a subtle look and can be perfect for bringing in a lighter tone of an accent color. Horizontal stripes naturally lead you down the hall visually, making a short hall feel longer. Use vertical stripes to make low ceilings feel taller.A small hallway can be a fun place to experiment with small, overall stencil patterns, or large scale designs.  One trick for making busy patterns feel less overwhelming is to paint the lower half of the wall in a solid color.

Make a kid-zone:  Since hallways are often tucked out of plain view, they can be a fun spot to let the little ones get creative. Paint the lower half of the wall with chalkboard paint (available in a rainbow of colors) and let them express themselves over and over again.  Use the upper half of your hallway as a revolving gallery of your kids’ framed artwork or photos. For the brave of heart, create it with cork for a gi-normous bulletin board.

Add a dark wall:   Make your oft-neglected hallway feel important by making it a point of focus. Paint it a bold, dark color. Don’t be fooled – dark colors make walls “recede” so going dark at the end of the hall adds depth to a small space. And it’s the perfect backdrop to hang an oversize piece of artwork,place a floor-standing mirror or create a gallery wall.

Re-define it with lighting:  Many hallways are dark, lit by a single, small overhead fixture. Throw some light on the subject by adding recessed lights or jazzy track lighting…they’re not your 60’s model anymore. If your ceiling is tall enough, a series of small pendant lights will add visual interest. Recessed trough lighting will add architectural interest and cast a soft glow that make the ceiling seem to float on air. On the practical side, it can act as a practical night-light.

Try decorating the ceiling:  Hallway walls aren’t the only place you can add some pizzazz in this small area of your home. Draw the eye up (and make your ceilings look taller) by painting the ceiling in a fun color, pattern, or both. Try wallpaper to add another layer of dimension or paint cloud formations that will lift the ceiling through the roof.