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Tips on hallway decorating to bring a welcoming and vibrant look to a dull hallway Most of us spend lots of time and effort decorating our homes, yet the hallway is so often regarded as a mere passageway transitioning to bedrooms and baths leading off this space. Hallway decorating is perhaps, not even on your to-do list. The unadorned hallway can be a dull looking space indeed. True, it's not living space, but hallway decorating can visually open up other rooms with a few simple decorating ideas. Let's see how you can turn the plain Jane hallway into an integral part of your decorating scheme. Narrow hallways are the norm for most of us. If your hallway is long and narrow, you may well wonder how it can be dressed up without giving an even greater feeling of being closed-in. The answer? When you've got what appears to be a decorating lemon, it's time to make lemonade! A dark, narrow hallway will seem foreboding. Think light when you're choosing colors for the walls. A pure white tends to create a sterile, cold look, while an eggshell white lends a warm tone, as do pastels in the warm hues of the color wheel. If your taste runs to wallpaper, for the purpose of hallway decorating, stick with light backgrounds and small prints. Remember that dark colors and large patterns will only make the hallway appear smaller and narrower, as well as severely limiting your decorating options. If you have existing wood-paneled walls in the hallway, which are too lovely to scrap, there are other hallway decorating techniques which can showcase the beauty of that wood, while still bringing light and elegance to the space. Mirrors are one way to open up the visual space. Depending on the configuration of your hallway, a long rectangular mirror at the end reflects light coming from the living room - and gives everyone a chance for a last minute inspection of their appearance before leaving the house. In the case of walls painted in light colors, mirrors only serve to enhance this effect. Track lighting and spot lighting are another staple in successful hallway decorating plans. These fixtures are easy to install, inexpensive and versatile in giving you the precise lighting you desire. For example, if you have a painting, placed on the wall between two doorways, a single spotlight directs the viewer's attention to this art work, while also providing light to the hallway. When planning your hallway decorating theme, there are a couple of basic approaches. You might hang a single piece of framed art work, centered between each doorway along the hallway corridor. Each piece should be spaced far enough from the next so as to allow the viewer to pause at each. Think of the wall space remaining around each piece as another 'frame' of sorts, with sufficient wall space to avoid a cluttered look. You might think of this as a mini art 'gallery' in your home. You can use paintings as your main theme, with a decorated seasonal wreath breaking up the spaces between paintings, coordinating the colors in the decorations with those in the art work. Wreaths made of natural raffia, simply decorated work very well in this decorating plan. Make the size of the wreaths commensurate with the wall space, again conserving enough open wall space to create that 'gallery' effect. A montage of family photos is a popular hallway decorating theme. You can make your family photos the main theme of the entire hallway, to good visual effect, so long as you apply the same spacing and centering 'rule' in order to provide cohesive focal points and avoid the cluttered look. Use lighting to highlight each grouping. Last, it's smart to measure the length of the hallway and mark the points of each doorway leading off the hall. Sketch this out on paper or using home design software. Measure your paintings, wall hangings, wreaths, photo groupings or whatever decorations please you, then sketch in those dimensions. It's then easy to see if a decorative item is too large or small for a given space. Home design software often features a means to direct lighting and reveal the space that light will cover. It's easy to see that hallway decorating needn't be expensive or time- consuming. Most of the time and effort is spent in the planning stage. The rest is just fun, with beautiful results that enhance the look of your entire home.
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