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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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posted:3/7/2010
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