Should the Hallway or Landing be Devoid of Style?
The Art of Infusing Personality and Style into Difficult Spaces
Our homes are broken down into designated zones, i.e., living room, dining room, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, etc. These rooms are often connected to each other by small walkways, stairs, or hallways. It is these connectors that often get forgotten in the design process.
How do I style them? What do I use? What pieces would fit? – These are all questions that get asked when designing such spaces.
It can be a daunting task for homeowners and might explain why most people just lose steam and keep these zones bare.
But what if I told you, your hallway or stair landing doesn’t have to be devoid of style? As a matter of fact, I would argue that these are the perfect spaces to show-off your design esthetic and your home’s personality. Why? Because these are areas people are likely to see and appreciate when they get into your home.
So now that I have made a case for sprucing up these spaces, how do you actually do it? I’ll walk you through how to up-the-ante and infuse personality into your difficult spaces, using mine as an example– the landing at the top of my second-floor stairs.
For a little context, this landing connects my daughters’ bedrooms, and curves into a larger walkway that leads to other bedrooms on the 2nd floor. It is about 50 inches deep and 154 inches wide. That said, about 82 inches of the space can be used for décor and styling because there are doors leading to my daughters’ rooms. Wow, that turned into a math lesson fairly quickly (LOL) – but it is important context to provide, because measurements are critical, as they often influence what pieces you can source and your décor strategy.
Once I had a clear sense of my measurements, defining the functionality of the space was the next item on the agenda. As I noted, this landing connects two small bedrooms, and having some form of additional storage to service these two rooms was important to me. So, while another person might select a beautiful console table and call it a day (that will work just fine if you don’t need storage!), I knew, my needs dictated something more practical. So, a reasonably sized dresser (for storing bedroom linen) that still allowed for walkable space became the focal piece of my design plan.
With the function of the space clearly articulated, it was all about styling. Below are my go to tips:
Focus on your vertical space by adding art – it could be a large piece, or a collection (I did both).
Layer in lighting – don’t just count on overhead lights, include table lamps, and wall sconces if you can, for that added ambiance
Dress up your console – use coffee table books, vases, flowers, diffusers, whatever tickles your fancy; and
Create a vignette with seating – I found this adorable chair in the antique mall that I couldn’t pass on. What’s more, its functional because I can drop stuff on it when I take things out of the dresser.
Et voilà – that’s really all you need to add life and character to a reasonably sized difficult space. And note, if the space doesn’t allow for a console table or dresser, or chair, hang some art on the wall (it will make a huge difference – trust me).
ODD Tips for Designing a Hallway or Stair-landing
Take the time to come up with a reasonable budget (and stick to it).
Define the function of the space – will you need storage? Does it just need to look pretty? Or both?
Measure, measure, and measure again – you’ll need to select pieces that fit.
If you will be hanging art on the walls, plan out your layout – I usually use the floor to map out the layout of my art, especially if I am pulling a collection of art together.
Take your time sourcing the major pieces you need – I am a stickler for vintage or antique wood pieces (they don't make furniture nowadays like they used to in the past).
Sketch out the layout of the space – I’m not the best at drawing, but visuals are helpful in deciphering what the space will look like - so give it a try.
Select colors that complement each other. The tones don’t have to be matchy-matchy but they need to play-off each other in a pleasant way.
Place large pieces first e.g., dresser, console tables, chairs, etc.
Hang your art and any other wall accessories – I added some vintage Fleur de Lis candle wall sconces (these were a great find).
Style flat surfaces with coffee table books, and accessories you love.
Always add something natural and green – I love added branches.
Layer your lighting – for me that was my overhead lights, table lamps, and wall sconces.