Help Me Decorate my Hallway! (Its bad, I know. Worse in real life). Anyways, I have stripped the wallpaper, painted the trim white, and now am not sure what to do? What color should I do the walls? And what about lighting? I would like it to look bright and cheerful. Thanks!
It sounds like you've already been hard at work, and all you really need is a few inexpensive cosmetic changes. I'll also throw in a few fantasy hallway photos just for fun and inspiration.
I love that you have the dresser in the hallway. It's a great place to stash the things you need as you head in and head out of the house. It's great that you keep fresh flowers there to welcome people. I would suggest a mirror to reflect light and make the space seem bigger, and for the practical purpose of checking your face before you dash out!
What other items do you stash near the door? If the front door is your main entry, you may want to accessorize with an umbrella stand and a coat rack.
If you are not nuts about your floor but don't want to go to the large expense of replacing it, you can break it up with a nice long runner. Since this is a high-traffic area, you certainly don't want stark white! I'd recommend jute with a border or a Persian rug.
You can go with some modern track lighting all the way down that long hallway (track lighting has come a long way since the '80s, I'll include some pictures below). You can also get much more brighter and stylish in front of the doors. If the very thought of track lighting is still giving you Miami Vice
flashbacks, think about strategically placed sconces (side note: I was just at the Atlanta RE-Store yesterday and they were loaded with sconces and pendents; they even had some gorgeous seconds from fancy-schmancy Circa Lighting. Leave no stone unturned in your quest for lighting bargains.). The bureau in the hallway is a great spot for a small table lamp for some cozier light.
OK, onto color. Obviously this has to do with your personal preferences. Personally, I love a white staircase with a black banister and black runners - My staircase right now is exactly like yours and I look at it and dream that it's black and white. This is not necessary though, and I'm not sure how stark white will look with that floor. I'm also wondering if it's possible to paint that floor?
For WALL COLOR, you will probably have to be consistent up the stairs and down the hall, so it's important to find something you love. Get samples from the paint store and paint big swaths of the colors you are considering next to each other. Make sure to check them out throughout the day until it's dark out to see what they look like in different light - scribble notes atop them in pencil like "too green in daylight" or "dreary after dark". Give it a few days and exploit everyone who comes over for their opinions!
I think to go with your floor you should go with a warm neutral. You can keep it light, and then use a very, very light, just barely off-white trim. Here are some Ideabooks that show off some of these colors:
Staircases are a great opportunity for showcasing artwork. It could be one big piece that really catches the eye, or a line of photographs, or a mix of all kinds of art all over the wall. Here are some Ideabooks I think will give you some ideas:
If you love the wood, great, stick with it. Otherwise, feel free to paint it to either a) go with the trim or b) be one element that really sticks out and adds color to the hallway. Dying for a swath of bright color? Use the door!
If you are trying to go for a more modern look and get more light, you could replace them with glass doors (likely frosted for privacy) - this is an extreme, and it is great you already have doors that let some light in. You also have room to add some small windows next to the door (provided that there are no structural pieces there).
If you need to have a runner, I think it's a good idea to choose a runner that coordinates with the hallway runner. Think about how they will look when you walk in the front door and look up the stairs and down the hallway at the same time. Here's where I've been hoarding my favorite staircase images:
PHEW! That's all I've got for right now, but everyone, please add some of your favorite hallway/entryway images for Laura in the comments section!
More Helpful Ideabooks: