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Are hallways disappearing in homes? With open concept homes becoming all the rage, especially with things like barndominiums that offer lots of space for much less price, they certainly seem to be. Transition now happens in a single room, rather than through a dedicated corridor and hallways are quickly becoming a thing of the past. But do you even want a hallway in your home? Hallways are certainly a more traditional home design aspect and are used to create separations between rooms and areas of the house. We usually consider them for a single purpose – to get people from one space to another, not for lingering. But hallways can be a beautiful and critical part of your home.
Do You Need Hallways?
Some homes, however, would do better without hallways. The size of your home is a crucial consideration when looking at your hallways. Smaller homes are often better off without hallways as this is a crucial living space better suited to an open concept where people can move more freely. This must be balanced, however, with considerations like soundproofing. Lack of hallway automatically increases the amount of noise that can travel between rooms. Conversely, larger homes may need hallways to create separation and privacy for bedrooms, family rooms, and studies.
Hallways were an important part of our house plan decisions. After looking at one open concept plan after another I realized how much I disliked the idea that strangers had easy access to what I consider the heart of my home – my kitchen. By adding hallways, my kitchen and family room are separated from more formal spaces like the dining room and study. We keep guests in these spaces, while those we consider family know they are welcome in the heart of our home.
The Entryway Hall
However, consider the historical implications of the hallway. This was a transition space that allowed homeowners to leave behind wearying, dirty travel and be welcomed into the warm, comforting space of their home. The most important hallway of your home, the entryway, still stands as this welcoming space. Your entry hallway can be used as a beautiful introduction to the glamour of your home, offering a first glimpse of the architecture and a chance to wow guests.
In this hallway, you want to create a focal point that gives purpose and drama. Use your entryway to inspire people and give them a hint of what will come. No matter what, you want to limit the space devoted to hallways. Don’t allow them to take over your home or turn it into a maze.
Bring Hallways in Your Home to Life
Consider sprucing up hallways in your home with windows, cabinets, closets, and small counter space. Consider pairing ideas together to create beautiful spaces. For example, where you have a window, consider tucking in a small bench to create a warm, comfy nook. Because your hallway is a functional space it needs care, consideration, and imagination to make it come to life.
Here are some quick tips to help make hallways more inviting and workable spaces:
- Hallways should be a minimum 42 inches and ideally 48 inches so there is space to move
- Hallways should open in a graceful fashion to other rooms
- Increase the ceiling height, include a chicane, hang artwork on angled walls
- Add crown molding just below the ceiling and hide a soft, low-voltage strip of lighting that will soften the corners
- Add elecctrical outlets near door frames
- Consider a wallpaper in large patterns for hallway walls