Hallway / Hanging pictures / Wall art

Make the most of your hallway: turn it into an art gallery

Because usually halls are spaces that we pass through, rather than spend time in, they are often left for last in our decorating process. Nonetheless, even though the time spent is brief, the number of times each day that we pass through provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy wall decorations without being occupied by a book, your family, or the TV.

Whether you are a collector who has more art pieces, posters or photos than wall space or simply want to add more personality to your home, the walls of the halls can be a great place to hang art or other wall decoration. My husband and I fall into the first category, between art and other wall hangings I bring back from trips and our own artwork, we never have enough wall space in our small apartment. Our hallway is filled on one side with a large bookcase and the walls with art, even in the small spaces between the doors.

Here are a few great examples of where people have taken good advantage of their hallways to display art or personal photographs. In this home, the graphic-designer owner curated a mix of British street art prints combined with wooden letters and a fun wallpaper that looks like an old bookshelf. By selecting pieces with common colors (red, black and white), he created a unified look with many separate pieces. The grey wall color complements the collection, which if you take a closer look, extends down the stairs. In next month’s post, we’ll take a closer look at the options for staircases.

In this upstairs hallway, the pieces are a colorful and varied mix of prints and sculptural pieces. Even though the content doesn’t have a common thread and the frames are all different, the fact that just one whole wall is completely covered with the art unifies the look. It turns the gallery wall into an accent wall.

If so many artworks together is too much for you, or you don’t have a lot of pieces to hang, you can elect a more minimalist approach. The wall  at the end of a hall, is a natural focal point where a single, large artwork creates big impact.

In the hallway in the photo below, the geometries and lighting have been carefully thought out. The square shape of the black and white landscape photographs mirror the shape of the window at the end of the hall. During the day, the windows opposite the artwork provide light, while at night, focused track lighting on the ceiling illuminates it. If you decide to hang large pieces like these, just make sure that there is enough space in the hallway to view them properly. In very narrow hallways, it’s better to hang smaller artwork for it to be fully appreciated.

In this luxuriously wide hallway, color-coordinated chairs allow leisurely contemplation of the pop-art artwork brightening its walls.

The white walls, hardwood floor and skylights of this space create a very gallery-like effect. Lighting is a very powerful tool to help you make the most of your art. Consider installing track or ceiling lights with swiveling heads so that you can point the beam of light towards your artwork.

You can use a special hanging system to pull together the look for a lot of pictures hanging in a row on a long wall. This one that extends from the hall into the living space is a bar from which the frames hang. This allows you to change them out frequently and creates unity among pieces of different sizes. Here wall lights designed for illuminating artwork have been installed to highlight the art collection.

One way to incorporate artwork into a practical hall design is to create a niche with some low storage cabinets that leave space for decorative objects or books on top and artwork on the wall above.

If your hallway is small with lots of doorways, don’t despair – you can likely fit some smaller pieces by hanging them in a vertical line, as in this space.

Even with a limited budget, creativity goes a long way for creating a fun gallery. This couple simply hung a line of Polaroid photographs along the long, white hallway of their apartment. You could use thumbtacks, blue-tack, double-stick tape, or even a wire with clothespins to create a similar elongated collage.

Source: Apartment Therapy

So get going, think about how you can turn your hall into your personal art gallery.

In my next entry, I will expand on this concept for staircases. If you have a stairway that you’ve converted into a gallery, drop me a line and send me a photo to consider including it! As always, I welcome your opinions on these solutions and your ideas.

More ideas for hallways:

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2 thoughts on “Make the most of your hallway: turn it into an art gallery

  1. WONDERFUL!! There is too little that highlights art these days. Art/photography can add so much to living or work places. You have addressed this beautifully, Nicole!! Thanks for a great post!!

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