Compared to the consideration we give to our bedroom design, living room décor, or stair installation, hallways are often a neglected part of the house. The importance of hallways, however, cannot be overstated.

Hallways are the first opportunity to show off a house’s unique sense of style. They set the tone of the quality of the rest of the house. For that reason, they should be given the needed attention and care to bring them alive. Here are some hallway design fundamentals to consider when creating that perfect hallway:

Focal Point

In design, a focal point holds any space together as a whole. It’s the first place or thing that visitors see when they enter a room. It’s the emphasis point at which you build the rest of your design.

In a hallway, a focal point could be a feature chandelier, a large-scale painting, or an entertainment center at the end of the hall. Or it could be a simple occasional chair that no one ever actually sits on, but when set up against the right background can create a great “anchor” for the entire space. These central elements need to be powerful and dramatic enough for guests to want to explore further. Without a focal point, a room and even a hallway will never feel quite right.

empty hospital hallway

Widths and Heights

In New Zealand, the standard ceiling height is 2.3 to 2.4 meters minimum. Many residential spaces are planned with a floor to ceiling height of 2.4 to 2.7 meters. A higher ceiling not only allows more significant design flexibility, but it is also a good method to naturally light and ventilate areas. It creates a sense of spaciousness, even in a relatively long hallway that triggers confined feelings. In fact, some research ties high ceilings to a psychological sense of freedom and tendencies toward spatial exploration.

Standard hallway width calls for a 1,200 mm-wide minimum. Many residential spaces have at least 1,500 mm turning spaces that allow wheelchairs to be able to turn 360 degrees. One of the best-kept secrets among successful architects is to include a chicane or two in a long hallway. These angled walls minimize the impact of long and straight hallways that tend to feel cramped and narrow.

Color Palette

Before choosing a color for your hallway, it is important to consider other things such as lighting. Is it wide or narrow? Choosing the appropriate color can help balance out these factors and create a welcoming look. The right color palette can also make or break the entire space.

Lighter colors make a small hallway seem larger, brighter, and more expansive. On the other hand, darker colors create a sophisticated and warm sense of space. These brooding dark walls are becoming more and more popular nowadays. They work well with a hallway that has a great source of natural light to take in the dark palette.

Hallways should feel spacious, welcoming, and functional. A beautiful and well-planned hallway sets the tone for the house as soon as guests and your loved ones step through the door. By choosing the right color palette, width, height, and the focal point for your hallway, you can successfully introduce your own interior style.