Any beautiful home will have its most spectacular features. Those soaring ceilings in the living room, a spacious kitchen, that oak mantelpiece in the study, these sweeping bay windows. While many homes may have some lovely details, the truly splendid have that special spot where, just as you turn the corner down a hallway, someone’s piece of design inspiration leaves you breathless. Yet, that all-important piece is too often overlooked: the hall itself that brought you there. Seen as the perfunctory artery of any living home, the functionality of the hall relegates it to necessity instead of beauty. While without it, those other choices could not exist, transitional spaces remain a frustrating afterthought, needed but not glamorous; as if design exists only in large rooms, and doesn’t flow throughout a home. Considering that particularly as an entrance, this part of your home is the first you and your guests may see and connects every other element within it. A hall or foyer becomes not just a path from one room to the next, but the area that creates a gorgeous and complete home every step of the way.
When it comes to foyers, nothing is more jarring than entering a home and being entirely removed from the aesthetic of its exterior and entire setting. A holistic home incorporates design not only from one room to the next, but in the spaces between; similarly, such a home doesn’t ignore its location once the front door is shut. Locally-sourced river rock contrasts textures and bring the outside in, incorporating the exterior entrance’s classic New England trim as one moves inside where those lines then continue.
For any home seeking to connect with its outdoor setting, extensive windows and materials aren’t the only way — and a hall’s use can be beyond just a physical connecting space. This hallway’s forest-like use of majestic column detailing brings a traditional Arts and Crafts era twist to this contemporary white space, while the openings along the right serves to open up the entire home. By using the grain of this glowing, natural floor, the hallway is further brightened while also directly drawing the eye into the warmth of the comfortable room beyond.
Then again, sometimes windows are exactly what you want to connect the great outdoors to the interior of a great home. This space is already lovely for any purpose — transitional hall, dining area, entrance. But with those French doors, it becomes a fairytale setting that establishes the bright, luxurious tone for the rest of the house.
As a public historical site, only so much could be changed of the building itself, but this particular entrance had always felt too small. By remodeling the exterior of the entrance with long, smooth lines and visual layers of horizontal levels, the actual interior lobby seems more expansive, and offers a transition from the grand outside to its inside counterpart. With such a gorgeous mural on display, literally reflecting and connecting this once-private Governor’s home with its setting, the challenge became less to unite with location than to simply accent the piece without overwhelming it.
Whether you tread through your hallways in the haze of an early morning rush, or relish them like a giddy kid sliding on the hardwood in their socks, there can be no doubt to their usefulness. But they don’t just connect a home together physically, walking from one reach to the next. They can evoke a home’s very character, and create one whole sense of space. By using them in ways beyond their most pragmatic, filling them with details of your tastes, and tuning them to the environment around your home, a house can fully become more than the sum of its parts — halls and entryways very much counted as equal ones.