The Problem Hallway
Readers – Did any of you watch that TV show “Trading Spaces”? It
was is (I just found out that this show is still on) a show about 2 neighbors who swapped houses for 2 days and completely re-did a room with the help of an interior decorator. Besides the occasionally bizarre outcomes (walls covered in felt? Leather couches re-painted?), what I remember best was that most of the people were living in houses that looked un-touched by their personalities. White walls, beige carpet, no art, random pieces of furniture scattered through a room. I was horrified.
Flash forward to our current house. The walls aren’t white and we don’t have carpet, but otherwise we haven’t advanced past the unpacking stage. Usually the place is full of sawdust and lumber since Mr. B is building our closets. There really is no interior decorating going on round these parts. It isn’t that big a deal because just being in the house is still amazing, but I do think about it from time to time. What really brought it to the forefront of my brain was looking at this hallway:
This runs between the great room and the west side of our house, so it is our back door. My office/sewing room is off to the left. At some point, we’ll have a patio and back yard area out this door, and it will also probably be the door we use to get to the future barn/cow. In A Pattern Language, you are encouraged to make hallways more than mere passage ways – instead, they should be little rooms in their own right. We mostly avoided this by having no hallways in the house except this one, and it really is an afterthought. A design necessity. It is only 6 feet wide, so no one is going to be hanging around in here. It needs to be somewhat functional since it is the transition between inside/outside (coats, shoes, a place to put down a pitcher of lemonade), but it isn’t hidden enough to really count as a mudroom (it is open to the living room). It is more of a private/family area than the entry way though, since you have to go through the entire house to get there, and there is the more public south side of the house (sliding door that opens off the great room).
I’m not really sure what to do with this room. I’ve been thinking about doing something with the walls (maybe this stencil?). We don’t really have pictures of ourselves, but it could be a nice place to have a row of fun memory shots. Maybe a wall mounted coat rack? Any ideas?