This week, I shared a look at our second-floor hallway in all its glory. I shared the updates we’ve made in the space as well as the half-finished projects still pending. We plan to make some pretty big changes to our entryway in the future and since these spaces are connected, creating a design plan for the hallway as well makes sense. I’ve got a few ideas swirling through my head but one of the big questions is: wallpaper or moulding? The space isn’t that big but it needs a good dose of character and interest. I’m debating between adding wallpaper or moulding to the hallway to achieve this and sharing my thoughts on both today.
Adding character and interest to our second-floor hallway
As I mentioned in my previous post, our hallway upstairs is not that big. It connects our 4 bedrooms, one full bath, and a decent size linen closet. Because of this, the walls are broken up by quite a few doorways leaving only two short walls with a decent stretch of uninterrupted wall space.
Walls that could use some character and interest.
I want to make sure though that whatever I do doesn’t overwhelm the small space. I have some art hanging on both for now but they need something else.
I recently shared a post about how to add character to your home. Hanging art is part of the list and a great way to start adding in character and injecting your style into a room. When you start to combine different methods though, and layer design elements, that’s when the magic happens!
We started the process of adding character into this space a few years ago by changing out the base. The existing base was quite small and the one we added is almost double in size. Making the proportions in the space much better. It also matches the base we added to our first floor, aiding to unify the whole house.
Swapping out the base and adding art is just the start. Adding wallpaper or moulding to the walls in the hallway will help add even more depth and interest to the space. Creating layers and depth to the design.
A case for adding wallpaper to the hallway
Because this space leads to and links all the rooms upstairs, I want it to be somewhat neutral.
Neutral but not boring.
My first instinct is to add wallpaper to the upstairs hallway. Adding wallpaper would be a quick way to get some pattern and/or some color into the space. When looking for the entryway I came across a few wallpapers that became fast favorites.
I shared the ones that spoke to me and are my inspiration for the entryway in a recent post. The ticking stripe is a fave and front runner but I’m also in love with this damask print. Both would add some much-needed interest to the hallway and a pop of color.
I should mention that I’m leaning towards keeping the space light and bright. There isn’t a ton of natural light that gets into the hallway and I think it needs all the help it can get.
When we first moved in, I painted our hallways a darker color that matched what we had in the dining room. It was fine for a bit but after Mike convinced me to go light in the dining room I decided to do the same in our hallways. I generally love darker, moody colors but was pleasantly surprised by how much more I loved them light and bright!
The ticking stripe and the damask would bring enough color in without making the space feel too dark or heavy.
A case for adding moulding to the hallway
I’ve been a fan of adding moulding to walls for quite some time now and I think the design world feels the same. Or at least from what I see popping up in my Instagram feed and other design resources.
I think a home with character is what a lot of people are looking/striving for. And, when I think about character I think about wall mouldings, crown, and trim.
These are the elements, that when added to a space, bring a sense of completion and finish to a room. The room feels complete when there are crown moulding and base. When the doorways and windows are trimmed out. The same can be said for adding moulding to the walls.
I also think adding moulding “dresses” the space up and makes it feel elevated and special. Even if you don’t add anything else. Like when someone applies only lipstick or mascara to their face. They feel pulled together and complete even if they don’t have any other make-up on. Even without furniture and styling, this space on Pinterest has a completed and finished look about it.
Adding moulding to our upstairs hallway would help to complete the space and make it feel pulled together and finished. The space would have loads of character even without color or pattern.
When I walk through the space, this is what I feel I’m looking for in our hallway. A space that is light and bright and architecturally beautiful to walk through as you go from room to room. It can stand on its own but its design is subtle and not “loud”.
a case for adding both
A small part of me thinks, “why not have your cake and eat it too, Deanna”? Add wallpaper AND moulding to the hallway and call it a day.
I could add picture moulding or board and batten to the bottom half of the walls and wallpaper to the top like it is shown here. This would give me a touch of color and pattern in the space but would provide some balance with a solid base so it isn’t too much.
I could even do moulding two-thirds of the way up and still add a bit of wallpaper above like in this example on Pinterest.
Part of me worries though that it will be too much design-wise in the space and ultimately not what I want. Especially when we talk about transitions between hallway to bedrooms or bath. I feel like I would be limited to what I could do in our bedrooms down the road.
I believe hallways can, and should in some cases, stand on their own as far as design goes. I’m not sure it makes sense though in our home and in this small of a space. Whatever I do in the hallway I will need to ensure transitions smoothly with the designs and future designs of our bedrooms.
The house is not that big overall and this would help create unity and a cohesive look that flows from room to room.
wallpaper, moulding, or both?
I look at our hallway and think “it needs pattern and color” and immediately my mind jumps to wallpaper.
I’ll walk through the space later in the day and think “no, no, it needs architectural detail. Add moulding!”
“Wait, could I do both….?”
Ugh, the debate continues.
While I continue to obsess and debate between adding wallpaper or moulding to the hallway, let me know what you think in the comments below!
What are you voting for? Wallpaper? Moulding? Or both?