Hallways aren't something most people give much thought to. They either exist or they don't. But how you design the hallways in your new custom home will either make them useful and pleasant additions or allow them to damage your overall floor plan. Here are five tips to ensure it's the former.
1. Minimize Hallways. The first thing to keep in mind in hallway design is that hallways are often underused spaces in the home. They serve one primary purpose: traffic movement. Because hallways aren't used often or for long periods, they should only be deployed strategically and as a somewhat last resort. Don't add hallways for the sake of having a hallway.
2. Change the Shape. When you do include a hallway — most commonly around bedrooms and bathrooms — make it the shortest hallway that's logical for its purpose. In addition, widen the hallway more than the minimum building code requirement. Why is this important? It eliminates not only the waste of long swaths of floor space, but it also gets rid of the claustrophobic feeling that many hallways develop.
3. Add a Second Purpose. Make better use of hallway space by giving it a job other than letting traffic pass through. With wider and shorter spaces to work with, any hallway can have an add-on purpose, including storage cabinets or even a work desk for the family bills. Look at small contained needs specific to your family, such as a charging station, water fountain, morning coffee station, or hanging racks for outdoor gear.
4. Serve Multiple Spaces. One of the best ways to minimize the number of hallways and make them less wasteful is to serve as many other rooms as possible. Grouping bedrooms and bathrooms is one of the most common ways to maximize the use of a single hallway, but you can also group public rooms like the dining room, living room, and family bathroom.
5. Add Good Lighting. As mentioned, many hallways develop a claustrophobic, dark tone. Combat this by incorporating more light and airiness into yours. Ideally, this should be natural sunlight from skylights or windows. However, the colors you use and other interior design tricks can also brighten up a hallway. And of course, a good lighting plan is key.
Where to Start
Could you use help finding the right number, size, and location for the hallways your house layout needs? Start by meeting with a custom home designer in your area today. With their expertise and guidance, you'll find the perfect use for hallways and make your home even better for everyone.