How to add colour & interest to a hallway with a gallery feature wall

You won’t believe it but, after months (okay, years) of complaining to you about my horrible hallway, the space has finally been decorated! We really knuckled-down this month and pulled-on our paint-spattered overalls for one last push to finish the renovating. You might have already got wind of the fact that we’ve been painting again after I published a quick DIY video project of me painting the stairs. And I’m excited to tell you that only a week later, the whole hallway looks as good as new. So now, the real challenge begins – how to transform this entirely white space with a gallery feature wall.

This gallery wall is in my living room & I’d like to create something similar in the hallway

Even though I’m delighted with the freshly painted white woodwork, the satin white walls, white concertina blind and white staircase runner, after living with the space for a couple of weeks, it’s beginning to look a little bland. It’s amazing how quickly you can get used to a space, isn’t it? After living with the grotty hall and staircase for a couple of years (you can see the horrid hallway ‘before’ photos here) it felt SO wonderful to walk through the space and enjoy the fresh, clean finish. I actually squealed with delight every time I walked up the stairs for the first week! But now, I’ve already grown accustomed to it and feel the need to add something more to the white space.

I like the idea of hanging a few items together to create a gallery wall to add interest. The first item I’d like to add is a clock – both for the practical function of being able to check the time when I’m heading out of the house – and for the aesthetic qualities that many clocks offer today. I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to choosing designs and brands of clocks. We already have a George Nelson-style clock in our living room, and I’d like to bring an equally mid-century, vintage-inspired timepiece into our hallway too.

Again, minimalist Nordic-style is a priority and I’d like the clock we choose to be large and attractive. The tall wall can certainly take an oversized clock face and it’ll really make a feature of this practical item. I also like to play with shapes when putting together a gallery wall – you probably won’t see 6 matching frames in a row anywhere in my house! Instead, I like to combine squares, rectangles, flags and circles – which is where the new clock comes in.

While I do admit to being a minimalist in many areas of my life – in fact, I’m constantly decluttering to try to have less – in the case of a gallery wall, I think more is more. At the moment, everything in the hallway is white, except for the dark grey painted floorboards and the single light fitting, so I’d like to add a little more colour and style. I had already got a Scandinavian, hygge-style wooden lampshade for the hallway before we began painting so we finally assembled it (which was easier than I thought!) and added it to the light fitting. It coordinates with the wood on the staircase and I’d like to bring some more natural wooden tones to the rest of the space.

How? With the picture frames, of course! My artist husband and I have a collection of artworks, photographs, prints and posters that we’ve bought from local makers over the years and now we finally have a gallery-esque space to hang them. I would like to use the tall staircase wall (below) to display artworks in a range of sizes and shapes as I think it can take both large photographic prints alongside smaller framed pieces. But I don’t just want the hallway to be about art.

I also have a set of circular maps mounted onto pale wood backs that I’ve been planning to add to the gallery wall. These depict three of our favourite locations in the country and add that subtle scandi-vibe thanks to the wooden edges. Add a few fabric pennant flags and the occasional embroidery hoop for texture and you’ve got yourself an interesting gallery wall that showcases your collection. I’ll be so pleased when we can get all of our artworks out of the boxes that they’ve been stored in since we moved and plan the layout of the gallery feature wall.

Watch this space for more updates – I’ll be sure to add photos of the completely finished hallway on my blog soon. And it won’t take us months to plan out the configuration of the pieces, honest! The thing is, my husband used to be a gallery curator and installed many famous exhibitions so he’s rather professional when it comes to arranging artwork on a wall. Thankfully, he just let me get on with it when I was hanging art in my home office, but I can already tell that this ‘installation’ might take a little longer!

Let me know what you think of my plans and I’d love to hear from you with your tips if you already have a gallery feature wall at home. If you could tag me in your Instagram photos @cassiefairy, even better! It would be great to see your spaces and get inspiration from your interior.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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