Looking for some help making my narrow hallway a little prettier and more interesting. Bonus bookcase wood finishing/painting question inside!
So we've got the standard narrow hallway in a 1950's cottage connecting the bedrooms and bathroom. (As one of my old professors used to say "shitty little rooms at the end of shitty little hallways" -- Heh, I digress.) It's 3' wide x 14' long. The trim is flaking off so that is spurring and entire re-painting. I primed the end of the hallway to cover the dark purple/brown that was there but am somewhat stymied about what color to paint it and feel like a splash of something would be good there. There is no natural light in the space. I keep thinking about putting artwork on the walls but the space feels too narrow. I also keep thinking that this might be an alternate kid play space (we have a small house and there's not much play space) -- but what would make it fun?
• Here's the view West, toward the kitchen
with the linen closet and kids room on the right (has one bright orange wall) -- the artwork stays as does the bookcase* (maybe). The frame I'd like to swap out or paint. I just painted the kitchen and it's a nice, bright white. I keep coming back to neutral grey for that end wall or maybe doing a wallpaper but for some reason I'm just stuck. The runner you see there is from IKEA, it could stay or go.
• Here's the view East, toward the bathroom
-- the master is at the end on the left. Colors there are light beige and a khaki/olive color. The bathroom is grey/purple.
Things I've thought about: crisp white for the whole hallway with the same color for the ceiling as the walls and trim. I still really think that end wall needs to be an accent color so -- neutral grey or some exciting color which would "go" with the orange in the kids room for that brief moment when you see both. That's not as important, though. I've also considered going nuts and painting the end wall + ceiling + bathroom entry wall the same color. Would that make the space feel really, really weird? I've seen and enjoyed ceilings which were painted something other than white but they were all higher ceilings.
I also need a new surface mount light in here -- standard 8' ceilings -- what is your favorite surface mount that doesn't look cheap and boring?
Here's the really creative idea: how could this space be fun for a kid? I've got a two-year-old -- if the sky was the limit, remembering that we still have to walk through this hallway (though I'm fine with toys that can be drug out and then put away) -- what could I do in this space that would turn it into a place for imaginative play?
*Oh, and final bonus question, should I paint or refinish this bookcase
? Paint it glossy white or refinish it to give it a darker wood tone? The bookcase is solid wood and it fits and works fairly well at this hallway end but I don't like the color of the wood and it's a bit beat up after about 35 years of use. Best refinishing/painting tips welcome!
Please help me make my shitty little hallway less awful!