Decorating : The Upstairs Hallway

October 4, 2011 04:08 by ehouston

The title should actually say, Decorating: The Echo Chamber.  That’s what the hallway to the playroom/media room/exercise room/man cave is affectionately called around here.  The Little Guy loves letting out a loud screech nearly every time he runs through on his way to Toyland, which in turn deafens anyone at the other end.  It’s a long, very narrow space with a carpeted floor. 


(Photo of hallway to the playroom before painting.)

I never would have imagined sound could carry in there the way that it does, but it’s something I have been working to quiet for a while.  I had thought about putting up a mass of framed family photos along both walls for a French salon gallery type feel, but I’m not sure that would really solve the hollow, echoing sound issues.  Plus, I have two other walls with family photos and a third project under way, so it seemed like a tired idea at this point.  Then several months ago I hung one of my favorite quilts along one side to see how that would work.  I’m not really into the country, craftsy-type look in my home, but I do think you can pair rustic items with a more modern décor and not slip into the early ‘80’s.  At least that’s my perspective….maybe I’m just fooling myself. 

Either way, I love and have a collection of old quilts that are just gathering dust on a closet shelf right now.  For the short time that it was hanging up, I really enjoyed getting to see that funky old quilt every day.  Soon after putting it up I took it down in order to paint some color on the walls and add a coat of bright white to the dingy, beige trim.  This area connects with our staircase and in turn the front foyer, the latter of which was the main area I wanted to update.  It’s funny how a little project always ends up being much bigger than anticipated.


(Photo of hallway to the playroom after adding paint on the walls and trim.)

After a whole lot of painting, the entire space looks a thousand times better, but was much darker than anticipated.  I planned to put the quilt right back in place, but since it’s stitched up in darker shades of fabric I was afraid our echo chamber would end up becoming our dungeon tunnel.  The first thought was to just hang up a lighter colored quilt, which I did, and although It’s one that I love, The Mister was not on the same page. 





I think he feels the pattern and the vintage feedsack fabrics cross the line to hokey-folky, which is something I definitely want to avoid. 

But, just before taking it down I got an idea.  The lighter quilt appeared to be just a smidge (technical term there) bigger than the darker quilt we had originally hung in the space.  I decided to leave it there and hang the darker quilt right over the top. 





Now the lighter quilt adds a border around the darker quilt, creating a nice frame, and the hallway has lost some of the echo and the darkness.  Very soon, I plan to hang a simple track light fixture to replace the fancy 1990’s brass, leaded glass number that barely glows.  I’m still searching for just the right one.  I may also hang some pictures on the opposite wall, even though it is a tight space, but for now at least we can head to the playroom like ninjas in the night.

So, have you guys ever had to correct an echo problem in your home?  How did you quiet the space?

Kitsch Krafts

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