LIghted niche or mirror at end of hallway?

ontariomomApril 7, 2013

Hi all,

I appreciate hearing your thoughts on whether it would be better to place a mirror at the end of the hallway posted below, or a lighted niche. It is the hallway near the optional closet and near the closet in the laundry room. I was told by one designer that some who have put in niches regret having them later. What do you think? I do have some nice figurines so that is not an issue. Most of our bedrooms are upstairs and we will have a full length mirror at the end of this hall.

Thanks in advance,


Below is the floor plan showing the hallway.

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What is the depth of this area not including casings?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Hi peegee,

Thank for your reply! hope I have understood your question. There will be three and a half inches on the corner of the laundry opening and possible mirror or niche spot. If we do a niche, it would be between the wall and the wall is a 2 X 4 wall, so the depth would be 3 and 1/2 inch deep niche. The width of the hallway is 3 feet.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:05PM
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It also would be a perfect spot for a nice piece of art/painting. If you want to highlight your figurines, then the niche would work, but I don't think I'd want to be watching myself walk down the hallway every time I went to the laundry room. I mean, I don't usually look my best when doing the laundry.

You could also plan for a light to highlight the painting, if you went that route.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:23AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would prefer a niche to watching myself coming down the hallway, esp with dirty socks and underwear dripping out of my arms!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Thanks for your input everyone. I will add lighted art to the consideration list. I assume I could do a low voltage puck light for the art. Thanks for that idea olychick. LOL about watching myself bring laundry down the hall. That entrance will be very infrequently used entrance for laundry. The only one bringing through that entrance will be my teenage son who has the front room (and he does not do laundry frequently). The rest of us will enter with laundry via the other laundry pocket door which is just near the bedroom staircase. So, would you still rule out a mirror with this new info?


    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:21AM
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I have a mirror at the end of a hallway and seeing your self is not a issue. After awhile you don,t even notice its there but it does reflex light back threw a dark space for me. If you do the nitch you might consider doing it in such a way that it would still look okay if the shelves were removed and a peice of art huge there. That would leave your options open for the space.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Personally I would not actually build in a niche, but rather have a light positioned to allow either art or a shallow table or shelf for sculpture/figurines. I would prefer art over a mirror.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Well, the good thing is that, except for a niche, you can hang a mirror or art and change it out once in a while. See if you like or need a mirror there. I guess I'm not one for simply decorative mirrors in places where I could enjoy art I love. But that's just me.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:36PM
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it seems like a sortof out of the way area for a lighted niche... i don't know if i'd want guests wandering down the hall towards my teenaged son's or laundry room to look at the piece/s displayed in the niche...

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:42PM
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Okay guys you have all helped me make up my mind. LOL at the concept of guests wondering down past my son's room and laundry room just to see the display in the niche. I had not thought of that. I think I will have the electrician wire for a future low voltage puck light to light a piece of art at the end of this hall. We could always do the mirror instead. The niche idea is out. I do appreciate your answers and humor. Thanks!

The only remaining question is which is better to accent a painting: puck light positioned directly over the piece of art or a full spot pot light positioned very nearby?


    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:36PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

depending on how much light you need, you could just do a picture light of which there are many styles.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:31PM
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Since you are building, you have the opportunity to hard wire something to highlight your art with a light that isn't too obtrusive. This article had some good hints about placement, that I never would have thought of.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to highlight art

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:25AM
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Thanks for that picture. Do you know if those lights are plugged in or hardwired.? If I wanted to have the option to add one of these would I just need a plug under the art?

Olychick. Very interesting link. Thanks for taking the time to post it. There was definitely some new ideas in there for me. We have a newly installed pot light near where I will put anther picture and It is closer than what this article recommends (article says 3-5 feet back). I hope we won't regret this placement. We had also thought to make this pot a spotlight, but maybe we will go for the flood instead.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:11PM
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Hi again,

Just another idea... what if I put in the mirror and thin wall sconces on each side of mirror or even had the sconces in the mirror? I like the look of light fixtures reflecting on mirrors. We have pot lights down this hall (they are roughed in at present) so no fixtures currently down this hall. Our ceilings are only 8 feet so I did not want too many low hanging down ceiling fixtures, but I could add (instead of the wall scone idea) a single ceiling fixture at the end of the hall if that was better. Later in our build I could decide for sure if I wanted a mirror or a picture at the end of the hall. Either way I would have the wall sconces. My DH said we don't want it to look like a vanity mirror. Is this idea of wall sconces on either side of a mirror worth pursuing or not. Or should I instead changing the last pot light down this hall to a fixture? Or should I consider another source of lighting (i.e. low voltage pot lights, picture light)?



BTW, the hall is 3 feet wide, and there is three inches of hall left after the last door in hall which is to laundry. This will not be a frequently used hallway to the laundry as most of the household will use the other laundry entry.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 7:51AM
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I'm a big fan of mirrors as a manipulator of space (in case I haven't already bored you right to sleep on the subject).

And one of their best uses is to correct a dead end, which is one of those things that people instinctively don't like.

So I vote for installing a small pot light, and hanging a long slender mirror, and then taking your time to look for a picture if that's what you ultimately want. But the long vertical is key here - you want to give the illusion of a doorway, which relieves the sense of heading into a dead end - and the long rectangle also makes it unnecessary to put anything under it to ground it.

We hung a simple beveled full-length mirror from the home store in the narrow dead end hallway leading to our bedroom, and it makes all the difference.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Thanks bronwynsmom for your thoughts. We used to have a mirror in this old hallway prior to the addition and I liked it there. Currently, we will have a pot light 2 feet away (the box is installed and measures 4 1/2 feet, but no housing yet). This light was put there to provide general light to hall. Will this light work to illuminate the mirror and hall with no further light required? Or do I need another separate small pot and if so regular high voltage or low voltage puck?

Thanks for your help to my many questions.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 6:58AM
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I have a mirror at the end of a long back hallway. To the right of the mirror is the laundry room and a door to the garage. In my other house the mirror lived in my foyer and at first I was disappointed that I didn't have place for it in my current foyer. In searching for a spot for the mirror, I thought the end of the hall could use it. Love having a mirror there. The mirror has a small shelf attached to it and sometimes I put small seasonal items on it. Here is a shot of my hallway mirror ( its a bit tricky to photograph and not see my reflection, so not the best picture)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 7:38AM
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i also think since we don't really want that area to be a 'display' area, that a mirror would work well!! ... whether sconces work or not depends on both the sconce and the mirror...

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:36AM
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badgergal, thank you very much for posting that beautiful picture and for your vote for the mirror. I bet your mirror looks great with the seasonal decor on that ledge! I will steal that idea of a ledge under a mirror for a location at the entrance to the mudroom. I think I may do a full length mirror at the end of the hallway.

Thanks busybee3 for your recommendation. I was looking in the lighting store, and will likely get a half moon wide shaped sconce light for above the mirror. I found a blingy one that should look good over a mirror. I've decided there is not really enough room for sconces on either side of a full length mirror as the hallway is only 36 inches wide. Given the rest of the lighting in the hall is downlights, it will be nice anyway to have a source of uplight at the end o f the hall.



    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:55PM
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