suggest end of hallway closet doors, something unique?

dirtymartiniAugust 9, 2009

We have a linen closet at the end of our hallway. We plan on using the hallway to display family pictures and small artwork, and we want to use tract lighting to highlight the walls/pictures.

Our house is small, and the hallway is visible from the living/dining area. When people look down the hall (or walk down it to use the bathroom) I don't want them to see a pretty hallway with cool flagstone flooring...and have it end with a typical bifold closet door. To me that is like a *THUD*..LOL.

We cannot get rid of the closet (as much as I would LOVE to have a piece of artwork at the end of the hall) because we need all the closet space we can get! I was thinking of doing mirrored doors, but I started a thread recently on this forum about mirrored closet doors, wondering if they were "woefully passe" and most people agreed they are indeed passe( although everyone agreed I should do what I like, which I appreciate). I still think a mirrored door might be my best option, might be a neat illusion at the end of the hall...but if anyone has a different suggestion, I would love to hear it! I just haven't seen too many options for closet doors.

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A mirrored door would look lovely at the end of the hallway!! Imagine one of those doors with a grid of small mirror panels -- very elegant!

Or find a vintage-style door -- and have a glass panel inserted -- maybe with frosting -- and lettering for the linen closet?

Or have a door with a open section at the top -- and add chicken-style wire and pretty fabric behind it?

Or have a wonderful door with a trumeau-style (pretty painted picture at the top and then a mirror on the bottom half) with wonderful curvy moldings!

Any artwork (a print of course) could be decoupaged onto a door -- inside the panel!

Just some thoughts!!


    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 11:46AM
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I think a photo would help-- but I am thinking the mirrored door at the end of a hallway that is displaying photos and artwork would make the space VERY busy. It isnt about it being passe, it is about what and how much it will be reflecting. Perhaps you won't have as much on the walls as I am picturing in my head though. A mirror at the end of a fairly simple and plain wall could make it look longer-- but then the other consideration is that you'd be looking straight on at yourself as you walk down the hall.

I am guessing it is a location that can't accomodate pocket doors? I would think the more simple and streamlined the door the better from a visual standpoint.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 11:52AM
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I think a mirrored door is a great idea. How about a French door but with mirrors in the panes instead of glass? I have a similar situation in my Mbath and have thought about doing this.

I think when people were thinking about mirrored closet doors being passe they were thinking of the double sliding doors covered in large plate mirrors.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 12:23PM
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Ok, here is a picture...

the hallway is pretty narrow and it still needs paint and the pictures are not up. Due to the narrowness of the hallway, we are only going to put pics on one side (we were thinking of one side of the hall, then skip over to the other, then back to the original wall...just a thought)and I never really considered the mirror at the end of the hallway would add to the "busy-ness"...I don't think it can refelct too much, you can see it is kind of off set, not square at the end of the hall. But maybe it can...I just never really thought of it.

I do like the idea of possibly doing french doors with mirrored panes, as teacats and art lover mentioned.

No, it will not allow for a pocket door...i wish, cuz I do love pocket doors!

thanks for the suggestions is a pic...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:19PM
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Very nice flooring!

Yes -- a full vote for a French door with mirrored panes! :)

Create the door first -- and then slowly add the family portraits -- maybe in black-and-white with matching mats and clean-lined frames hung in a grid pattern (similar in look to the mirrored door?) -- just simple ones?


    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:24PM
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Rather than a mirror at the end of the hallway, which will visually constrict an already narrow space, why not have pictures on one wall and mirrors on the opposite wall to reflect both the pictures and the light?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:45PM
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Gorgeous floor!

On a recent house tour, I saw a renovated house where a very ordinary small closet was transformed into a built-in. This seems like a perfect opportunity to do something like this.

You need the storage space -- great.
Just stop thinking CLOSET and start thinking BUILT-IN.

Maybe smaller twin doors on top, pediment trim, deeper drawers on the bottom?
Do the piece/area in stained wood?
Darker contrasting paint?

What style is your home?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 2:00PM
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I like the idea of a french door...question, I don't have those, but do they all have glass in them?

What about putting a glass knob on the door to give it that special touch?

I agree that a mirror might make it too busy. Love your floor!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 2:04PM
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Love the floor-- and I think you are right, the mirror won't be able to reflect much because of the offset and because the hall is so narrow.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Thanks for the compliments on the floor. I can't wait to clean it and seal it properly! The floor is also in the dining/living room. In the family room, kitchen and all bedrooms except one, we have a medium tone strand bamboo.

sweeby-I do love the idea of a built in. Two issues....1)I really didn't want to see anything "functional" at the end of the hallway. We are really into parties and entertaining and we are all about setting a "mood" and we thought lighting (tract or otherwise) set on dimmers and a mirror at the end of the closet would give a sexy glow to the hallway.

2) we have SO MUCH to do with this house right now, that we have to keep this closet simple for the time being. Maybe one day, we can consider that. But we have major budget restraints, and while my DH can do almost all the work himself, poor guy still works a 6 day week and then comes home and works his butt off.

suero-Is that a design fact...about a mirror at the end will constrict the hallway further? I did not know that, but after being on these boards I am realizing there is TONS I don't know. It is very humbling. I would think that the mirrors on one side of the hall might REALLY be busy? or maybe not?

teacats-I already have most of the pictures framed, and basically, I just use ANY frame so long as it is BLACK. I have wood, metal, ornate, simple, some that hold multiple pictures, etc. So I see your point and hope that would add to the simplicty of it.

Thank you, funkyart and oakley!

As far as the style of my is a 1970s ranch and I am trying to stay somewhat true to the 70's vibe. I really like eclectic decor. I love seeing something sleek and modern juxtaposed against someting rough and rustic. Hope that made sense!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:05PM
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After seeing the picture I am having second thoughts on a mirrored door. It may give the illusion that the hallway goes on forever! I think you need something there to stop you eye from going further. I like Suero's idea of the built-in and also Tea-cats ideas about fancy doors.

I agree with you about only putting pictures on one side of the hall. I would create three or more vertical groupings with space between them to de-emphasize the length of the hall.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:14PM
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OK well this blows the sexy look to the end of the hallway idea. I was thinking photos as in family and thought of a tree. I added one of my tree photos as mural sort to cover the doors and framed to look like a large piece of art.
Even though it's not sexy here it is. Just cause I did it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:25PM
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But if you "really" want sexy may I suggest.........

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Hi justgotabeme!

Well, a mural can be sexy. I don't mean it has to be SEXY, a mirror you are walking towards is only sexy if you are a supermodel looking at yourself, LOL. I just mean a cool, unique idea. The mural looks pretty...I would maybe wants something more abstract?

artlover-LOL..."the infinite hallway". That might go over REALLY well towards the end of the night after some of our parties. And for the 70's vibe I mentioned...
"Dude, this hallway goes on, like, FOREVER!"

What do you think about a group of pictures on one side of the hall...skip a doorway then put another group on the OTHER side of the hall, then a group back on the original (starting) side? With tract lighting going in the direction of the groups of pictures. Or forget the tract lighting, just with normal lighting....or is that (the alternating walls) getting too crazy?

Thanks again to everyone for their ideas. I am SO HAPPY I found this site and forum.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:38PM
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Ha! NOW you're talkin!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:39PM
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I thought maybe you'd like him ahh that! LOL.
I really love your hallway and think either alternating sides of the hallway or on both would work great. I love photography on hallways. In our last home we had it on both sides. The doors worked out to make it pretty much alternating as you want.
In our current home I've started adding family photos up the stairway and will continue down both sections of the hallway.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 4:04PM
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You could combine the idea of a French door and family photos by placing a photo in each section of the glass door.

I think any mirror at the end of a long hallway makes it look even longer.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:25PM
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Here's what Joan Rivers did.

Here is a link that might be useful: before and after photos

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Oh my gosh! I love that Suero! At first glance I thought she added windows! It's gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:54PM
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Well, that is too much of a renovation...there are no windows to be added down the hall, there are rooms on either side....and our house is not that "grand." But it sure is nice to dream...thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 9:11PM
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I think I would just put louvered doors there. Sometimes, we just have to remember that "it is what it is." KWIM? If you have nice photos on the wall, I think that will grab your attention away from the closet, anyway.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 10:12PM
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Instead of bifolds, why not use a conventional door, (or pair, I don't know how wide the opening is). Use a flush door, minimal hardware, paint it out the wall color and hang art on the door. You can keep it straight using velcro at the bottom.

I am doing a hidden closet that has jambs in drywall, but I am installing an interior jamb/stop with European cabinet hinges (so they are hidden) and am going to hang pictures right over it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 10:13PM
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I was thinking perhaps french door with glass--but use something to obscure the view inside--to make it look like seeded or frosted glass? Just a thought!
Your floor is gorgeous!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 6:32AM
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A pair of doors with a center opening can be cut to fit the space; simple panelled doors or whatever type of door blends with your current other doors in the house, with pretty glass knobs. With your gallery of photos in place,
the accent will be on that and those painted doors at the end of the hall will not stand out as much as anything mirrored would.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 7:24AM
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I came across this faux french mirrored door, it's diy ; it's a good visual as far as seeing what a mirrored french door or a pair of them would look like.
You seem to be leaning towards something mirrored.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 7:31AM
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I had the same idea as palimpsest. Make the door blend in with the wall and then hang your art on it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 8:03AM
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I know I would totally forget the mirrored door. Go to an Architectural Antique shop and buy a killer dog that would put so much interest in that hallway. I really like your hallway, it's very interesting IMO. And I would go with the black and white phots's, which I love.

Then I think your hallway would reak of sex appeal.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 8:59AM
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I meant killer door not dog, gads.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:01AM
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French door with frosted panes and a florescent light mounted inside the closet near the door to light the panes.

Love the flooring!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:51AM
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This is just another picture but you really don't want french doors. This was on my computer so I thought I would post it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 10:01AM
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First of all, I was going to suggest something very similar to sweeby's.

Hallways lend themselves to the idea of a destination. A way to combine function and decor is to follow what sweeby said. But I here you on the "we have so much to do" rant.

The problem with hallways, and yours is like mine, they are sometimes narrow and cramped. Cool colors recede, warm colors advance. I would try to find a door color warmer than the wall color in order to "shorten" the hallway. Even a nice very golden-toned wood would be nice. Maybe something with interesting carving to emphasize the "destination" aspect.

Or, what about using the normal door the closet comes with and upholstering it in a beautiful accent fabric, and then adding maybe a nice soft swag valance and "tails" hanging above on the header. Could be something soft like a tone-on-tone toile, or it could be something more bolder with a "statement" toward the style of decorating you're choosing. Maybe a soft sage-green bamboo motif. The fabric on the door can sort of "suggest" the function of what's behind it and no one will confuse it with getting lost on the way to the bathroom! I think fabric would soften the space. The stone floor speaks "hard," and then you have a lot of right-angles with the door frames. Looks great, but my eye wants to look for softness.

I vote "no" on the mirror. Not in that narrow, bulls-eye of a hallway. And, like I said, I have one.

Also, for the pictures on the two walls, I would try to keep their frames in a tone very near the color of the walls. The perspective in that hallway doesn't need bold lines to move you down it; in fact, if you want people to linger I would suggest as little contrast between the frames and the wall color as possible.

And, yes, that length of hall lends itself very well to track lighting. I can see that curvy bendable kind meandering down the hall, with spots turned this way and that for illuminating your photos.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 1:37PM
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ooooh, shezzy-I enjoyed your post, especially the way you eloquently explained your reasoning. I like the idea of fabric (you had me at the "soft fabric vs. hard stone" I mentioned before, I love combining contrasting textures) but I cannot really picture what you mean. The closet came with a bifold door...but can I "fabric" that? I don't want anything too ornate, your sage green/bamboo suggestion sounded about right for our style, but I can't really picture that, either.

*sob* But I already have a TON of black picture frames! I may have to switch them out over time. We are planning on painting the hall (and LR/DR) a simple off white for now. I am just going to have to see how the black frames look. Thank you for all your help.

Newdawn-I lol...I was thinking, "Um, yeah...a killer dog will certainly add say the least!"

I do like palimp's suggestion of something I could hang artwork on...because that is what I really wanted at the end of my hallway. I will have to show DH your description and see if he thinks that is doable.

Thank you graywings,imsoconfused and mitch, elle and bird, for brainstorming with me.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 2:52PM
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LOL Jane, I was wondering about getting a killer dog! LOL. I can't stop laughing. That is just too funny.
dirtymartini I just had to make you a visual of that one. Just too good to pass up.

And a close up of the "killer dog".
    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 3:50PM
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I had a link to some bamboo fabric but THS flagged it as a website they've banned for spamming. So Google "sage green bamboo fabric" and you should see a result listed as "leaf bamboo fabric." This might be something you like.

On the bi-fold door you would just cover each panel independently. There are instructions on the 'net on how to upholster walls, perhaps there is one specific to doors, but I don't know how they would be much different. Fabric, batting, staple gun, scissors, coordinating trim to cover material rough edges and staples.

Off white walls will be really good for highlighting the warmth of your floor and for keeping the area light. The black frames may work for you - so don't sweat that until they're all in place. They will speak a more "modern" feel so see how you feel about that.

Remember, decorating is harder to do all at once in your head. Decide on one element first, and then install it, then go on to the next element and see how it fits with the first one. Your floor is a great element to have started with since it is so dramatic and unique. And if the hardness of the stone makes you feel like you want to counterbalance it with softer elements, look into those. The fabric at the end of the hall may be a good option for softening things up since I doubt you want to cover up that beautiful floor with a runner. I just love that floor. That floor will be a draw on its own.

Here is a link that might be useful: Upholstering Walls

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 4:52PM
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