Some might say that a hall is less than a room, a mere space for moving between. However, I do believe that halls can be some of the most unassuming and impressing (as in, having the power to impress feelings upon those within them) spaces within the home. Although we do not dwell within the bounds of the hall, we might pass through it several tens of times a day, going between more dominant and expansive spaces. Yet the power of the hallway lies in these small, cyclical moments, and in this way the hallway tells the story of our day, the light within it constantly shifting, ever describing the passing of time alongside our daily routine. Thus it is important to consider the hall as more than transitional space, but perhaps as a more pensive realm, which carries us between the varying aspects of our busy lives.
This month’s room of the week is the upper landing and hall of John B Murray‘s Hudson Residence. This hall has an inherently subtle nature, relying on natural materials and views to the garden to enliven and decorate the space. The dappled light cast in shadows upon the floor describes the passing of the day, and in a more historical sense, the passage of time is conveyed by the aged timber furnishings within.
Although this is another American room, there are qualities about it which refer me to English, Scandinavian, and even farther reaching farmhouses. It is this reference to our collective memories and the delicate warmth these memories bring with them which makes this space so appealing. We all know and understand the character that antique objects can bring to a room, and here these elements evoke a real sense of memory, perhaps hinting at the family’s near and more distant past, and something of our own personal histories.
I don’t know about you, but this tranquil little room certainly put me in a contemplative mood. I can only imagine how lovely it might be in life.