Look at that glorious hallway above and tell me if it doesn't have Dorothy Draper's name written all over it. That at least was my immediate thought when I first saw this photo. In fact, old Dorothy had nothing to do with the design of this early 1960s Parisian hallway, although who knows, maybe her work inspired it. That dramatic looking surround with the columns, broken pediment, and urn scream her name to me as does that checkerboard floor. And that paneled door looks like something straight out of The Carlyle. I believe that you could easily duplicate this look by using architectural stencils from Stencil Library and painting columns and such around a door surround. Anyway, this hall and entryway is exactly the way mine looks in my Manhattan apartment. You know, the Manhattan apartment in my imagination.
So, a plaid hallway might be hard to pull off unless you're Tartanscot; he makes you want to swathe and swaddle everything with the stuff. Still, how cozy would a hallway be lined in wool plaid, especially in colder climes? Oh, you know who else this hallway might be perfect for? Robert Rufino. He's also a master at decorating with plaids, tartans, and other menswear fabrics.
Now this hallway is very me. Nice striped fabric. A portière framing the opening. And most importantly, that tented ceiling with the scalloped edging. Glorious! This is definitely not a DIY project, although something tells me that Nick Olsen could upholster a tented room in one weekend. But just think about how a small entryway or vestibule could be completely transformed into something quite magical.
I've always thought that trompe l'oeil hallways, entryways, bars, and alcoves are quite chic. This photo shows some serious trompe l'oeil for a serious house. For the rest of us, trompe l'oeil wallpaper might be the way to go.
Photos 1 through 3 from Decoration, Volume I (Connaissance des Arts Collection); #4 from Les reussites de la decoration francaise)