A reader recently asked me what she could do her long, narrow hallway.
That quickly brought back memories of the home we owned when my babies were little. It was a ranch style home built in the late ‘50s — you know, the style where the living spaces were at one end of the house and the bedrooms and baths were located on the other end of a long hallway taking you you to the other side of the house.
As someone who’s obsessive over design, I vividly remember that hallway driving me nuts because it was so claustrophobic. As a mother, I couldn’t stand how my elbows would brush up against the side walls when I carried my babies through it. Sure, I sometimes had the impulse to hang things on the side-walls, but I felt doing so would just make the long, narrow hallway seem even tighter and more confining.
If you have at least a 4’ wide hallway...
Putting up art and family photos might be the perfect solution, dispelling the boring nature of that space. (See example.)
However, if your hallway is especially tight, like mine was (3' plus a few inches wide)...
Create the focus at the end of the hallway.
Celebrate that length and the unique feature that a long, narrow space gives you. Maybe it's not the best place for art and/or family photos, where one might normally want to stop and look at the images there. I think walls of photos or art are best in a place where you can step back a bit and view them.
Your long hallway: Accentuate it. Call attention to it. Make it special and beautiful. Direct the interest to the end of the hallway, not the sides. Here are 7 ways to do just that:
- Put a mirror down at the end to extend the hallway even more and possibly reflect some light down there.
- Paint that end wall a contrasting accent color so that it provides a stopping point.
- Add some artwork or graphic pattern at the end to make a statement.
- Lay a long runner on the floor that draws your eye to the end.
- Create wall finishes that run the entire length of the hallway.
- Paint or do some kind of ceiling treatment that works like the long runner, drawing your eye down to the end.
- Repeat some special light fixtures that progress down the hall.
Don’t chop it up or add even more on to the side walls coming in on you by creating interest there. Instead, direct the focus to the end.
Celebrate the unique vibe your hallway provides. Make it beckon and call you to investigate beyond. Make it pull you in and through where you won't notice that narrow, claustrophobic feeling. You'll be so focused on what is happening at the end, what might be around the corner, that you won't notice the side walls.
Make it a vista.
LOVELY, LONG, NARROW HALLWAYS
Click each image to enlarge fullscreen!
DESIGNER: Ally Kim
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I've got some nice runners linked below for your long, narrow hallway.
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