Design Dilemma: Confronting a Narrow Hallway
Hallways can be daunting spaces to decorate, and we’ve written before about the best way to deal with them. Using a hallway as a gallery space, a library, a study area, or a storage area is all possible if your hallway is wide enough. But things get a whole lot trickier if you’ve got a narrow hallway, like this:
Yikes! Is there any way to confront this serious design dilemma with panache and style?
One of the best ways to enlarge a narrow space is to add mirrors. A long dark hallway can suddenly feel much larger and brighter simply by adding reflective surfaces. For the most impact, you might add floor to ceiling mirrors cut specifically to fit into your space. If that’s too much mirror for you, a large framed mirror can perform the same function of bouncing light around your space. In the example above, a collection of mirrors in frames of various sizes and styles, but in the same color palette, could add a little interest and visual space without taking up much room.
Above, a freestanding mirror helps move light around a narrow hallway. Below, a fixed floor-to-ceiling mirror helps brighten up an otherwise dark entryway.
Use high gloss paint. In just the same way that mirrors will move light around a dark and narrow space, glossy paint can reflect light to make it seem larger. Check out the photo below. In this case, the owners have used both high-gloss paint AND mirrors to help lighten things up.
Make the most of lights. Bold pendants and dramatic wall sconces are one of the best ways to add a little style in a narrow space. Visitors will be so enamored of your lights, they’ll never notice the narrowness of your hallway. Exhibit A, below, demonstrates the power of dramatic lighting. Sculptural wall sconces are definitely the star in this narrow hallway. And below that, Exhibit B demonstrates how a beautiful chandelier can add instance grace in narrow quarters.
Below, the owner has taken it one step further by adding multiple pendant lamps of varying lengths. How cool!
Use paint, wallpaper, molding to add interest.
What it comes down to is this: attitude. You can inject a little into your space by opting for bold and interesting wall colors, wall decals, wall paper, moldings, or other wall treatments. Below, a narrow hallway gets interesting with two different wallpapers, a dramatic wall color AND molding.