How To Add Interest to Long Narrow Hallway without Feeling Claustrophobic?

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Q: Our home has a long, narrow hallway running the length of the house from the front door to the kitchen in the rear. It connects everything and is awkward because it is so narrow. I want the space to be inviting and interesting, but do not want it to feel any narrower. We have to take care hanging things on the wall because the occasional traffic jam at the end of the hall near the kitchen means people brush up against the walls.

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Currently the walls are painted blah renter-white and the door is an awful dark brown (it will get fresh weather stripping as soon as it is re-painted). Most of the rest of the trim is the original dark finish, though a prior owner stripped some and left it unfinished. I think we will restore all of it. I have no artwork for the hall aside from one black-and-white photograph that could go elsewhere. The bikes, however, are a permanent fixture. A more orderly storage solution is in the making.

We plan to replace the light fixtures with a style more consistent with the age of the home (1907) and strip off all the painted-over wallpaper. However, we are not doing a historic rehab. Beyond sticking with hardware consistent with building style, this is a blank slate. Suggestions?

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.