Design Inspiration for the Long Hall

Design Inspiration for the Long Hall

Catrin Morris
Nov 15, 2011

Many urban dwellers, especially in cities like San Francisco and New York, must contend with long and often narrow hallways. Decorating such reedy, elongated spaces can be daunting. At worst, such corridors can resemble those in trains or boring motels. There are various ways one can transform long hallways by playing with scale and perspective so as to draw attention to the walls, the ceiling or the floor, thereby breaking up the monotonous expanse into smaller fragments.

These hallways employ a variety of decorating tricks. Some use wallpaper and creative paint colors to add richness to the space. Others draw attention to the end of the hallway with dramatic furniture or lighting or darker colors (which can help truncate the length of the hall). Others use art work and mirrors along the walls to distract the eye (I prefer larger pieces to the cluttered, busy look that comes with too many frames). Another interesting option is to simply embrace the drama of the long hallway instead of trying to fight it, turning the passage into an almost coy and mysterious drawn-out entree to the more robust rooms that live beyond.

What are your tricks for dealing with a long apartment passageway?

1. Bashford & Dale Interior Design. In the photo on the left, the designers placed frames of the same size along the entire length of the hallway. They used a framed series of photos from the Monty Python sketch Ministry of Funny Walks, which collectively create a stop-motion effect. The designers explain that this effect could be repeated with family photos, prints, or animation stills. The second image shows a " "ghosted" table made from an old flea market console, which was cut and attached to the wall. This brilliant idea provides just enough surface area for keys but not enough space to attract clutter.
2. Fresh Home via Modize. How cool are these gold wall hooks and built in white shelves?
3. Desire to Inspire. The use of round shapes is an inspired visual trick for offsetting the rectangular expanse of this hallway.
4. Amanda & Lincoln's Eclectic Modern Home. The fun modern light and geometric rug turn this hallway into quite a lovely little alcove. And the light grey paint is creamy and soft against the bright white paneling.
5. The French Eye. In this white hallway, the floor takes center stage, supported by wall sconces, a few frames and green-grey trim.

6. The French Eye. A rich brown wall is adorned with a modern cubby shelving system and a few odd chairs. It is unclear that the facing wall looks like but a white wall would provide nice contrast.
7. Lisa & Clay's Artsy and Calm Collaboration. A long picture ledge along one wall helps break the monotony of this hallway without getting in the way or creating visual clutter.
8. Attic Mag via 5 Ways to Decorate a Long Hallway. Instead of toning down or offsetting the length of this hallway, the decorator decided to have fun with the railroad effect. With its striped rug and unadorned walls, this long corridor makes a big, bold and dramatic statement.
9. Desire to Inspire. What do you think of this dense cluster of red frames, which collectively serve as a single piece of art?
10. Via Home Design Find: bubble lights.

Images: As credited above.

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