Next James Treble Practical Design Workshop 18 August 2021. Enrol in the course to attend!
Next James Treble Practical Design Workshop 18 August 2021. Enrol in the course to attend!

Widen The Hallways

If you have  hallways that are long and narrow, chances are the only natural light within this space that which filters from other rooms, and the general feeling there probably may be quite unwelcoming. Whether you live in the house or intend to sell or rent the property, you should do everything you can to improve these areas and make them as pleasant as the rest of the home. So, without breaking the budget or getting into a major renovation, let’s see how we can help a narrow hallway appear wider and create a more attractive space.

First rule when it comes to achieving space, or even just the sense of greater width, is to declutter. Furniture that is disproportionate to the space for example bulky in size and dark in colour, will only detract from the sense of flow, physically as well as visually. Space is immediately achieved in any room by reducing the number of furnishings and décor. Strong patterns, also, will intrude on the space, like patterned wallpapers and rugs. The aim is not to empty a room, but to substitute quantity with quality, achieving a sense of calm and elegance to suit the floor space.

The second rule to achieve space is to let light in. If natural light is not an option, then you can make a big difference by changing the light bulbs from warm light to cold light, or ‘white light’, which mimics the brightness of natural light. For quite a low cost and if the property allows, then the addition of skylights or sky-tubes will flood the hallway with an impressive amount of natural light, giving the illusion of space. Not last is the use of glass doors to allow natural light to reac darker spaces.

Of course painting the walls in a lighter colour will also help to bring in  light, but if the interiors are painted  the same colour throughout, then using half-strength paint will add subtle brightness without throwing your colour scheme.


TIP: The taller the ceilings, the narrower a room will appear. By lowering the height of the walls, like painting the walls up to 15/20 cm lower than the cornice, you can achieve a seemingly wider ceiling, giving the  impression of a wider room. The addition of a smaller cornice a that height will make the edge of the paint look refined and its adjusted height intentional.

Finally, we must only add furniture that is in proportion with the space available. No bulky pieces, but tall and slender, even better if the furniture has long and thin legs. The more floor we see the more space we seem to have. When it comes to adding accesories, the rules are the same: less, thin and well placed. Glass framed pictures are perfect for these narrow rooms as they reflect light around. Mirrors work on the same principle, only better because if cleverly placed these can appear to double the size of a space. Sideboards and shelves should be decorated sparingly with light coloured items or reflective surfaces like glass and metals.

So, what helps a room seem larger?

  • The more floor surface we see the larger it seems (same goes for the ceiling).
  • Plenty of natural light or a brighter environment.
  • Glass, mirrors and lighter décor.
Practical Design Online Course

There are many design schools offering the theory of interiors, and there’s plenty of lifestyle television and Instagram and Pinterest pages to inspire the design lovers. Yet, we know it takes more than theory and pretty images to achieve good design. The intent of Practical Design is to offer sound information and practical design knowledge.


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