Fool the eye to make a narrow hall feel wider.


Q: Do you have any ideas for a long, narrow hallway? I'd like to make it look livelier and wider than it really is.

A: To make the space seem wider, your first tool is paint. You need to create a space where there is no demarcation by using the same color for the walls and ceiling. A very warm yellowish or sandy tone would work well. If there are baseboards, they should be painted white, rather than a dark color.

To make the space livelier, choose tile flooring (French terra-cotta) or wood flooring (maple or natural oak).

Avoid chandeliers and sconces commonly used in hallways and, instead, consider recessed lighting. The lights recede into the wall and increase the feeling of open space. Niches built between studs can be another engaging element for a narrow hallway. The nooks can hold artwork and can be wired for soft light. Extra-large mirrors or sizable paintings on the long section of the walls also will help. Both elements will attract attention and draw your eye away from the end of the hallway.


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