Tips for Designers: Tackling Tricky or Tiny Hallways

Your first impression is often a lasting one, understandably this means you want to make it a good one. For interior designers, hallways and atriums can no longer be considered as dead space, but an opportunity to make an impact.

Working with a large open space and a grand staircase offers an abundance of decorating and design opportunities. Whereas if you’re faced with a narrow hallway with minimal lighting, it can feel a bit of a daunting project.

For projects that have small hallways, it can be a challenge to create a statement entryway. But there is a way to design and furnish even the smallest of hallways to nail that all-important first impression.

Seasoned interior designers could just as easily be referred to as magicians considering the optical illusions they can pull off in one space. A tried and tested trick is to use mirrors to make space appear bigger than it really is. The reflective properties not only bounce light around somewhat dark spaces like hallways and corridors, but they can make a space appear double the size.

Whilst full-length mirrors are ideal for making spaces look bigger, if an entryway is too small for this option try arranging a sequence of smaller mirrors or a singular large horizontal mirror mounted to the wall for an equally impressive effect.

As previously discussed, mirrors are also a great way to bring life into spaces. This can work particularly well when designing spaces like show-homes, where property developers and designers need to make an uninhabited space appear lived in.

For retailers, offering customers a variety of mirrors is a great way to personalize the service you’re offering. Engaging in conversations about what mirror would best fit into their space, regardless of its size can build those ideal client relationships that convert into legacy customers.

Utilize those all-important dropship accounts to broaden the selection of mirrors available to your clients and find the perfect solution for just about anyone.

Whilst some client may tackle narrow hallways by sticking to neutral colours, aiming to enhance the feeling of space and light, on occasions this advice can be misguided. Using the right dark colours can bring a welcoming sense of home into a space. Dark spaces also tend to inspire more interest and intrigue in a space. Colours like black in a hallway, offset by warmly lit chandeliers can be incredibly romantic.


It’s not an easy job keeping hallways tidy. Often families, particularly children, use it as an offloading zone the minute they enter the property. It’s always best to suggest some kind of storage solutions to clients.

Very few homes will have space for sideboard units. But in the event a client has an abundance of space, these units can function as a double whammy. Not only do they benefit from enclosed storage, but equally a tabletop feature functions as easily accessible surface storage. House plants and flowers on top of the unit will also help to brighten and bring life to the space.

Alternatively, customers inhabiting a shoebox-sized apartment needn’t panic about their options for surfaces either. Console tables are slim and unobtrusive, provided there’s a wall long enough to fit the width.

If the foyer is intended to be the window to the rest of the home, it’s important that designers consider how the client wishes people to feel when they enter. Homely, warm and welcoming tends to be a good baseline. Rugs and runners provide a soft contrast to the hard outdoors. Consider a woven pile that is durable without being stiff. 

If your client’s entryway is near non-existent, with the front door opening directly into a living space, a runner helps to separate it from the rest of the room. Designers can create a designated space as a lobby, a place to store outdoor clothing and shoes to stop it from spilling into the rest of the home.

A conundrum designers and residents alike will be aware of is that if you don’t explicitly create a designated place for coats, they will end up on the arm of every sofa and on the back of every dining chair in the vicinity. Coat hooks or a coat stand are imperative. They help to avoid clutter and to keep outdoor clothing within one specific area. For space-saving purposes, your clients may be inclined to lean towards wall fixed hooks as they sit horizontally against the walls and don’t obstruct the entryway.

Written by Millie Sheasby 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published