If you have a long hallway, it might seem as though it goes on forever, resembling a gloomy and dark tunnel. The best way to bring it into better light is to have something at the end of the hall that not only catches your eye, but also makes the space seem less elongated. There are several ways to do this:
Place artwork on the wall at the end of the hall — the more dramatic the art, the better. Now light the art. The hall now has a purpose and is attractive.
A bookcase at the end of the hall is an excellent idea. If you don't have space elsewhere in your home for a bookcase, the hall might be just the answer. Besides providing a space for books and knickknacks, this functional place adds interest to an otherwise humdrum area. Bookcases need to be only 8 to 10 inches deep, so they don't take up much space.
If a bookcase seems too much for your taste, try attaching a few shelves to that end wall. The shelves take up little space and can provide decoration, particularly if topped with a mirror or interesting artwork.
If only one shelf seems better for your space, consider putting a tall, narrow table, such as an end table, under the shelf. The table idea works under a mirror or picture, as well.
A small bench with artwork or a mirror over it can make the hall more inviting and feel more like part of the living space rather than just a utilitarian passageway.
Sometimes only paint is necessary. That wall at the far end of the hall can be painted a darker color than the rest of the hall or a very bold color. This pop of color can enhance that back wall, making the distance seem less ominous.
Long hallways can always use an area rug. The rug will shorten the space by cutting it up visually, and it will also make the space feel warmer and homier.
That end wall is also ideal for family pictures. A collection there will always be a welcome sight every time the hall is used.
A wall sconce might be all that is needed at the end of the hall to light the space and decorate it. There are some interesting sconces that cast attractive shadows on the wall, creating their own style of art.
And that's how we transform a long and cheerless hallway.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com.