Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Long and Winding Road

Have a really long hallway or passageway in your space? Most of the times when you do, it is a dark, plain and uninteresting place to hurry through.

Dark hallway via Google

Look familiar? Not only people, but ch'i would get though here as quickly as possible! In practicing Feng Shui, we want the ch'i to slow down and meander through places. So how do we make this a pleasant and interesting place?

Updated hallway source here

The easiest way is with lighting, lots of it. When you have a wider hallway, furniture is great for adding interest, just make sure it is not obstructing the traffic flow. High ceilings make it appropriate to have hanging fixtures, but in-ceiling lights or updated track lighting is also a good choice. Adding a skylight would be ideal if your hallway is under a single story roof.

Lovely bookcase hallway source here

Here's a smart solution to a long wider hallway, add bookcases or storage. Want a library and don't have a room to spare?  If your hallway is bright enough, add some plants (another good reason to add a skylight), stock the bookshelves with your favorite tomes, add a carpet runner and have a library anyone would be proud of!

Beautiful damask panels add interest

This is a stunning way to add interest to a long hallway. The inexpensive treatment is very expensive looking as well as chic. The directions to make this are here. This idea brings us to another easy answer to an uninteresting hallway: artwork!

Dark wall with white frames via here

Gray walls, black frames via here

Large artwork pieces via here

This is where those family photos we removed from your bedroom go! A family portrait gallery is timeless and interesting to slow down and view.

Wood panels via here

What about a little more challenging fix? How about adding panels to the walls? It adds architectural interest and with high gloss paint adds a bit of light reflecting properties.

My new favorite treatment is striped walls. Look at these examples:

Stripes and initials via here
Great looking stripes here

The wow factor is in overdrive in striped hallways. I love the artwork on top of the stripes, it really adds a personal touch to the grouping. Now, what about the end of the hallway?

Hall in green via here

Although I love the color selection and the photo grouping is a good choice, look at the end of the hallway. The artwork is too undersized to create an impact. We need the depth of that impact to help visually shorten a long hallway. Look at this one:

Lovely art group via here

Although a single mirror is not usually recommended at the end of long hallways, a grouping of artwork incorporating the mirrors is a brilliant choice. This has depth and interest in a small package.

If none of these options seem like they will work for you, don't panic! Here are a few more traditional cures:

A crystal or a wind chime hung from the ceiling in a long hallway will help the ch'i energy stay longer. 

It would be appropriate to hang a crystal in a hallway that has windows or doors  lined up across from each other  as well. Doors lined up across from each other is said to cause confused energy in a space. 

When a door opens into a long hallway, make sure to place a pleasing piece of artwork or a mirror directly across from it for interest. Each piece you hang creates a little "window" in a dark hallway.

If you have doors that bang into each other in a hallway (fighting doors), hang a red ribbon from the knob or place a red dot sticker on it. 

Whew, that's a lot of info for such a utilitarian space! Drop me a comment on your hallway re-do and I'll share it with everyone!   


  1. Great article - easy to read and absorb- with lots of cool ideas. Love the second photo - the lighting is fantastic as are the warm earth tones. Really like the striped walls - not sure I'd ever do that but would love to see them in action in someone's home. A question about walls with artwork: I have a pair of large lithographs (3ft x 4ft), each one a portrait of a medicine woman. They are stunning and because of their size and the amazing energy emanating from them, I'm wondering where and if you would hang them in a home? I'm also asking because the woman I inherited them from had them hanging side by side in her narrow hallway. Thx! Beth

  2. Great site Michelle! Love this post on wall decor. I have always wanted to do a large wall ceiling to floor with black and white pics.....just have not come across a client that had the space!! Some day tho....I can feel it!
    Going to browse thru the rest of your site. Glad you joined in on the share. Am your newest follower.

  3. It is important to make sure that our house is well lit or bright enough to attract positive energies. Aside from installing artificial lights, opening up your space either by window or skylight is a good option. Skylights are considered more than just a luxury or a wonderful décor; it is also a way to conserve energy.

  4. Love the hallway in the 2nd pic. The contrast of the light-colored walls to the dark-stained floor and dark-themed doors and furniture just oozes class. Though if you can’t go for tables and furniture due to space issues, you can also go with the panels and paintings for added flavor.