By the judicious selection of wall colors you can visually change the proportions of a corridor. To push out the side walls select colors that recede, and for a corridor to appear shorter add an advancing color to the end wall.
Mirrors fixed to side walls will magically open up the space and make it appear much wider and lighter. These can be in the form of sheets made into a wall of mirror or in panels placed between doors. Cut to shape, mirrors can be used to back recesses/niches, and framed sections can be hung at intervals.
The placement of an item of interest at the end of the corridor will have the effect providing a focal point as well as stopping the eye. You may choose to display a piece of sculpture, a stone urn or perhaps a decorative vase on a plinth. A stunning framed painting, stenciled walls or a trompe l’oeil painted effect will serve a similar purpose, as will an item of exquisite furniture.
Floor coverings that emphasize the horizontal will also help to break up the space. A continuous carpet that has a trellis pattern or is divided into panels will be effective, as will individual area rugs placed at intervals on to either a hard floor or fitted carpet.
Interest can also be created on side walls by hanging pictures. Not only will they make your passage through the space more pleasurable, but the reflective surface of their glass fronts will help to bounce around whatever natural light is available. A decorator’s tip to stabilize pictures hanging in a traffic area is to fix each picture at two points (that is, with two hooks) instead of one.
Structurally breaking up the space may involve only slightly more work. The creation of arches along your corridor will not only break the ‘journey’ but will also provide an attractive frame through which to view the scene beyond.
The key to a winning scheme may well lie with some existing possession. A tribal runner carpet, a particularly dominant painting, an exotic screen or a gorgeous piece of painted furniture – any of these items could be used as a trigger for a successful scheme. By picking out and repeating a color element from your furnishings, you will instantly draw attention to them and give them a sense of belonging.
On the matter of safety it is important for sufficient light to be provided to signal any changes of floor level, and that lights can be switched on and off at either end of a corridor (that is, two-way switched). It also is essential that loose floor coverings be well attached to the underfloor (special webbings are available for loose carpers placed on either hard or soft floorings), and for hard floor surfaces to be non-slip, especially where there are children or elderly people in residence.