Architect’s Toolbox: Hallways that Shine

I was 12 when my family moved from Connecticut to south Florida. Just as I did not want to proceed (what 12 year old does?) Our new Florida home had a pool. How cool was that! It was definitely the best part of the home.

But it had the strangest, narrowest and all round worst hallway resulting in the bedrooms and baths. What a space. And so significant, as it was the transition between the public areas (living room, dining area, etc.) and the private areas (bedrooms and baths) of the home. So I vowed when I became an architect (yes, a choice I made at 12 years old), I had design hallways which were bright and light. Something which wasn’t just maze like but really a space to enjoy on its own.

So here are a few terrific hallways, each using its own lesson on how best to prevent those deary and shadowy spaces.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

1. Let the ceiling direct the way. Changing the form of the ceiling can certainly make a big difference, particularly as it highlights the linear quality of the space.

An asymmetrical ceiling leads us on, particularly with light at the end. And including an opening in the wall above the doorway to give us a hint of the beam helps fortify the linear progression.

Ian Moore Architects

Or with clearly linear slats that hide the overhead lighting source.

Mark pinkerton – vi360 photography

And skylights for natural light on a rhythm all their own.

Forum Phi Architecture | Interiors | Planning

2. Turn up the light. Too much lighting can be softened with the use of a dimmer switch, while too little light can’t be fixed easily.

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver

3. What about that door? Use color to combine components and create a pattern.

Motionspace Architecture + Design

Or use a translucent material at the doorway to allow light filter while maintaining privacy.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Or better yet, use a pocket door that disappears to show the window beyond.

Ziger/Snead Architects

4. Add a focal point. If the end of the hallway is not a doorway or door but a blank wall, add some artwork to draw the viewer in.

Anne Rue Interiors

And prevent the tunnel impact with a few gentle all-natural light introduced from the side.

Tim Cuppett Architects

5. Place that special piece of furniture at the end. A place to rest and unwind after that long trip down the gallery …

LDa Architecture & Interiors

… making the trip worthwhile.

More: Design at the End of the Hall
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