While narrow spaces are most commonly attributed to dorm rooms and labyrinths, the fact is that many modern family homes have their fair share of awkward, cramped spaces. However, your narrow space – whether its a hallway, kitchen, or even a dining room – doesn't have to be stifled by its dimension. Some of these decorating tricks will reveal how you can add height, width, and length to your narrow spaces with clever visual arrangements. Other tips will show how you can convert narrow spaces into genuinely useful and enjoyable spots, no matter how little room you're working with!
Sick of stepping around the large, slouchy armchair that occupies your narrow sunroom? Always stubbing your toe on the bookshelf in your narrow hallway? Then it's time to reevaluate what size of furnishings would work best in your space. Opt for slim furniture that offers height, not width, and you'll find that even the narrowest of corridors has a little more room to spare.
In this example, an entire dining room table fits nicely in this window-side space. Slimmer than most, this sleek design accentuates the length of this space, while a single lamp draws a subtle vertical line directing your gaze to the ample vertical space overhead. Notice how the chosen furniture has a slim, delicate look, from the chair legs to the table top, allowing for maximum air and eye movement.
This trick is all about using optical illusions. On the right side, you'll see a tall mirror, and on the left, you find an entire wall covered with a photo mural. This arrangement creates depth, as the mirror reflects the photo and gives the illusion of a wider entryway. An interesting aspect of this arrangement is that, contrary to common wisdom, you don't need to paint your narrow spaces in light, solid colors in order to create a roomy feel – here, the narrow space is filled with dynamic colour and patterns! You'll also notice how the space employs the use of a table that sits tight against the wall, leaving plenty of room for walking by.
No hallway is too small to be useful. If you're short on space, a narrow hallway is all you need for creating a convenient study, as all you'll need to do is install a few low-profile shelves. A chair conveniently hides under the bottom shelf when not in use, making this an easily convertible study space. This design is perfect for those who prefer quiet, enclosed spaces for getting into the
study zone – unlike offices that feature large windows, artwork, and TVs, the shelter provided by this intimate layout can provide a distraction-free environment for getting down to work.
If your space is too narrow to add a study, consider adding storage! A tall bookshelf placed at the top of the space (shown on the image on the right side) is not only a fun, unexpected way to display your book collection (or figurine collection, rock collection, etc), but it's also a great way to draw attention to the height of a narrow hallway, walk-in closet, entry way, or even a bathroom.
Although this fix might require the help of an interior architect, adding a window in a very high or very low location can fill your narrow space with light, giving it a nice, bright lift. Alternatively, depending on the framework of your home, part of a side a wall can be replaced with windows, creating an open look similar to dining room pictured above.
The window shown here provides a focal point at the very end of the space, drawing attention away from the sides and towards the the interesting stream of light coming through the window.
Whether it's stripes painted on the wall, a series of hanging lights, or a vertically-oriented blind (like the one shown here), drawing strong vertical lines at the end of your narrow space helps to lift the ceiling and provide more visual height.
While this dining room/kitchen is not as narrow as a hallway, it still maximizes the relatively long and narrow room by employing the use of a bench. Using a bench allows a table to sit closer to the wall, as there's no need to give the extra space required for pulling out and walking around individual chairs. It also goes without saying that a bench draws a strong parallel lines along the length of the narrow room, streamlining the look and drawing attention away from width (or lack thereof) and towards the length.
Notice how this particular example makes use of many of the aforementioned tips: strong vertical lines are created in the hanging lamps and bold black table legs, and thin-framed furniture keeps things feeling light and slim, while a line of bright white light draws attention to the top of the space. A narrow space, very well done!
This Scandinavian inspired one-bedroom apartment showcases the potential of a room that's longer than it is wide by lofting the bed. While a bed placed on the ground floor of this room would stick out awkwardly into the living space, a separate and convenient space is created with a simple loft.
If there's not enough room to build a full loft in your own narrow space, consider adding a series of long, high shelves – or even a gallery of pictures hung in the upper half of the area – to take advantage of height, the strongest dimension of your narrow space.
If you're renting your space and therefore unable to make changes to the inner framework of your home, you can still optimize your space – look for guidance in this homify ideabook that provides tips for revitalizing rented apartments.