Interior Design Tips - Decorating Corridors and Landings

So often a dumping ground for furnishings not wanted elsewhere, corridors and landings deserve better treatment - in fact, they deserve their very own schemes and to have furnishings purchased specially. They form areas we are likely to pass through on a daily basis and so are worthy of our care and attention.

Because landings frequently have their wall space haphazardly interrupted by openings off, it may be necessary to tidy up the space aesthetically in an attempt to bring to it some sense of order. This may involve making a badly positioned doorway 'disappear', which can be done by creating a jib door. Here all evidence of the door (panelling, architrave, finish and so on) is removed and instead it is finished in the continuation of the skirting/base board.

Where doors are pleasingly symmetric in their placement, you may wish to highlight them. By adding well-scaled moldings to the face of flush doors, painting panels in different shades, painting the doors in a contrast to the walls or by running a border around the door frames you will direct the eye to these pleasingly placed features.

In a narrow corridor, furnishings may prove difficult to accommodate. As with all traffic areas, it is vital that circulation is not hindered. You might consider incorporating some small upright chairs with elegant backs and pretty cushions, a shallow console table laden with decorative accessories or a fitted bookcase. However, if space precludes even these, you might think of forming a 'shelf' table that fits neatly against a side wall and takes up no floor space at all. It could be constructed from a strip of marble - say, 15cm/6in deep from front to back - supported by two reinforced plaster corbels and attached to the wall at 'table height'. A beautifully framed mirror fixed above completes the arrangement.

One of the secrets of successful corridor decoration involves the visual breaking-up of the space so that a passageway does not appear to meander aimlessly on and on. There are several ways to achieve this:

The creation of pools of light rather than all-over light will provide both contrast and interest. Narrow-beamed downlighters directed at a decorative floor treatment (such as patterned carpet, checker-board tiles or a stenciled wood floor) will achieve just such an effect.