Whether it's part of an entryway, or a connection between two different parts of a house or apartment, a corridor is an 'inbetween' or transitional space – it's not a room, it's not somewhere you sit and hang out; it's a place whose fundamental purpose is to be passed through on the way to somewhere else… but that doesn't mean you should forget about it, or ignore it when it comes to decorating. Indeed, because it's a transitional space, it's one that can be played with and modified precisely because nobody has any great expectations of it. If it's long and narrow, fun can be had with exploiting those lines to create cool visual effects; or you can open it out to create a platform for viewing the other rooms in the house. We've chosen seven corridors with seven very different personalities to show you what can be achieved. You'll never pass unthinking through a corridor again.
A long, narrow corridor, and a long narrow staircase. Combined in perfect symmetry, the effect is a stunning trompe l'oeil. The open treads of the staircase create a dazzling light effect, and it almost seems as if the corridor and the staircase are a photo-composite of two different images, thanks to the precise division between the two created by the bannister. While the corridor retreats away from you, with the eye drawn to the dark doorway at the end, the stairs bursts forwards thanks to those shelves mounted on the wall thrusting insistently into the eyeline. This isn't a corridor, it's a masterpiece!
This corridor in a house by Hyla Architects is moodily imposing thanks to the brutalist concrete walls. The sense of a corridor as a nowhere place, a transitional zone where nothing happens, is oddly emphasised by the very accessibility of the room alongside. It's just a step away, but seems much further.
While a corridor isn't a place one would ever linger, it can be a place that's put to use – as it is here, where one wall has been transformed into a library. What could have been a dead zone in this apartment becomes a useful and graceful space.
We love the effect created by the paintwork in this corridor. If it's a transitional space, why not make that function as manifest as possible, by creating a literal line between the corridor space and the rest? The eye is instantly drawn to the window at the end, urging an onward movement through and into the space. From darkness, into light.
Open staircases are popular nowadays, with the aim generally being to open up a corridor space and combine it with the stairwell. This twist, with paned glass dividing corridor and staircase, is both clever and funky. It allows for the two zones to be lit quite differently – one in moody blue, and one in softer yellow-tones – and opens up the space while maintaining a division of purpose. Light seems to spill from the window at the end and down the corridor, which in reality is lit from below through those glass cubes.
When is a corridor not a corridor? When the walls come down, and it becomes a mezzanine platform. This is still a transitional, inbetween space, but it's also a perch from which to view the rest of the house.
Probably not one for those who suffer with vertigo, the transparent floor of this corridor is a genius idea that allows light to filter down through the house from the windows in the roof. It also makes this very narrow corridor seem light and airy, rather than claustrophobic.