Looking one way…
…and looking the other way.
Our hallways are long and skinny. Our whole house is kind of skinny, actually—20 feet wide—typical for late-1800s row houses. We’ve managed to make this work in the downstairs entry hallway (that’s it in the first photo here) by balancing the staircase with an extra-long credenza that doesn’t interfere with passage to the dining room, but upstairs is a different story.
Here’s a floor plan to give you an idea of the space I’m working with (upstairs is on the right, and the new closet what’s behind the “attic door”—that’s the open door in the above photo). It’s really not wide enough for a shelf of any real dimension, much less furniture. There are doors all over the place. Someday we’d like to have a few light tubes installed, but for now it’s kinda dark, since there are no windows.
Clipper Street Residence, envelopeA+D
This is kind of the aspirational gold standard for me. Our house doesn’t have as many fancy details, but it is from the same time period and roughly the same Victorian style. I could see adding a chair rail (and maybe a picture rail, too) in our hallway, and hanging Julia Rothman’s beautiful “Pieces” wallpaper from Hygge & West (I am ashamed to say that I have been hoarding two rolls of it for about a year now—I’ve gotta use it at some point!).
I keep coming back to this hallway, too. It’s pretty much the same size as ours, but it’s looks SO much more open. Part of that is because of the white floor (sigh) and the super-strength lighting (which I don’t think is natural, so it’s probably as dark as ours in reality), but also because we have the aforementioned closet down at the end where they have that little railing. Sometimes I think walls full of frames can look a little contrived, but this is really nicely done. I feel a little bit of vertigo coming on at the thought of having to rig up the necessary scaffolding in order to hang stuff that high up over the stairs. Yeesh.