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In the picture is a Hookstrip 2 as well as an Index shoehorn.

How to make a small hallway seem bigger


Planning the interior for a smaller hallway might feel like a challenge. Meanwhile, the hallway requires great functionality it’s also the first impression of someone’s home. With thoughtful and smart interior solutions it’s possible to make the hallway seem bigger as well as keeping an inviting look. Essem Design has 10 easy interior tips for the small hallway.

The varying and so often harsh Scandinavian climate creates great demands on the hallway. Trying to fit all the spacious outerwear, loose accessories and pair of shoes might be difficult in a smaller hallway. Therefore, smaller hallways require clever storage solutions – preferably functional but at the same time welcoming. Following are Essem Design’s tips and tricks to make the small hallway seem bigger.



10 easy interior tips for the small hallway


1. Mirrors make spaces seem bigger than they actually are

Placing a mirror in the hallway isn’t only useful before leaving the home — it’s also a great way to make a small space feel bigger than it actually is. Mirrors have the effect of giving rooms a depth as well as creating light which makes a room feel more spacious.

Klara is our full-length mirror that works well in most hallways – also, for smaller spaces.


2. Keep only in-season attire in the hallway. Store the rest away

A common mistake is to store too much outerwear out in the hallway. Only storing the necessary in-season attire makes a big difference. The rest could be better stored in a closet or your storage room.

With its space saving qualities, the hook strip Dekorativ is perfect for smaller hallways.


3. Replace the ponderous closet with an open interior solution

A hat rack, hook strip and hooks are great alternatives to the closed ponderous closet. When we open up the hallway interior more light is created which also makes the room seem bigger.

Essem’s classical hook strip with “school hooks” is available in a wide range of colors and works great for the smaller hallway.


4. Find a cohesive and light colour palette

Many hallway’s lacks natural light. Wherefore, the choice of colour gets crucial for this room. Using a cohesive color scheme for the walls as well as the interior helps lighten up the hallway. White isn’t the only option, other lighter colours with a cold undertone works well – for instance grey, green and blue.

A lighter blue wall color works great for a small hallway. In picture together with Wall Pocket as well as the mirror Tillbakablick.


5. Combine a hat rack and a shoe rack for maximum use of space

Combining a hat and shoe rack is of high importance especially in Scandinavian homes. The shifting Scandinavian climate creates high demands on the hallway interior. A combination of a hat and shoe rack has great storing possibilities.

Combining our classical Nostalgi hat and shoe rack never goes wrong.


6. Mount the hat rack higher than usual to create an illusion of height

Ceiling height and personal preferences is what determines what height is best for you to mount your rack at. Essem Design’s general recommendation is to put the rack at 170–180 cm. However, with a smaller hallway you can mount it higher than that. A hat rack that’s mounted higher on the wall creates an illusion of height and makes the hallway seem bigger.

Mount the hat rack higher than usual. In picture is our hat rack Classic. It’s available in a wide range of sizes, all the way down to 400 mm.


7. Store things vertically — an effective way to use limited space

Storing vertically is an effective way to store your belongings in smaller rooms. It’s a good way of using the room’s height instead of cluttering the rest of the hallway. As a result, more empty spaces are created which makes the hallway seem bigger.

 Keeping a pair or Mama hooks under your Classic hat rack will maximise your storing opportunities.


8. Think through your material choices – Glossy details reflects and opens up a room

The choice of material has a great impact on how’s a room being perceived. By looking over the material of the interior you can make the hallway seem more spacious. Glossy interior details help to reflect light which will make you perceive the room as brighter. Additionally, lighter woods like birch is a great alternative for smaller hallways. Aluminium hooks together with a hat rack in birch are great examples of pieces that will brighten up your hallway.

Glossy materials tend to light up the hallway. Essem Design offers the whole Nostalgi product series in a wide range of metallic materials for instance brass, aluminium and copper.


9. Narrow interior broadens a tight corridor

A tight corridor has great demands on the hallway interior. To broaden the feeling – narrow interior is needed. Go through your current interior to check if you could exchange the closet or hat rack with a hook strip instead. A hook strip is placed closer to the wall and will save you lots of space in your corridor.

Nostalgi hook strip is a great alternative in a narrow hallway.


10. Accessories that makes the hallway seem bigger

Most often decluttering is necessary in a smaller hallway. However, there’s a few exceptions of accessories that actually helps the hallway feel more spacious. For instance, a long, patterned rug broadens the feeling of a narrow hallway. Also, a light poster or art piece in a cold tint makes the rooms feel bigger and lighter.

A long rug together with a poster with a light print is a great alternative for a smaller hallway



Selected products for the small hallway.

From 381.00 EUR
Full-length mirror with wooden frame that fits into most settings.
From 181.00 EUR
Dekorativ was first put into production during the 60’s. It was designed by Gunnar Bolin with inspiration from a hook strip that he found at his mother in laws house. During the decades it has been popular because of it’s sturdiness and practicality but mostly because of its space saving qualities.
From 138.00 EUR
The Nostalgi hat and shoe racks were designed by Gunnar Bolin in 1937. The rack has come and gone over the years, but is now regarded as a classic in the history of Swedish furniture.

From 11.00 EUR
Hook 1040 is a double traditional school hook made of steel.
Fir green textured
From 26.00 EUR
Jonas Bergfeldt’s Mama wall hook is a characterful hook which gives a warm welcome with its open arms. Mama has been awarded the ‘Outstanding Swedish Design’ prize and has been commended at several international shows.
From 144.00 EUR
Gunnar Bolin designed the Classic hat rack in the late 1950s. Classic. Its rounded form broke new ground and saved a lot of heads from sharp edges.