Whether long and narrow, or short and square, it’s always important to consider the areas leading you from room to room. We show you how to style your passageways.

Passageways are often neglected spaces in our homes. Yet, they link different rooms and create a sense of cohesion from one space to the next. According to Charles Gonsenhauser from Gonsenhausers Fine Rugs, “A good point of departure is to treat these spaces with the same care and attention as the rest of your home.”

Karin Cawthorne, owner of KARE agrees. “The key is to make it personal. An arrangement of family photographs gives that instant personality injection and immediately tells people who you are.”

Dress to impress: “Use decorative accessories to make a style statement. Craft a layered, multi-dimensional space by arranging artwork in interesting ways. A grouping of statement mirrors always adds a wow factor to any wall,” says Cawthorne.


TIP: Consider interesting groupings and arrangements of photos on long passage walls.

Deck the halls: Where space comes at a premium, Cawthorne suggests sticking to a carefully curated ensemble of wall decorations. “Don’t use oversized pieces of furniture in small spaces. When large items dominate a space or hamper the flow, then you’ve gone too big!” If space allows, a petit server or console is always a beautiful wow-factor.


TIP: In narrow passageways, floating wall shelves provide non-intrusive surface space to arrange mementos and photo frames.

Light the way: Some passages and entrance halls can be dark and gloomy. “Make sure to add adequate lighting sources including ceiling, wall, table and standing lights,” says Cawthorne.


TIP: Painting the walls in a light-reflecting shade is another sure-fire way to open up the space.

Frame it: A great way to create contrast and interest by painting door frames, skirting boards and mouldings in an unexpected colour. Round off the look by adding wall décor in subtle pops of complementary colours.


Create a cohesive look: Rugs help delineate a space and create a sense of flow. “Pick out a colour or pattern from your rug to use as accents on walls, furniture or your choice of wall art,” suggests Gonsenhauser.


Interest underfoot: A runner in a passage not only helps with the flow of traffic through your home, but also creates a sense of depth and dimension. Gonsenhauser recommends making the most of this decorative illusion by adding art and perhaps smaller pieces of furniture.


Size matters: As with furniture, don’t use a rug that’s too big or too small for the passageway. “Longer passageways would require long runners, while a more generous space might be able to take a circular rug,” suggests Gonsenhauser. So, measure up first before committing to buying a rug for these spaces.