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  • Interior elements can deliberately elongate a space. At the Carlo Pazolini store in SoHo, wall and ceiling elements reinforce the rectangular shape of a long, narrow footprint. (Design: Giorgio Borruso) Photo by Magda Biernat Photography
  • A hemlock spruce beam in Montreal's Dynamite store keeps the eye down on the merchandise in a high-ceilinged space. Photo by Alexi Hobbs Photographe
  • This long, narrow table in Montreal's Garage store calls attention to featured merchandise while directing traffic flow. Photo by Alexi Hobbs Photographe
  • The horizontal lines on the wall are repeated in lighting strips on the ceiling at Project Skin MD in Vancouver. (Design: Tuxedo Agency)
  • An optical illusion helped Canadian retailer Linen Chest cram 14 bed displays in without cramping the space: shortened queen beds. (Design: Ruscio Studio)
  • The horizontal plane is even played up in store windows like this Project Skin MD in Vancouver. (Design: Tuxedo Agency)
  • In DFS Vintage in the Singapore airport, a backlit strip elevates the wine with a horizontal presentation for merchandise that’s traditionally displayed vertically. (Design: rkd retail/iQ)
  • Stripes on the floor continuing up the wall define the seating area in Boston's Treat Cupcake Bar.
  • The metal structure overhead defines the department at Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbour, Fla. (Design: Gensler).
  • A horizontal bar ties two Coach windows together.
  • The wood ceiling and wall emphasize the long, narrow footprint of Toronto's B.Spoke store (Design: GH+A). Photo by Philip Castleton Photography
  • Horizontal lines relieve the visual depth of this Field & Stream store near Pittsburgh. Photo by Mark Steele
  • The Studio by Ashton Woods in Raleigh, N.C., makes maximum use of a tunnel-like corridor with the ability to view an edited selection of samples. Photo by Taylor Photo

While most designs strive for balance, the deliberate emphasis of horizontal space can meet specific needs, from accommodating unusual footprint configurations to focusing attention on merchandise. Sometimes, it merely serves to add a hipness factor.