How to Decorate Small Hallways

Small hallways can be a challenge to decorate. They often are a blank expanse of wall space that needs a touch of decor to make the area appealing. It can be difficult to find something that coordinates with the decor in the surrounding rooms and fits in the small area, but using the correct materials can make the area attractive and functional. Other decorative methods can add a touch of colour to this section of your home, making it look larger and more appealing.

Paint the hallway with a base coat of paint, or you can choose a stripe colour that coordinates with the existing paint colour. Vertical stripes add colour and interest to the hallway and give it the appearance of wallpaper.

Measure the width of your stripes and stick painter's or masking tape on the hallway walls to give you a guideline for the paint. Vertical stripes look best when they are 6 inches wide or less, according to the House Painting Tutorials website. Wide stripes tend to push the walls out visually. Narrow stripes work well in hallways or small rooms.

Paint the stripe colour in between the strips of tape. Allow the paint to dry and pull off the tape.

Select artwork or framed family photographs that are all the same size. A grouping of 8 by 10 frames or smaller works well in small hallways. You may use different sizes and shapes as long as the frames or colours coordinate with each other.

Trace each frame on a piece of paper and cut them out. Stick each paper on the wall with masking or painter's tape where you are thinking of hanging the pictures. This helps you determine if the placement is pleasing to the eye before making holes in your wall. It is important to hang your pictures at eye level to provide comfort for the viewer.

Hang the papers on one side of the wall only. It is impossible to look at both sides of the hallway at once and displaying them in this manner keeps the focus on your grouping.

Space the papers approximately 2 or 2 1/2 inches apart if they represent a series of pictures that go together or the frames are the same size. This provides unity to the grouping. If you have an even group of pictures, place them in two rows on top of each other on the wall. This gives the grouping balance and works well in small spaces. Pictures with different sizes and shapes should be spaced approximately 3 or 4 inches apart.

Hammer the nails into the wall through the paper. Then tear off the paper. This prevents any mistakes in the placement of your pictures. Use sawtooth picture hangers or picture hooks if you desire.


Hang decorative mirrors in your small hallways. Mirrors bounce light in the dark area and make it seem larger visually. Using a different finish for your wall base coat and stripes makes them appear to pop off the wall. For instance, a matt base coat and stripes in a semigloss visually add depth to the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Paintbrush and paint tray
  • Base coat of wall paint
  • Coordinating colour of wall paint for the vertical stripes
  • Painter's or masking tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hammer and nails
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About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.