Design Ideas for Hallways

When it comes to home design and decor, many homeowners overlook hallways. Because these spaces are usually small and narrow, many people do not believe that there is much room for creativity in hallway design. However, because the hallway is typically first part of the home that guests see, it is important to create a warm, inviting space that sets the tone for the rest of the design elements in the house. When designing your hallway, keep several basic tips in mind and you will create a visually appealing and functional space.

Light, Neutral Paint

When selecting the walls colours for your hallway, it is a good idea to begin with a light neutral tone. Opt for a colour that is several shades darker if you would like to create an accent at the far end of the hall; it creates an interesting contrast with the lighter colour. High-gloss paint may be used if the walls are in good shape, and can help reflect light to make the space seem larger.

Add Architectural Details

If your hallway has plain walls, consider adding wainscoting and a chair rail for added interest. Simple moulding at the top and bottom of the wall work as well. Add frames to untrimmed doorways to create a look that is polished and complete.

Rugs and Runners

For hallways with hardwood floors, adding a rug can make a significant difference. A long runner that spans the length of the entire hall is a good option and will draw attention to highly polished floors.

Add Lighting

Many hallways are dark because they do not have exposure to natural light. Fix this problem by adding sconces on the wall or hanging light fixtures from the ceiling. Bright light will also give this narrow space a larger, warmer feel. Hanging mirrors on the walls will reflect light and make the space seem even bigger.

Unique Artwork or Displays

Many people forget to decorate the walls of a hallway, but it is important to give the space personality. Groupings of personal photographs are a nice touch, though framed prints also work well. Use floating shelves to display unique or rare objects such as vintage books or music boxes.

Storage Furniture

Hanging a set of hooks for jackets and bags helps keep a hallway clutter-free. A combined coat and umbrella stand is another option. Place a console table in the hallway to provide a space for keys and bags to be dropped and mail to be sorted. To store shoes, consider adding a bench with baskets underneath where they can be tucked away.

Add Greenery

Plants can help give a hallway a warmer, more inviting feel. Potted plants are a good option, and may be placed at each end of the hall to make it seem livelier.

Keep Styles Consistent

It is important to remember that the hallway is the entrance to the home, so the design elements in the space should complement the style of the rest of the house. If possible, furniture should coordinate with pieces in the rooms adjacent, and while the colour scheme does not have to match exactly, there should be a sense of cohesion between the palettes.

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About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.