Painting ideas for a hallway

Hallways are tricky spaces when it comes to decorating. Choosing the right paint colour for a hall involves several considerations. What are the proportions of the hallway? What are the colour schemes of adjoining rooms? What kind of mood do you want to evoke in this space that simply leads you to others? While we don't spend much time hanging around in hallways, we often pass through, so choosing the right paint colour is important.

Play It Safe

The general rule of thumb when it comes to painting small spaces is to use light colours to make the space look larger. Applying this logic to hallways, you may choose to paint this area a light, neutral colour such as white, beige or grey.

Another benefit of painting your hallway a neutral colour is that it won't conflict with any adjoining rooms. For example, if your red living room is connected by a short hallway to your green bedroom, painting your hallway blue may introduce too many competing colours. However, choosing a subtle beige to link the two rooms provides a buffer zone and a "mental break" between these two intense hues.

Go Bold

Another interior design perspective when it comes to choosing paint colours for hallways is to go bold. Don't be afraid to use deep, saturated colours that play up the smallness of the space, creating drama. This is especially effective for a hallway that leads off a foyer or another common space.

Hallways have effectively been painted such colours as black, red, rich chocolate-brown and even metallic gold. Since walking through a hallway is a fleeting experience, there's no reason it can't be an intense one.

Other Considerations

Since hallways are often visible from so many rooms, you may choose to paint your hallway the same colour as a room that leads into it. As is often the case in living rooms, there is no visual break from a wall that continues to become part of a hallway, so this approach would make sense. Trim often wraps from rooms into the hallway, so in some cases it's best to keep this consistent (usually, painted white).

Colour can also be used to correct oddly shaped spaces, such as a hallway that is very long and narrow. Paint the long walls a lighter colour and the far, short wall a darker colour to compress the space.

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About the Author

Dorian Gray has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009. She has written extensively on the topics of architecture and design for national magazines such as "Architectural Record" and regional publications such as "At Home in Arkansas." Gray also writes about the topics of beauty, health, nutrition and travel. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas.